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Senate moves early on housing appropriations

by Ethan Handelman, National Housing Conference

The Senate is moving quicker than in past years to move appropriations bills forward. On April 19, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development FY 2013 appropriations bill, clearing the way for it to advance to the Senate floor. The Subcommittee had approved the bill just two days previously, as NHC reported on its blog. Expectations raised by this quicker-than-usual action should be tempered by realization that this is still an election year with split partisan control of Congress. Completion of the appropriations process for FY 2013 may well end up waiting until after the election.

Despite a lower 302(b) allocation, the total amount of funds for HUD programs under the bill would be almost $35 billion, which is $1.4 billion above the President’s budget request. Offsetting receipts from from FHA and Ginnie Mae allowed the Committee to go beyond the budget request. Key areas that were increased:

  • Project-based Section 8. $9.9 billion. The Committee bill eliminates the proposed short-funding of Section 8 contracts (for details, see Michael Bodaken’s guest blog post).
  • CDBG. $3.1 billion, including $50 million for Sustainable Communities.
  • Section 8 vouchers. $19.4 billion. (Level-funding for HUD-VASH vouchers.)
  • Homeless assistance grants. $2.2 billion.
  • Public Housing Operating and Capital Funds. $4.6 billio and $1.99 billion, respectively.

To learn more, see the detailed comparison chart and summary from Enterprise Community Partners, an NHC Leadership Circle member.

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