In a seemingly round-the-clock effort to finish major pending legislation, the Senate on Sunday, December 13, followed House action and approved the FY2010 T-HUD conference report--HR 3288, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 by a 57-35 vote.
The conference report includes six of the seven remaining appropriations bills (all except Defense) that were combined into one omnibus funding measure (HRept 111-366). The FY2010 T-HUD bill reflects significant increases over HUD’s 2009 funding levels while demonstrating strong Congressional commitment to protecting and preserving public housing and Section 8.
Highlights from the conference report for CLPHA members include:
Public Housing Capital Fund - $2.5 billion, with $20 million available for safety and security measures to address crime and drug-related activity, as well as “unforeseenor unpreventable emergencies and natural disasters”; $40 million for competitively awarded grants to PHAs to construct, rehabilitate or purchase facilities to “provide early education, adult education, job training or other appropriate services to public housing residents” provided that grantees demonstrate an ability to leverage other resources and “demonstrate a capacity to pay the long-term costs of operating such facilities”; $50 million for supportive services, service coordinators and congregate services; and, along with other provisions, directs HUD to provide bonus awards to PHAs in FY2010 that are designated high performers.
The accompanying joint explanatory statement to the conference report also expressed appreciation to HUD for its efforts to “redirect and successfully complete the Capital Needs Assessment.” The statement goes on to encourage HUD to
“[C]ontinue to work with the Committees to gather information about successful leveraging strategies and sustainability efforts through case studies or other
appropriate methods of research.”
Public Housing Operating Fund: $4.775 billion for the operation and management of public housing with the stipulation that up to $15 million of the funds may be
transferred and merged with the appropriation for the “Transformation
Initiative” (see below).
HUD estimates a CY 2010 eligibility of $4.750 billion, which by their calculation
would mean that the operating fund is fully funded. However, CLPHA and its
industry partners believe HUD’s eligibility was $50 million short; the final
appropriated amount splits is $25 million short.
HOPE VI: $200 million, with up to $10 million to be used for technical assistance and contract expertise, including training and travel costs for training. The accompanying committee report directs HUD to issue the FY2010 HOPE VI NOFA within 60 days of the bill’s enactment.
Additionally, up to $65 million “may be available for a demonstration of the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative…for the transformation, rehabilitation and replacement housing needs of both public and HUD-assisted housing and to transform neighborhoods of poverty into functioning, sustainable mixed income neighborhoods with appropriate services, public assets, transportation and access to jobs, and schools, and charter schools”. Applicants may include local governments, PHAs, nonprofits, and for-profit developers that apply jointly with a public entity. Grantees must commit to a period of affordability of not fewer than 20 years, and, in issuing a NOFA allocating the use of the competitive funds, HUD must develop and publish program requirements and performance metrics.
Housing Choice Vouchers: $18.184 billion, with $16.339 billion for renewal of
expiring Section 8 contracts. In language similar to FY2009, the bill states that renewal funding is based upon the most recent fiscal year of VMS leasing and cost data, with the most recent annual adjustment factor applied, prorating allocation amounts as necessary for all PHAs, including MTW agencies. It also sets aside $150 million for renewal allocation adjustments, and requires HUD to notify PHAs of their annual budget within 60 days of enactment.
The bill continues the prohibition on using renewal funds to exceed an agency’s
authorized voucher cap, “except for public housing agencies participating in the Moving to Work demonstration, which are instead governed by the terms and conditions of their MTW agreements” (italics added for emphasis). CLPHA members had requested this clarifying MTW provision.
Also included is $1.575 billion for administrative fees; $120 million for tenant
protection vouchers; $75 million for Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH)
vouchers; $15 million for Family Unification Program vouchers; and $60 million for Family Self-Sufficiency Coordinators. The bill also allows up to $100 million to be transferred and merged with the appropriation for the “Transformation
Initiative” (see below).
Project-Based Rental Assistance: $8.55 billion, with $8.326 billion for expiring or
terminating Section 8 project-based contracts; and not less than $232 million, but not to exceed $258 million, of project-based assistance shall be available for performance– based contract administrators.
Sustainable Communities Initiative: $150 million in funding from the Community
Development Fund, to “improve regional planning efforts that integrate housing and transportation decisions, and increase the capacity to improve land use and zoning”. Of these amounts, $100 million is available for Regional Integrated Planning Grants, with no less than $25 million awarded to metropolitan areas of less than 500,000; $40 million available for Community Challenge Planning Grants; and up to $10 million for a joint HUD and Department of Transportation research effort evaluating the grant programs. Of the amounts available, $25 million is directed to address concentrated rural housing distress and community poverty.
Transformation Initiative Fund: $20 million for combating mortgage fraud, and up to 1% from listed HUD accounts shall be available for 1) research, evaluation, and program metrics, 2) program demonstrations, 3) technical assistance and capacitybuilding, and 4) information technology. Included among the listed programs are the Public Housing Capital Fund; HOPE VI; Rental Housing Assistance (Section 8); HOME Program; Community Development Fund (CDBG); Section 202; Section 811; and FHA Programs.
No less than $80 million, and no more than $180 million, shall be available for
information technology modernization to include the development and deployment of a “Next Generation of Voucher Management System”. The joint explanatory statement, under the section on Tenant Based Rental Assistance, also emphasizes that the conferees:
“[R]eiterate the importance of HUD using the VMS data to determine
funding allocations for PHAs. HUD must work with PHAs to ensure that the data is being entered correctly and accurately. The conference agreement includes language that allows the Secretary to transfer up to $100,000,000 to the Transformation Initiative and expects the Secretary to use any funding transferred from this account solely to improve its information technology systems, especially the Voucher Management System.”
No less than $45 million shall be available for technical assistance and capacity
building for HUD programs which include HOPE VI, public housing, and the
From the amounts available for research, evaluation and program metrics and
program demonstrations, the bill requires HUD to include an evaluation of the
Moving to Work program.
General Provisions: Section 232 of the bill states that the Secretary may admit three additional public housing authorities into the MTW program that meet the
requirements of being a high performing agency and that do not administer in excess of 5,000 aggregate housing vouchers and public housing units. Also, none of the three additional PHAs granted MTW status shall receive more funding under Section 8 or Section 9 of the 1937 U.S. Housing Act than they otherwise would have received without this designation. The section also requires all MTWs to report HUD-specified financial data so that “the effect of Moving to Work policy changes can be measured.”
For questions regarding the Conference Report, contact CLPHA Legislative Director Gerard Holder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full T-HUD Conference Report: http://appropriations.house.gov/pdf/