The Senate Appropriations Committee today approved its Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies fiscal year 2024 funding bill, and the measure includes $70.06 billion for HUD.
Of particular note, the Senate bill includes $1.5 billion to sustain robust funding for the HOME Investment Partnership Program, the primary federal tool of state and local governments that produces affordable rental and owner-occupied housing. This level will lead to the construction of nearly 10,000 new rental and home buyer units.
By contrast, the House bill slashes funding for this program down to $500 million, the lowest funding level since the program’s inception three decades ago. Members can be assured that NAHB continues to press Congress for full funding for this valuable program as Congress approaches the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, 2023.
The Senate bill also maintains critical support for HUD rental assistance programs, which assist nearly 5 million vulnerable households — more than half of whom are elderly or people with disabilities. This includes:
- $31.7 billion for tenant-based Section 8 vouchers — a $1.5 billion increase above fiscal year 2023 — which includes funding to make 4,000 new incremental vouchers available to youth aging out of foster care and veterans at risk of or experiencing homelessness. The House bill provides $31.13 billion for this program.
- $15.79 billion for the project-based rental assistance program to renew housing contracts, of which $32.9 million is for rent adjustments to certain properties with health, safety or operational deficiencies to improve property conditions for tenants. The House bill provides $15.82 billion for this program.
The Senate spending bill also includes $4.3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant formula program and Economic Development Initiatives that address a variety of local community development and affordable housing needs.
In addition, it contains $100 million for the second year of the “Yes In My Back Yard” grant program — a $15 million increase over fiscal year 2023. A significant contributor to the lack of housing supply and production is state and local zoning and land use laws and regulations that limit the number of units that can be built. These restrictions on development are driving up housing costs. The House T-HUD spending bill eliminates this program.
Although some communities have made progress in removing barriers to affordable housing production to keep up with market demand, Senate appropriators said the federal government should play a supporting role to strengthen these efforts and help jurisdictions increase their housing stock and lower housing costs.
Also of note, the House T-HUD spending prevents implementation of the Biden administration’s proposed “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” (AFFH) rule, which the House Appropriations Committee said would put a severe regulatory burden on small- and medium-sized municipalities, public housing authorities, and other entities and bury them in developing “Equity Plans.” NAHB raised some concerns about the rule, but members expressed desire to work with HUD on some of the exclusionary zoning problems AFFH could help address.
As the appropriations process moves forward, NAHB will continue to monitor developments closely and weigh in as appropriate.