The House Appropriations Committee today released the draft FY 20 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (T-HUD) funding bill, which will be considered in subcommittee on Thursday, May 23 (Title II, HUD, begins on page 104). A summary of the draft bill is available on the House Committee on Appropriations website.
Below is PHADA's initial analysis. More in-depth coverage will be featured in upcoming editions of the Advocate.
The bill provides a total of $50.1 billion for HUD, which is $5.9 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $13.4 billion above the President’s budget request. For Public Housing and Section 8, funding is as follows:
$4.753* billion for the Public Housing Operating Fund, $100 million above the 2019 enacted level and $1.9 billion above the President’s budget request.
$2.855* billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund, $80 million above the 2019 enacted level. The President’s budget request proposed eliminating this program.
$21.4 billion for Voucher Renewals, of which $100 million is set aside for a variety of cost factors, including agency increases in renewal costs from unforeseen circumstances or portability.
$1.925 billion for Administrative Fees, $39 million above the 2019 enacted level and $187 million more than the President’s budget.
$12.6 billion for Project-Based Rental Assistance,$843 million above the 2019 enacted level and $570 million above the President’s budget request.
*Note: The House Report rounds these numbers.
$300 million for the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, $150 million above the 2019 enacted level. The President’s budget request proposed eliminating this program.
$150 million for Self-Sufficiency Programs, $20 million above the 2019 enacted level and $75 million above the President’s budget request. This includes $100 million for Family Self-Sufficiency, a $20 million increase from FY 19 enacted.
While these House numbers are good for the most part, under current law Sequestration will be reinstated unless Congress acts to lift budget caps and raise the debt ceiling. House and Senate leadership have been meeting this week but have yet to come to an agreement. Until they do, the House bill is subject to an increase in the cap on domestic discretionary spending. PHADA will continue to report on the budget and these related issues in coming Advocates.
HUD Rule on Non-Citizen Residency in Assisted Housing
The House Bill would block the Administration’s public housing rule change on undocumented immigrants in affordable housing, which threatens the housing stability of 55,000 children who are citizens or legal residents.
PHADA leadership has expressed concerns with HUD’s changing the rules by which families have been vetted and admitted into assisted housing. Moving the goalposts in this manner reflects a capricious method of policymaking that is not consistent with a Department that seeks to administer Federal programs in a fair and just manner.
After a year of advocacy on this issue, the House Bill includes language related to HUD’s attempt to implement a new ACC over PHADA’s and the industry’s objections. The language is as follows:
SEC. 238. The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development may not, in this fiscal year or any fiscal year thereafter, implement, require, enforce, or otherwise make effective any change, amendment, or alteration to any term or condition of the Annual Contributions Contract between the Secretary and any public housing agency, as such contract was in effect as of January 1, 2018, unless such change, amendment, or alteration is made pursuant to a rule issued after notice and an opportunity for public comment and in accordance with the procedure under section 553 of title 5, United States Code, applicable to substantive rules.
While PHADA is pleased that Congress is registering its concern about the process that HUD engaged in relative to ACC changes, this language does not go far enough in preventing HUD from implementing the new ACC. It would, however, further delay HUD’s implementation and force the Department to be more responsive to PHADA’s and Congress’s concerns. Further analysis will be included in the next Advocate.