On May 3, 2017 the U.S. House of Representatives approved the $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill—HR 244, the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017,” which funds the federal government for fiscal year 2017 (FY17). The U.S. Senate followed up the House action on May 4 and passed the legislation. The President signed the bill shortly after.
Overall, in a politically-charged environment, with a new administration calling for elimination of some programs and drastic cuts to others in the coming fiscal year (the FY18 “skinny budget”), the FY17 public housing and related programs fared relatively well. Several programs in the skinny budget slated for elimination or deep cuts were increased. For example, the public housing capital fund received an increase over FY16, and the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative received more funding than ever before. Additionally, the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) received an increase to 225,000 units.
CLPHA views the FY17 increases for skinny budget-targeted programs as a repudiation of the Administration’s direction for housing and community development programs, and as a hopeful sign for FY18. However, two disappointments in FY17 were the public housing operating fund which experienced a reduction when compared to FY16, and RAD, which was once again not funded. For additional FY17 HUD program funding numbers, please see CLPHA’s FY17 Comparative Funding Chart.