Senate appropriators yesterday marked up their THUD appropriations bill for FY 2018, offering a strong rebuke to the Trump Administration’s housing proposals for the coming fiscal year. Their request for HUD is $8.84 billion above the Administration’s proposal, and $1.94 billion above the FY18 House THUD request.
Equally encouraging, the Senate THUD marks significantly advance several key measures for expanding RAD by:
- Eliminating the current 225,000 unit cap on public housing conversions, affording housing authorities and their partners the ability convert properties on schedules aligned to local needs, capacities and available financing.
- Maintaining the Public Housing Operating Fund at the FY 2017 enacted level of $4.5 billion, which is $600 million above the Administration’s request of $3.9 billion.
- Bumping up slightly the Public Housing Capital Fund level to $1.945 billion, which is $3 million above the FY17 enacted level—but $1.317 billion above the Administration’s proposal.
- Increasing Housing Choice Vouchers by $1.015 billion above the FY17 enacted level, which will help housing authorities maintain steady Project- Based Voucher funding, including RAD PBVs over time.
- Increasing Project-Based Rental Assistance by $291 million above the FY17 enacted level, assuring a steady funding commitment to this program, including RAD PBRAs.
- Making Section 202/PRAC senior properties eligible for conversion under RAD’s 2nd component while offering modest funding to support such conversions.
A big thanks goes to Senate appropriators and their staff who have long-supported RAD and recognized its potential to preserve and improve much-needed affordable housing across the country.
The focus now turns to encouraging Senate and House THUD members to quickly proceed to a conference and resolve critical differences in their bills— the House THUD bill does not eliminate or lift the RAD cap in any way and proposes reduced Operating and Capital Fund levels that will constrain RAD. Then all Congressional members must be urged to pass an FY 2018 appropriations bill in a customary and timely manner needed to carry final THUD conference negotiations.
If the FY 2018 appropriations process defaults to extending a full-year continuing resolution (CR) of FY 2017 spending levels as has been suggested in some circles, the Senate’s good work on RAD will have little or no chance of being included in a CR. So make a point of contacting your representatives soon to urge that they proceed with an FY 2018 appropriations bill—not a CR!
Stayed tuned to the Collaborative’s continuing efforts and recommendations on what you can do in the weeks ahead to pass a FY 2018 appropriations bill favorable to RAD. Plus standby for details on our Fall convening to take and make RAD work at the next level!