House Marks up FY 2013 Housing Appropriations Bill

Appropriations bills continue to move forward despite the different spending limits being used by the House and Senate. The House Appropriations Committee is working with the $1.028 billion limit set by the House Budget Resolution while the Senate is using the higher $1.047 billion limit established by the Budget Control Act. This indicates that Congress is unlikely to enact all spending bills before Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 begins on October 1. Instead, one or more continuing resolutions will likely keep the federal government operating into the beginning of the fiscal year.

Last week, the House Appropriations Committee, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee (THUD) marked up draft legislation to make FY 2013 appropriations for the Department of Transportation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and related agencies. The bill sets HUD program funding levels generally in line with the Administration’s budget request for FY 2013, with some exceptions. These include lower funding for public housing and homeless assistance, and somewhat higher funding for the HOME and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). It also provides $165 million for the Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Program, a $15 million increase over the Administration’s request.

The House THUD Appropriations bill provides a total of $10.472 billion for Federal Transit Administration (FTA) programs.  Given that the current authorization for federal public transit and highway programs is ongoing, the House maintains spending for all Highway Trust Fund/Mass Transit Account contract authority programs at FY 2012 levels. The bill also provides Amtrak with $50 million for compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Federal Agency Makes Available $85 Million for New Integrated Housing for People with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced that it is making available $85 million to state housing agencies to provide affordable, inclusive, supportive housing for extremely low-income people with disabilities. This historic announcement marks the first time that Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Program funding will be offered to state housing agencies that meet new eligibility criteria, including having a partnership with a state health and human services and Medicaid agency to provide essential supports and services. HUD estimates that this funding will provide 2,800 new Section 811 supporting housing units for people with disabilities. These units will be set within larger housing developments in the community. The Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) is posted on Grants.gov (Funding Opportunity Number FR-5600-N-28).  The deadline for applications is July 31, 2012. Additional details on this opportunity will be made available in the coming days by the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) Resource Center on Supportive Housing at http://811resourcecenter.tacinc.org.

Senate Committee Passes FY 2013 Bills with Cuts for Disability Housing program

The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (T-HUD) marked up its spending bill on April 17th.   The subcommittee reduced Section 811 Supportive Housing for People with Disabilities funding from $165 million last year to $150 million for FY 2013, a reduction of 9%. No date has been announced for when the full Senate will vote on the FY 2013 spending bills.
The Senate is working with the overall $1.047 trillion discretionary spending cap set by the Budget Control Act (BCA). The House, however, is working with the lower $1.028 trillion discretionary limit set by the House-passed budget resolution. The different starting points indicate that compromise will be particularly difficult this year and that a Continuing Resolution is likely.

First “minibus” spending bill enacted, including housing funding

On November 17, the House and Senate passed the conference report on a Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations package that combines the Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (HUD) spending bills.   It also includes a continuing resolution to keep the rest of the government running through Dec. 16. The measure was signed the following day by President Obama. HUD took a 9% overall budget cut, with the worst hit programs being the HOME Investment Partnerships program (38%) and the Community Development Block Grant (12%). Near level funding is provided for the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) renewals and project-based Section 8 renewals, both of which serve low-income populations, including people with disabilities. Fortunately, funding for the Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities program increased to $165 million, up 10% from last year.

Administration announces $749 million to fund housing for very-low-income seniors and persons with disabilities

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced $749 million in housing assistance grants under HUD’s Section 202 (for the elderly) and Section 811 (for persons with disabilities) programs. Section 811 Capital Advances will provide $137 million to assist very low-income persons with disabilities through 92 projects in 34 states. An additional $12.6 million will be available for project rental assistance contracts. Most of the housing supported through the Section 811 Program will be newly constructed, typically small apartment buildings, group homes for three to four persons, or condominium units that are integrated into the larger community. Residents will pay 30 percent of their adjusted income for rent and the federal government will pay the rest.

Technical Assistance Center Launches Resource Center on Supportive Housing

The Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) has launched the TAC Resource Center on Supportive Housing, available at http://811resourcecenter.tacinc.org. The TAC Resource Center seeks to expand new and innovative supportive housing approaches and models which link affordable and accessible permanent housing resources with community-based supports and services for people with significant and long-term disabilities. The site highlights the new integrated supportive housing approach recently authorized by Congress within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program. Visit the TAC Resource Center to learn more and sign up for the email list.

“Minibus” appropriations bill goes to House floor

With negotiations between the House and the Senate on a first bundle of appropriations measures nearing completion, the House has scheduled floor consideration and debate for November 17. This first combined spending bill funds the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and several other agencies. The Senate-passed version of the bill provides level funding of $150 million for the Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities program, while the House version funds the program at the President’s Request level of $196 million. Lawmakers want to clear the first minibus this week, because it is expected to include stopgap language to keep the government operating through mid-December (the current continuing resolution is due to expire Nov. 18). Meanwhile the Senate is poised to move forward with a second minibus appropriations bill this week. However, House aides to both parties have said Congress may end up clearing Fiscal Year 2012 spending bills in two packages — the first minibus, which combines Transportation-HUD with Agriculture with Commerce-Justice-Science and, and a second that combines the nine remaining bills.

Fiscal Year 2012 “minibus” spending bill advances

The Senate passed its combined spending bill that would fund the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and several other agencies. The bill was immediately taken up by House and Senate conferees to work out any differences between the two chambers’ versions of the bill. The Senate-passed version of the bill provides level funding of $150 million for the Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities program, while the House version funds the program at the President’s Request level of $196 million.  Congress is attempting to pass small groups of “minibus” spending bills before November 18 to avoid another stopgap spending measure and to avoid having a single “omnibus” spending bill.

Senate moves forward on “minibus” spending bill

The Senate reached a deal on a Fiscal Year 2012 “minibus” appropriations bill, this first of several planned combined-spending measures intended to speed up the FY 2012 process. This bill includes the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development bill (T-HUD, which funds disability-related housing and transportation programs) and two other spending bills. Senators will resume consideration of the bill when they return from a weeklong recess and hold votes on remaining amendments. The Senate would then vote on passage of the bill. The Senate version of the T-HUD bill provides level funding of $150 million for the Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities program, while the House version funds the program at the President’s requested level of $196 million. Appropriators hope to finish work by Nov. 18, both to avoid another stopgap spending bill and to beat the deadline for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to issue its recommendations. So far, the House has passed six of its 12 spending bills and the Senate has passed only one.