Senate Appropriations Committee Cuts CDBG, HOME
By Eugene T. Lowe
October 3, 2011
The Senate Appropriations Committee on September 21 cut the funding levels of both the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the HOME Investment Partnerships programs when it approved the FY2012 Transportation and HUD Appropriations bill. CDBG was reduced from its FY11 funding level of $3.34 billion to $2.85 billion, while the HOME level fell from $1.6 billion to $1 billion. The House Subcommittee on Transportation and HUD Appropriations on September 8 approved $3.5 billion for CDBG and $1.2 billion for HOME for FY2012. The Conference of Mayors, along with other national groups, had sent a letter to the Chair of the Senate Transportation and HUD Subcommittee, Senator Patty Murray (WA), requesting that CDBG and HOME be funded at $3.9 billion and $1.825 billion, respectively.
CDBG administrative costs are allowed by the Senate to remain at 20 percent, while the House reduced the costs allowed to 10 percent. National groups, including the Conference of Mayors in a letter to the Senate urged opposition to the reduction in administrative costs approved by the House. HUD's Sustainable Communities Initiative, which was not funded in the House bill, would receive $90 million from the Senate.
Other programs funded in the Senate include $1.9 billion for HUD Homeless Assistance Grants, the FY2011 funding level, and which is also the funding level approved by the House. The Senate reduced funding for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDs (HOPWA) program to $330 million; the House funded the program at $334 million, the FY2011 level. The Senate cut the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program to $369 million, while the House increased the program to $600 million. The program was funded at $400 million in FY2011.
Both the Senate and House would cut the Public Housing Capital Fund; the Senate would provide $1.875 billion; the House, $1.532 billion. The Public Housing Capital Fund received $2 billion in FY2011. The Senate would provide $3.96 billion for the Public Housing Operating Fund, while the House would provide $3.86 billion. The operating fund was $4.6 billion in FY2011. Both the House and Senate would allow HUD to use excess reserve funding for operating costs. The House would allow $1 billion to be used from the reserve fund while the Senate would cap the use of the reserve fund at $750 million.
The Senate and House approved Section 8 Tenant Based Rental Assistance at $18.87 billion and $18.46 billion, respectively. But in contract renewals, both the Senate and House fall short with the Senate funding renewals at $17.14 billion and the House funding them at $17.04 billion. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) estimates that $17.37 billion is needed and that without that funding level a significant number of households would lose their vouchers.