The U.S. House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee released its fiscal year (FY) 2023 draft spending bill on June 22. The bill would provide $62.7 billion for HUD’s affordable housing, homelessness, and community development programs – an increase of $9 billion over FY22 enacted levels, and $1.1 billion above the president’s FY23 budget request. If enacted, the House proposal would provide substantial federal investments in affordable homes and increase the availability of housing assistance to families with the greatest needs. For full details, see NLIHC’s updated budget chart.
The House proposal includes funding to significantly increase access to Housing Choice Vouchers by providing $31.04 billion to renew all existing housing vouchers and to expand assistance to an additional 140,000 households. While the House bill proposes to expand vouchers by a modestly lower amount than the 200,000 additional vouchers included in President Biden’s FY23 budget request, this funding would help put the nation on a path towards universal housing assistance for all eligible households. An additional $1 billion would be provided to renew all project-based rental assistance contracts ($14.94 billion).
The House bill proposes significant increases to nearly all HUD programs compared to FY22. The bill proposes to increase funding for Homeless Assistance Grants by more than $391 million to $3.6 billion and to increase funding to preserve public housing by more than $280 million to $3.67 billion. The bill includes a $458 million increase to the Community Development Block Grant program ($5.3 billion), a $175 million increase to the HOME Investment Partnership program ($1.67 billion), a $167 million increase to the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program ($1.2 billion), a $150 million increase to the Housing for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program ($600 million), and a $100 million increase to the Choice Neighborhoods Program ($450 million).
Some programs received more modest increases in funding compared to FY22, including Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities ($400 million), Housing Counseling ($70 million), Policy Development and Research ($160 million), and fair housing programs ($86 million). Other programs received level funding compared to FY22, including Public Housing Operating Funds ($5.06 billion), tribal housing programs ($1 billion), and legal aid for eviction prevention ($20 million).
The Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) will vote on the draft spending bill today, June 23, and the full House Appropriations Committee will likely vote on the bill next week. The Senate is expected to draft its spending bills in the coming weeks, although the two chambers are not expected to reach an agreement on spending levels until later this year. For this reason, Congress is expected to enact a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government open after the start of the fiscal year on October 1, pushing off decisions about final spending bills until later this year.
Advocates should continue weighing in with their senators and representatives to urge them to expand investments in affordable, accessible homes through the FY23 spending bill, including 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.
Additionally, advocates should continue pushing for any reconciliation bill to include the robust housing investments needed to address the nation’s severe shortage of affordable, accessible homes for the lowest-income renter households. Any reconciliation package should include robust funding for NLIHC’s top priorities:
- $25 billion to expand housing vouchers to more than 300,000 households.
- $65 billion to preserve public housing for its 2 million residents.
- $15 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund to build, preserve, and operate more than 150,000 units of affordable, accessible homes for households with the lowest incomes.
Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA)
The House bill proposes to increase funding for the TBRA program by $3.67 billion above FY22 enacted levels, to a total of $31.04 billion. This amount is likely sufficient to ensure all current TBRA contracts are fully renewed and will also expand the availability of assistance to an additional 140,000 low-income households in need of voucher assistance.
Of the amount provided, $1.1 billion will be set aside for new vouchers. HUD would be directed to create an allocating formula that may be based on several factors, including the number of severely housing cost-burdened renters in an area; the number of renters experiencing over-crowding, substandard housing, or homelessness; and administrative capacity.
The bill also allocates $25 million for the mobility demonstration program, which combines rental assistance with mobility counseling to help families with young children secure housing in areas with strong schools, economic opportunities, and other resources.
The Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program would receive $50 million – level funding from FY22 enacted levels – and $5 million would be provided to serve Native American veterans (level funding from the previous fiscal year).
The bill would provide $667 million for Section 811 mainstream vouchers – an increase of $208 million from FY22 – and $30 million for the Family Unification Program (level funding from the previous fiscal year).
Project-Based Rental Assistance
The House spending proposal would provide $14.94 billion to renew Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) contracts, an increase of $1 billion from FY22 funding levels. This amount may be sufficient to renew all existing PBRA contracts.
The House proposal calls for $3.6 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants, an increase of more than $391 million over the 2022 enacted level and slightly more than the $3.58 billion proposed in the president’s budget request. The funding would be used to support more than 18,000 new housing options for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness while also continuing assistance to over 750,000 people experiencing homelessness and more than 350,000 individuals in emergency shelters.
The spending bill would allocate $3.67 billion to public housing capital needs, a modest decrease from the president’s request and an increase of $282 million over FY22 enacted levels. This assistance includes formula funding and $65 million for emergency capital needs, $65 million to address lead-based paint hazards, and $75 million for water and energy efficiency upgrades.
The bill provides $5.06 billion to fully cover public housing operating costs, a decrease of $1 million over FY22. Operating support includes both formula funding and an additional $25 million, to be allocated based on need.
HOME Investment Partnerships
The House bill proposes to fund the HOME Investment Partnerships program (HOME) at $1.67 billion, an increase of $175 million over FY22-enacted levels and $275 million less than the amount requested in the president’s budget.
Community Development Block Grants
The House bill would provide $5.3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program – an increase of almost $460 million from the previous fiscal year and $1.53 billion more than was requested in the president’s budget. Of that amount, approximately $2 billion is earmarked for specific community development projects.
The House proposal calls for a $1 million increase for HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, for a total of $86 million, which matches the amount in the president’s budget request.
Section 202 Housing for the Elderly & Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities
The House bill includes $1.2 billion for the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program, an increase of $167 million over FY22-enacted levels and $234 million above the level proposed in the president’s budget request. This funding would be sufficient to renew all contracts.
The House spending bill would provide $400 million for the Section 811 program to support affordable, accessible housing for people with disabilities, a $48 million increase from FY22-enacted levels and $112 million above the president’s funding request. This assistance would be enough to renew all contracts.
In addition, the House bill provides funding for the construction of an estimated 5,600 new units of affordable, accessible housing for older adults and people with disabilities.
The House spending bill would help address housing conditions on tribal lands by providing $1 billion to fund tribal housing programs – level funding compared to FY22 and the amount proposed in the president’s budget request. This amount includes $772 million for formula Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) programs and $150 million for competitive NAHASDA funds. Competitive NAHASDA funding is targeted to tribes based on needs and capacity, although NLIHC urges Congress to further target these resources to tribes with the greatest needs.
The House bill calls for $415 million to reduce lead-based paint and other health hazards – level funding compared to FY22 enacted levels, and $15 million over the president’s budget request. Funding includes $30 million to conduct lead inspections in Section 8 voucher units to improve the condition of housing where nearly 229,000 children reside.
Other HUD Programs
The budget proposes a $20 million set-aside for an eviction-prevention legal services program to be housed within the Office for Policy Development and Research. Funding for this program was not included in the president’s budget request for FY23. NLIHC has been advocating for at least $100 million for legal services to prevent evictions to be included in the FY23 appropriations.
The bill includes $70 million for housing counseling, an increase of $4 million over the president’s request and $13 million more than FY22-enacted funding.
The House bill would provide $450 million for the Choice Neighborhoods grant program, an increase of $100 million over FY22 appropriations levels. The bill would increase the number of distressed neighborhoods that could be revitalized through the Choice Neighborhoods program.
The Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) would receive $12.5 million (level funding compared to FY22 enacted levels).
The House bill also proposes increasing funding for the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program to $125 million – an increase of $16 million from the previous fiscal year. The Jobs-Plus program would receive $15 million in the House bill. These programs provide supportive services for HUD-assisted households to improve their connections to jobs, healthcare, and educational opportunities.
Funding for the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) program would increase to $600 million, up from the $450 million it received in FY22 and the $455 million proposed in the president’s budget request. These funds would protect housing and services for more than 75,000 low-income people living with HIV or AIDS.
The bill provides $185 million for NeighborWorks America, and $4.58 million to fund the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which is responsible for coordinating the federal response to the needs of people experiencing homelessness.
Housing Supply Fund
The House proposal does not include the $50 billion proposed in the president’s budget request for a new Housing Supply Fund. In the president’s request, the Housing Supply Fund would receive $25 billion for affordable housing production grants to state and local housing finance agencies and their partners to provide grants, revolving loan funds, and other streamlined financing tools, and $10 billion in grants to help remove barriers to affordable housing development, including funding for housing-related infrastructure. The fund would support housing for renters and homebuyers with low to moderate incomes, including families with incomes up to 150% of area median incomes in high-cost areas, as determined by HUD.
Additional Policy Issues
The House bill included report language addressing a number of key issues.
The report language accompanying the House bill includes several provisions aimed at increasing civic engagement among HUD tenants. In its discussion of Public Housing funds, the report notes that $21 million is set aside for resident participation activities, including tenant organizing and civic engagement, among other activities. Moreover, the report notes that of the total funds provided to Project-Based Rental Assistance, $10 million is for tenant education and outreach, which includes tenant organizing and civic engagement.
The House also directs HUD to report on the extent to which HUD-assisted households are civically engaged and the methods by which HUD housing providers can publicize best practices to improve civic engagement for HUD-assisted households. The bill directs HUD to identify what civic engagement activities are currently allowed across HUD-assisted housing programs, and to report on statutory, regulatory and administrative authorities that may be required in order to increase civic engagement for HUD-assisted households.
Waiving CDBG Cap on Public Service Activities
The House report language includes a provision waiving the cap on CDBG public service activities to respond to the needs of people experiencing homelessness and emergency rental assistance needs.
In report language, the House commended HUD for restoring equal protections for all individuals, regardless of gender identity. The report language states that the House “strongly supports HUD’s reinstatement of technical assistance and guidance for HUD grantees, to help ensure that all HUD-assisted and -insured housing remains available to eligible persons, without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity and in accordance with their gender identity.” The Trump administration worked to remove these protections and to allow discrimination against trans people experiencing homelessness.
The House responded in report language to state and local efforts to criminalize homelessness. Noting that people experiencing homelessness are more likely to interact with the criminal legal system, and that this interaction contributes to a perpetual cycle of homelessness, the report directs HUD to engage with local, state, and national stakeholders to develop a report on best practices and approaches to ‘‘decriminalizing homelessness."