It’s hard to believe that we are already two weeks into 2023. This month, in particular January 2023, is already shaping up to be a busy one, not only federally, but for our state, for our communities, and our team here at the North Carolina Housing Coalition.
FY23 Omnibus Bill Passes at the tail end of 2022
After several continuing resolutions, congressional leaders released a final omnibus spending bill on December 20, 2022. The House passed the package on December 23, 2022 and the Senate passed the omnibus on December 22, 2022. Finally, on December 29, 2022 President Joe Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2023 (H.R. 2617) into law. The $1.7 trillion FY23 Omnibus package provides several funding increases compared to FY22 across several of HUD’s vital affordable housing programs. Here are some highlights of the spending package:
- Enough funding is provided to renew all existing contracts provided through Housing Choice Vouchers and Project-Based Rental Assistance – $30.3 billion and $14.9 billion respectively.
- Rental assistance vouchers expanded to an additional 12,000 households targeting families and individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
- Homeless Assistance Grants ($3.6 billion), Public Housing Operating Funds ($5.1 billion), Native American housing block grants ($787 million), Housing for Persons with AIDS ($499 million), Section 202 Housing for the Elderly ($1.08 billion), Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities ($360 million), and fair housing programs ($86 million) all received an increase in funding compared to FY22.
- Several programs received level funding such as the Community Development Block Grants ($3.3 billion), HOME investment Partnerships ($1.5 billion), Choice Neighborhood program ($350 million), and competitive tribal funds ($150 million) programs.
- $3 billion in emergency supplemental funding in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funds were included for major disasters occuring in 2022 as well as for tenant-based rental assistance and project-based rental assistance.
Two programs received a slight decrease in funding compared to FY22:
- Healthy Homes – FY22 – $415 million and decreased in FY23 to $410 million
- Public Housing Capital Funds FY22 – $8 million, and decreased in FY23 to $3.38 billion
Two new programs received funding in this FY23 spending package and will be initiatives the Coalition will be keeping an eye on:
- The Preservation and Reinvestment Initiative for Community Enhancement, which is focused on providing grants to preserve and vitalize manufactured housing communities, including the support of resident-owned cooperatives.This initiative is funded at $225 million.
- The Yes In My Backyard Incentive, a new competitive grant program to encourage jurisdictions to improve inclusionary zoning practices, land use policies, and housing infrastructure to facilitate an increase in the supply of affordable housing. $85 million is set aside for this program of the $3.3 billion in funding for CDBG.
What is missing from this FY23 spending bill, however, is a tax extenders package with an extension of the Child Tax Credit and several proposed reforms to the LIHTC program so that it may better serve households in need. Additionally, the House originally proposed an expansion of 140,000 vouchers; however, the final spending package fell incredibly short of that proposal with only 12,000 additional vouchers.
So What Now?
It’s important that advocates continue to communicate with their representatives and emphasize the importance of having robust funding for housing and homelessness programs. The Coalition is one of several organizations across the country that is a part of the HoUSed campaign with the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Check out all the ways you can help advocate for large-scale investment in housing and substantive reforms to serve households in need.
Looking at the Year Ahead
Today on January 11, 2023, the North Carolina General Assembly convened for the first day of the new 2023 legislative session and swore in members of the senate and house of representatives.
Over the next several weeks, the Coalition will be releasing our 2023 Policy Agenda, which includes our prioritized policy areas and several strategies we plan on working on and advocating for this session. We will also be releasing our updated County Profiles for 2023 with updated data on housing needs across our state.