On Tuesday, the House Committee on Appropriations approved its FY 2018 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (T-HUD) spending bill, voting 31-20 to advance it. Only a single amendment was approved, a manager’s amendment accepted by the minority and offered by T-HUD Subcommittee Chair Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), which primarily made technical corrections to the bill.
For subject-specific analyses of the bill, please see these three articles:
The committee debated amendments late into Tuesday evening; several of these were consistent with NAHRO messaging, particularly with respect to the Public Housing Capital Fund and the impact of years of underfunding on resident health and safety. Four of 10 housing and community development-related amendments consistent with NAHRO policy positions addressed the topic.
NAHRO thanks all members of the Appropriations Committee who spoke up in support of housing and community development programs, particularly T-HUD Ranking Member David Price (D-N.C.), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Cali.), Congressman Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.), Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-N.Y.), full Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), and Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-Penn.).
The House Appropriations Committee is quickly moving through appropriations bills, aiming to pass all 12 before adjourning for the month-long August recess at the end of the month. We have learned that a four-bill omnibus package at this writing is expected to move to the House floor next week. Unfortunately, the package does not currently appear to include the T-HUD bill.
The Senate has not yet begun work on its FY 2018 T-HUD bill, but it is expected to bring the bill to subcommittee during the last week in July. The Senate currently is expected to remain in Washington, D.C. at the end of the month to continue to address the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. The Senate will also, hopefully, vote on pending HUD nominees for key positions, including the HUD Deputy Secretary, the Assistant Secretaries of Fair Housing and CPD, and the HUD General Counsel.
Proposed Housing and Community Development Amendments
- T-HUD Ranking Member David Price (D-N.C.) introduced an amendment that was rejected by a vote of 21-30 to increase infrastructure spending by $200 billion, including:
o Public Housing Capital Fund: $7.5 billion, of which $5 billion is dedicated to the most distressed properties to make health and safety improvements including lead abatement and mold remediation activities
o Choice Neighborhoods Initiative: $500 million
o Community Development Block Grant program: $10 billion
o HOME Investment Partnerships: $5 billion
o Lead Hazard Control: $425 million
o Healthy Homes: $75 million
- Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced an amendment to extend the Interagency Council on Homelessness until 2020 and increase funding for the program to $3.6 billion. She offset the additional spending through cuts to HUD Information Technology. Chairman Diaz-Balart opposed the amendment, stating that the Council was not included in the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act that was approved last year. The amendment failed 21-30. Rep Lee also introduced and amendment, later rejected, to increase spending to fund Section 8 voucher program administrative fees at $140 million. That amendment was also rejected by a vote of 21-30. Finally, Congresswoman Lee introduced an amendment increasing HOME funding to $1.2 billion. It was rejected 21-30.
- Congressman Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) proposed an amendment to fund the Public Housing Capital Fund at $5 billion, with $600 million targeted to address health and safety improvements to properties. The amendment failed 21-30.
- Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) introduced an amendment along with Representative Serrano to add report language to the bill that would direct HUD to investigate the impact of underfunding of the Public Housing Capital Fund. The amendment was ultimately withdrawn.
- Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D- Mass.) proposed an amendment to increase funding for Tenant Protection Vouchers to provide extra support for housing authorities dealing with chronic public housing capital fund backlog. The amendment was withdrawn. Congresswoman Clark also proposed an increase to the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance program, with a particular focus on additional vouchers for veterans, families and survivors of domestic violence. It was rejected 21-30.
- Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) proposed an amendment to provide 5,000 additional VASH vouchers. It was rejected 21-30.
- Full Appropriations Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) introduced an amendment increase funding for Lead Hazards and Healthy Homes. It was rejected 21-30.
- Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) proposed an amendment to increase funding for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance by $1.2 billion. It was rejected by a voice vote.
- Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-Penn.) proposed an amendment to fund the Community Development Block Grant program at $3.3 billion. It was rejected 21-30.
Questions or comments? Please contact John Bohm.