Washington Outlook

CDBG, HOME, Public Housing Cut in House Appropriations

By Eugene T. Lowe
May 29, 2000

On May 23, the House Subcommittee on VA, HUD and Independent Agencies Appropriations cut several Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs for FY2001, including the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and the HOME Investment Partnerships program, the Public Housing Capital Fund and other public housing programs. Homeless Assistance remained at last year’s funding level. The numbers reflect the reduced discretionary budget authority that the subcommittee received which was $400 million less than last year’s level and $6.5 billion below the administration’s budget request.

CDBG and HOME would be cut by nearly $300 million, and $15 million, respectively, The recommended funding level by the House Subcommittee for CDBG is $4,505 billion. The program was funded at $4,800 last year. HOME was funded at $1.6 billion last year, but would be funded in FY2001 at $1.585 billion. Brownfields Redevelopment is cut by $5 million (from $25 million to $20 million).

The Public Housing Capital Fund is cut by $100 million, but the Public Housing Operating Fund remains at last year’s funded level. The Capital Fund was $2.9 billion last year; in FY2001, however, the funding level would be $2.8 billion. The Operating Fund continues at $3.138 billion. The HOPE VI program, which is for the revitalization of severely distressed public housing, is cut by $10 million, dropping from $575 million to $565 million.

Homeless Assistance, Housing for Special Populations (Sec. 202 and Sec. 811), and Housing Opportunities For Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) all kept pace with their last year’s funding levels. Homeless Assistance will continue at $1,020 billion, and Housing for Special Populations will remain at $911 million. HOPWA also remains unchanged at $232 million.

The Housing Certificate Fund, which provides funding for the renewal of expiring Section 8 contracts and enhanced vouchers was increased from $11.3 billion to $13.3 billion. Subcommittee Chairman Jim Walsh (NY) said: "The $13.3 billion that we are providing for Section 8 will ensure that more than one million families currently receiving renewals and relocation assistance will continue to benefit from the programs. No one will be harmed by this funding level." The administration, however, in its budget request had called for a funding level of $14 billion, approximately $850 million more than what the subcommittee recommended.

As for Incremental Certificates and Vouchers, the administration requested 120,000. The subcommittee, however, provided funding for only10,000 new certificates and vouchers. In a press release Chairman Walsh said that he could not "fully fund the request because the Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) failed to spend $1.4 billion in appropriated funds last year. If HUD had spent the money, 237,000 more families would have received assistance under Section 8." The Senate plans to mark up its version of the HUD bill on June 15. 

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