Senate Passes First of Several “Minibus Appropriations Bills” for FY 2019—Includes Funding for HUD and USDA

CARH’S BROADCAST EMAIL – Legislative Update

August 7, 2018

On August 1, 2018, the full Senate, by a vote of 92-6, approved H.R. 6147, a four-bill “minibus appropriations measure” for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. Included in this bill is funding for the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs. This is the first of what is expected to be initial approach by the Senate for passing funding bills for the fiscal year which begins on October 1. While both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have reported their versions of the HUD and USDA spending bills (HUD – H.R. 6072 and S. 3023; USDA – H.R. 5961 and S. 2976), neither the full House or full Senate has acted on these bills. It is the hope that when Congress returns in September, some form of “minibus” appropriations bills will be passed prior to the start of FY 2019. This is particularly important given current discussions by the Administration to shut-down the government if funding is not provided for construction of its planned southern border wall. By having “minibus” appropriations measures pass, those agencies and programs that are not impacted by immigration issues, can continue to operate.

As CARH members can see from the attached charts (HUD chart; USDA chart), funding levels for both HUD and USDA’s Rural Development (RD) housing programs would, if passed in their current form, provide funding above the Administration’s request for FY 2019 and, for some programs higher levels than FY 2018. Within RD, funding for the Section 521 Rental Assistance (RA) program would be $1.331.4 billion, including the ability to forward fund $40 million into FY 2020 for RA contracts that are renewed at the beginning of the new fiscal year. This is important given the rescission request for FY 2018 by the Administration that was rejected by the Senate and so appears to be rejected by the Senate for FY 2019. An amendment was agreed to from Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) that would direct USDA to report to Congress on the agency’s strategy as well as the tools and resources needed to preserve affordable rental homes in rural America.

On the HUD side, highlights include funding for some of the following programs:  $22.78 billion allocated for Tenant-Based Section 8 ($18.78 billion for FY 2019, plus $4 billion being carried over from the FY 2018 Omnibus allocations). $20.52 billion of this funding is designated as funding the renewal of expiring Housing Choice Vouchers; $2.775 billion allocated for Public Housing Capital Fund, and this funding will remain available until September 30, 2022; $3.365 billion allocated for the Community Development Fund, and $3.3 billion of these funds will be for CDBG and these funds will remain available until September 30, 2021; $1.362 billion allocated for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, and this funding will remain available through FY 2021.

Both the House and Senate are currently in Pro Forma sessions. The Senate is scheduled to return on August 15, with the House returning after Labor Day. The Senate will likely be in Washington, DC for an additional week and then, like the House, return after Labor Day. As with other times when members of Congress are back in their respective districts and states, CARH recommends our members invite your Representatives, Senators and their staffs to your properties so they can see first-hand how affordable housing operates and what your properties mean to the residents and the communities where they are located; how the Housing Credit and Housing Bond programs work together with direct funding programs, providing an important source of affordable housing throughout rural America.

CARH will continue to keep you informed as the appropriations process for both HUD and USDA move forward. Please contact us at or 703-837-9001 if you have any questions.


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