President Increases HOME Allocation in FY2016 Budget Proposal, But Potentially Diverts Funds from New Affordable Home Creation

News: President Obama’s budget released February 2, 2014 proposes an 18% increase in funding for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) for a total allocation of $1.06 billion and includes a new initiative called the “Upward Mobility Project” funded at $1.5 billion over 5 years. This initiative would allow certain states and localities (up to 10) to combine funds from four existing block grant programs: CDBG, HOME, Social Services Block Grant, and Community Services Block Grant (the latter two administered by the Department of Health & Human Services) to implement projects that help improve self-sufficiency, children’s outcomes, and promote community revitalization. It also proposes a $10  million set-aside for the Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) within the HOME Program account. Click HERE for an overview of the proposed HUD budget by CHAPA.

Context: Past budgets signed by President Obama have made consistent cuts to HOME. By contrast, this budget expands the allocation to HOME by $150 Million. Nevertheless, this budget proposal still leaves HOME with funding 6.1% below 2010 levels. Click HERE for Enterprise’s comprehensive overview of the President’s proposed FY2016 Budget.

Effect on Practitioners: The increased HOME funding will result in more resources available to practitioners in the field. If passed and written into law, the Upward Mobility Project could allow practitioners to work with states/localities to expand beyond the allowable purposes of each program to improve individuals’ and families’ economic mobility. However, the proposed $1.5 billion over 5 years set-aside for the project may divert funds from other programs w/in HOME that practitioners currently use for affordable housing creation in the context of an environment where there is dearth of affordable for-sale housing product.

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