House Subcommittee releases draft THUD budget
The House appropriations subcommittee for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) publicly released its fiscal year (FY) 2018 spending bill. The draft legislation includes a total of $38.3 billion for HUD, a decrease of $487 million below the FY 2017 levels and $6.9 billion above the President’s request. The budget is a clear, bipartisan rejection of the draconian cuts proposed by the President’s budget, but still cuts an already underfunded 2017 budget.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition has updated its budget chart to include the recently released House proposal. Below are some highlights from the budget:
- CDBG – while the President’s budget had proposed to eliminate the program, the House cut it by $100 million (3.3%);
- CDFI Fund – while the President’s budget had proposed to eliminate the program, the House cuts the fund by $58 million (23.4%);
- Fair Housing – the bill includes language that prevents any funding from being used to assist jurisdictions in complying with Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing;
- HOME – while the President’s budget had proposed to eliminate the program, the House cut it by $100 million (10.5%);
- Housing Counseling – this program sees a $5 million cut from FY17.
- Interagency Council on Homelessness – like the President’s proposal, the House bill eliminates the Interagency Council on Homelessness;
- National Housing Trust Fund – while the President’s budget had proposed to eliminate the program, the House keeps it intact; and
- Tenant-Based Rental Assistance – while the budget does increase funding for TBRA, it still represents a 6% shortfall in renewal funding, which NLIHC estimates could result in 140,000 fewer vouchers.
The full House Appropriations Committee is expected to consider the bill before the August recess that begins July 28. While the Senate is expected to remain in session well into August, they have not yet released their bill. The overall budget levels have not yet been agreed to and with the calendar compressed by competing priorities, many are expecting the government to be funded by a continuing resolution through October and November, possibly the entire fiscal year. For more analysis on the budget, you can read NLIHC or Novogradac analyses.
NLIHC Week of Action
The House bill reinforces why housing advocates have planned a National Housing Week of Action, “Our Homes, Our Voices,” from July 22 to July 29 to call for increased federal investments in affordable housing and community development. During that week, local advocates are hosting a full range of activities, including rallies, press events, storytelling activities, letter-writing campaigns, bus tours, and more. We encourage all housing organizations and advocates to participate in Our Homes, Our Voices by planning or attending an event near you. To learn more about how to get involved, visit www.ourhomes-ourvoices.org.
HUD Housing Counselor Certification Practice Exam Now Available
HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling announced today the availability of the Housing Counselor Certification practice examination in English and Spanish. To access the practice examination, housing counselors must create a user account at: www.hudhousingcounselors.com. There is no cost to take this practice exam and it can be taken multiple times. The Housing counselor Certification Test can be taken beginning August 01, 2017.
Housing for Those With Mental Illness Panel
Carolina Public Press Newsmakers will host a free forum and public conversation about housing issues for those living with mental illness in North Carolina. The event will be held on Friday, July 21, 2017, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville. Seats are limited and RSVPs are required but the event will be live-streamed for those who are unable to attend in person You can register for the event here.
Raleigh Community Conversation
The City of Raleigh’s Fair Housing Hearing Board is hosting a Community Conversation on Housing Tuesday, July 18th from 6:00pm-8:00pm at St. Augustine’s University in the Martin Luther King Center (2nd floor). The panel will consist of representation from the Raleigh Housing Authority, NC Human Relations Commission and a local community advocate. Interested citizens, housing advocates and practitioners are encouraged to attend. Please RSVP via email to Marquita.email@example.com or phone at 919-996-5710.
CASA Preservation Purchase
Raleigh based developer CASA has purchased two apartment complexes in Durham’s West End, including 79 units and one office. The purchase marks CASA’s largest acquisition to date. CASA plans exterior improvements at both properties, including landscaping, fencing, parking lot repairs, and rebuilding of the aging staircases and balconies. “This acquisition allows us to preserve the Underwood and Maplewood apartments as affordable rental housing in Durham and gives the current tenants assurance that their rent will remain affordable,” says CASA CEO Debra King. This is a major win for affordable housing in a time where preservation of affordable units is more critical than ever before.