The U.S. House of Representatives is gearing up for a full floor vote on a “minibus” spending package for fiscal year (FY) 2023 this week. While timing is still uncertain, the chamber is expected to pass the six-bill spending package, which includes the House Committee on Appropriations’ Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) bill responsible for funding all of HUD’s vital programs.
The House’s draft FY23 THUD spending bill proposes a $9 billion – or 17% – increase to HUD’s funding over FY22-enacted levels. Among other provisions, the bill includes enough funding to renew all current Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) contracts and expand TBRA assistance to an additional 140,000 households; $3.6 billion for HUD’s Homeless Assistance Grants account; and funding to renew existing assistance for the Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities and Section 202 Housing for the Elderly programs, as well as funding for the construction of 5,600 new affordable, accessible units for people with disabilities and older adults. See NLIHC’s full analysis and budget chart for additional details.
The Senate Appropriations Committee is also slated to release its draft FY23 spending bills before the end of the month. However, because appropriations leaders in the House and Senate have yet to reach an agreement on topline spending numbers, the draft bills being released will likely offer much higher funding for non-defense programs than will ultimately be enacted. Despite the delay in reaching a topline agreement, congressional appropriators remain optimistic that they will be able to finalize all 12 spending bills for FY23 before the end of the calendar year.
NLIHC and our partners in the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) are leading our annual 302(b) letter to demand that Congress provide the highest possible level of funding for affordable housing, homelessness, and community development resources in FY23. Advocates should contact their members of Congress and urge them to support significant funding for NLIHC’s top priorities:
- $32.13 billion for the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) program to renew all existing contracts and expand housing vouchers to an additional 200,000 households.
- $5.125 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund to preserve public housing, and $5.06 billion for the Public Housing Operating Fund.
- $3.6 billion for HUD’s Homeless Assistance Grants program to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness.
- $100 million for legal assistance to prevent evictions.
- $300 million for the competitive tribal housing program, targeted to tribes with the greatest needs.
While appropriations advance, the already slimmed-down reconciliation package continues to shrink. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), whose opposition to the “Build Back Better Act” has been driving reconciliation negotiations, stated on the evening of July 14 that he now opposes any reconciliation provisions that would allow for new spending on climate change, or that would increase taxes on corporations or wealthy individuals. Absent these provisions, the reconciliation package will focus solely on healthcare, including lowering the cost of prescription drugs for seniors and extending healthcare subsidies.
Senator Manchin is also reportedly pushing back the timeline for finalizing and voting on the package. Rather than abiding by the August recess deadline, the senator is now saying Senate Democrats have until September 30 – the literal last day before the budget resolution attached to the reconciliation package expires – to enact the bill.
NLIHC and affordable housing champions in Congress, including House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters and Senate Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown, will not give up on fighting for the inclusion of the Build Back Better Act’s targeted affordable housing investments. These once-in-a-generation investments are too important – and too needed – to leave behind. While the road to success is steep, this is not the first time advocates have pulled off the seemingly impossible and pushed Congress to maintain significant affordable housing investments in the reconciliation package. Email, tweet, and call your members of Congress and urge them to include NLIHC’s top policy priorities in any reconciliation package, including:
- $25 billion to expand rental assistance to more than 300,000 households. See how many vouchers your state would receive here.
- $65 billion to make critically needed repairs to public housing to preserve this valuable asset for its 2 million residents.
- $15 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund to build and preserve over 150,000 affordable, accessible homes for households with the lowest incomes. See NLIHC’s breakdown of how much each state would receive through the Housing Trust Fund here.
Thank you for your advocacy!