HUD Budget Threatened – Again
On June 21, the House of Representatives passed (256-169) H.R. 4635, the FY01 VA/HUD appropriations bill. The bill cuts many HUD programs and keeps others at last year’s funding levels. In this time of great national prosperity and tremendous need for housing assistance, the bill provides for no new rental assistance for families. The President has indicated he will veto this bill if funding levels do not change. The 169 votes against the bill are enough to maintain a veto by the President.
For FY01, the President requested increases to the public housing capital fund, Community Development Block Grants, the HOME program and the rural housing and economic development programs. The House Appropriations Committee cut funding for all of these important programs. The President also requested funding for 120,000 new rental assistance vouchers and a new voucher success fund to help voucher holders find housing; the House bill funds neither .
Major amendments offered to increase spending for HUD programs were ruled out of order. Two small increases prevailed. Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) was successful in his amendment to increase funding for the housing for persons with AIDS program by $18 million. Representative Sue Kelly (R-NY) was able to transfer $1 million from HUD salaries and expenses to the public housing operating fund.
The Senate has yet to take up its VA/HUD spending bill, presumably because it does not have sufficient funds to produce a bill that could garner enough support to ultimately pass. The Senate will likely wait until well after the July 4th recess to begin to mark up its bill. The recently announced surplus adjustment could alter Washington’s appropriations and tax debates.
For a detailed chart comparing enacted FY00 HUD funding levels, the President’s request for FY01 and the House Appropriations Committee’s FY01 levels, see the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s website, at www.nlihc.org/news/52600chart.htm.
– National Low Income Housing Coalition, 202-662-1530, www.nlihc.org