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  • Writer's pictureKristin Cooper

House Releases Spending Bill for Affordable Housing and Community Development

The House Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees funding levels for HUD affordable housing and community development programs voted today to approve a fiscal year (FY) 2021 spending bill that provides a significant increase in funding to housing programs that serve low-income people and communities. For more details on the House FY21 spending bill, see NLIHC’s full analysis and updated budget chart.

Despite limited budget caps, the House bill rejects – for the fourth year in a row – the dramatic and severe spending cuts proposed by the administration, and it provides robust increases to many programs. Thanks to your advocacy and the leadership of House Subcommittee Chair David Price (D-NC) and Ranking Member Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), the bill provides overall funding for HUD at $13 billion above the president’s FY21 request and at least $1.5 billion above FY20 enacted levels; program funding is $18 billion above the president’s FY21 request and $4.6 billion above FY20 enacted levels.

These funding levels are an important victory for advocates and their congressional champions, given the strict spending caps required by the Budget Control Act on defense and domestic programs. While Congress reached in 2019 a two-year bipartisan budget agreement to provide very limited relief from these spending caps, Congress only has about $5 billion more in FY21 than FY20 for all domestic programs, including affordable housing.

With this spending bill, the House subcommittee clearly rebukes the harmful and discriminatory policies advanced by HUD Secretary Ben Carson, including the agency’s proposed anti-transgender rule change to the Equal Access Rule and its proposed rule to force mixed-status immigrant families – including 55,000 U.S. citizen children – to separate or face eviction from HUD housing. The bill takes important steps to prevent HUD and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) from undermining Housing First, a proven model for addressing homelessness backed by decades of research and learning. Moreover, the bill does not impose harmful rent increases, rigid work requirements, and other barriers to assistance proposed by Secretary Carson in his budget request.

The House full committee may vote on the spending bill as soon as next week. The Senate is expected to vote on its draft spending bills in the coming weeks, though this timeframe may be pushed back as Congress is slated to negotiate a final coronavirus relief package before leaving for August Recess.

Read a more detailed analysis of the House Appropriations Subcommittee funding package here and an updated budget chart here.

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