FY 2016 HUD Budget: HOME Funding Restored

NEWS:

In a welcome turn of events, last Friday President Obama signed into law a $1.1 Trillion Omnibus spending bill (“Omnibus” being a bill that lumps together all 12 annual appropriations bills into one), which provides substantially improved funding levels for many HUD programs (see the full funding list by HUD program here).

  • HOME Allocation: $950M ($50M increase from 2015)
  • CDBG Allocation: $3.060B ($6M decrease from 2015)
  • NHTF: Full use of .027% of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s annual “Volume of Business”, predicted to raise approx. $250-$500M for the fund (previous House bill proposed cannibalizing this revenue in order to fund HOME)

CONTEXT:

Contrary to previous Senate and House proposals which either de-funded the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) to fund HOME, or cut 93% of HOME funding, this Omnibus completely preserves the NHTF and actually increases HOME funding. PLACE staff and members were on The Hill earlier this year talking with members of both parties about the merits of HOME. There, we urged that they honor President Obama’s budget request of $900 Million; but this bill beats that request by $50 Million! Other than a slight cut to CDBG, the budget turned out better than anyone expected.

Members, there is a direct connection between the letters you sent, phone calls you made, and the shoe rubber you left on the sidewalks of DC last April bringing your message to the ears of your Representatives and Senators, and their change of heart resulting in the preservation of these programs. Your work paid off! This success is a true testament to the power practitioner voices can have when raised together. However, that success can only extend so far without the support of dedicated champions on The Hill, so please take a moment to contact your Representative or Senator to thank them for their vote (click here to see if your Senators voted for the billclick here to see if your Representative voted for the bill). All in all, this is an incredible win for housing practitioners and advocates across the country. Members, please accept our sincere gratitude for all your work this year to make Congress hear how important these programs are for all our work on the ground!

NEXT STEPS:

Despite this win, please remember this Omnibus spending bill expires September 30, 2016, right before the 2016 presidential elections; and that the budget sequester suspension which allowed the increase in program spending ends in 2017. Due to an expressed desire by members of Congress to “return to regular legislative order” and avoid last minute budget decisions, we could see the President’s 2017 budget proposal as early as February or March. We are already working on a strategy to preserve, protect and grow resources that matter to practitioners in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget, and we will need your help to implement it then more than ever! Stay tuned for PLACE updates on budget talks and other policy issues as we begin the New Year.

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