Congress Passes Sweeping Onmibus Bill Funding HUD through September 2016
*Excerpted from NAHRO & Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
This week Congress passed a 12 bill Omnibus spending package which appropriates $38.3 billion for HUD, a $1.6 billion increase over FY2015 or 3.9 percent above this year’s funding level (accounts for the expected decline in HUD’s mortgage credit program). Full articles available on NAHRO's website but some highlights are provided below.
- Operating Fund: provides $4.5 billion for the operation and management of public housing, a $60 million increase from FY 2015. Sufficient to fund only 83.8 percent of PHAs’ anticipated formula eligibility but extends the period of availability of Operating Funds from 1 to 2 years.
- Exemption from Asset Management: maintains exemption allowing PHAs with 400 or fewer public housing units from asset management requirements.
- Public Housing Capital Fund: provides $1.9 billion for the Capital Fund, an increase of $20 million compared to FY15 funding.
- Public Housing Subsidy Flexibility: carries forward the FY 2015 provision increasing the limit on fungibility for PHAs with 250 or more units of public housing to transfer up to 25 percent of their annual Capital Fund grant to operations.
- Physical Needs Assessments: prohibits HUD from requiring or enforcing the Physical Needs Assessment for all PHAs.
- Choice Neighborhoods Initiative: provides $125 million for FY 2016, an increase of $40 million from FY15.
- Moving to Work: creates 100 new slots for high-performing PHAs to participate in the program and the expansion will occur over seven years.
- PHA Employee Compensation: prohibits PHAs from using any Tenant-Based Voucher, Operating Fund, or Capital Fund dollars to pay any amount of salary above the base rate of pay for level IV of the Executive Schedule, or $158,700 for FY2015.
- Review of Family Income: allows triennial recertifcations for families with 90 percent of their income coming from a fixed-source.
- Overall: includes $19.6 billion for housing vouchers in 2016, a $324 million increase over 2015 levels.
- Renewals: includes $17.68 billion for renewals, $195 million or 1.1 percent above the 2015 level.
- Renewal Adjustments: $75 million of the renewal amount is set aside for four types of adjustments (1) significant cost increases due to “unforeseen circumstance”; (2) project-based vouchers that have been committed but not fully leased during 2015; (3) costs associated with VASH vouchers; and (4) prevent terminations of assistance due to insufficient funding.
- VASH Vouchers: includes $60 million for new VASH vouchers.
- Administrative Fee: includes a significant increase in funding for agency administrative expenses with $1.65 billion for administrative fees in 2016, $120 million (7.9 percent) above the 2015 level.
- Admin Fee Formula: makes no changes in the administrative fee formula.
- Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS): maintains level funding for the FSS program at $75 million and allows owners of multifamily Section 8 project-based rental assistance (PBRA) to fund coordinators out of their residual receipts.
- Tenant Protection Vouchers: includes $130 million for new tenant protection vouchers
- Section 811: includes $107 million to renew and administer Section 811 mainstream vouchers in 2016.
- Calendar Year Transition: completes the transition to a calendar year funding cycle by providing $10.6 billion for PBRA in 2016, an increase of $890 million. HUD expects the proposed funding levels, together with carryover funds, to be sufficient to cover all funding renewals and contract amendments through calendar year 2016.
- Community Development Block Grant: provides $3.06 billion in funding, a small $6 million increase compared to FY 2015.
- HOME Investment Partnerships Program: provides $950 million, $50 million above FY 2015 and preserves funding for the newly capitalized Housing Trust Fund, which begins distribution of funding early next year.
- Homeless Assistance Grants: provides $2.250 billion for HUD’s Homeless Assistance Grants program, an increase of $115 million over the FY 2015 enacted level.
- Section 202: provides $432.7 million for Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program, a $12.7 million increase over FY 2015.