On June 4, 2019, the full House Appropriations Committee agreed to and passed the FY20 funding bill for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) by a recorded vote of 29 to 21, with a manager’s amendment making technical changes to the bill offered by THUD Subcommittee Chairman David Price, as the only amendment agreed to by the committee.
The discretionary funding level for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) totals $50.1 billion, an increase of $5.9 billion above the FY19 enacted level, and $13.4 billion above President Trump’s request.
In a familiar pattern and reprise of repudiating Trump Administration budget proposals, the House THUD budget reflects Congress’ continuing commitment to fund critically important housing and community development programs the Administration proposed rescinding, cutting, or eliminating. Under the leadership of THUD Subcommittee Chairman David Price (D-NC) and Ranking Member Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), the THUD proposal increases – in several instances substantially increases – or level funds programs important to CLPHA members.
As Chairman Price noted during the committee markup, “What does this bill do? First and foremost, we’re investing in infrastructure. Whatever is going on elsewhere in government, our bill is investing in infrastructure, right here, right now. Transportation and housing infrastructure, infrastructure broadly conceived. We are a nation in the midst of an affordable housing crisis and this bill dedicates new resources to address it.”
In addition to robust funding increases, such as the doubling of Choice Neighborhoods to $300 million, the proposal also reflects priorities CLPHA vigorously advocated for with the appropriators, including legislative language to prevent HUD from evicting mixed-status immigrant families from public housing, and to prohibit HUD from unilaterally changing the public housing annual contributions contract without public input and following the administrative procedures act process. Importantly, the Administration’s “rent reform proposals” were singled out in the committee report as not included in the bill. Those proposals included mandatory rent increases and work requirements for public housing residents.
Below is an overview of the committee’s proposed FY20 funding levels for several programs of interest to CLPHA members, selected passages and rationale of policy directives and recommendations from the Committee Report (italicized and/or bolded for emphasis), along with CLPHA’s updated funding chart.