Just before midnight on Monday, June 20, the NC General Assembly released its biennial budget. You can find the text of the budget and the accompanying committee report on the legislature’s website. This budget represents the best possible outcome of budget negotiations between the House and Senate for funding streams crucial to developing affordable housing.
Funding streams held steady for North Carolina’s key affordable housing line items:
- $20m for the Workforce Housing Loan Program each year;
- $7.66m for the Housing Trust Fund; and
- $3m for the HOME match.
While NCHC had been seeking an increase this legislative session, the WHLP in particular was at risk of seeing significant cuts. We were encouraged to see the strong support from key negotiators thanks to timely calls and emails from you.
|FY16-17||Governor’s Budget||Senate Budget||House Budget||NCHC Request||Final Budget|
|Housing Trust Fund||$7.66m||$10m||$7.66m||$7.66m||$20m||$7.66m|
|Workforce Housing Loan Program||$20m||$20m||$16.5m||$20m||$35m||$20m|
|Community Development Block Grant – Neighborhood Revitalization||$0||$0||$10m||$10m||$15m||$10m|
The final budget rejects the harmful per county caps that the Senate placed on the WHLP, and doubles them in low- and moderate-income counties to allow the WHLP to better reach counties with the most need.
|Current Per County Cap||Senate Per County Cap||House Per County Cap||Final Budget Cap|
The final budget also allocates $10m of the state’s annual ~$43m Community Development Block Grant funding to Neighborhood Revitalization and divides any de-obligated funds evenly between the Department of Commerce and the Department of Environmental Quality. This was a high priority for the Coalition this legislative session and represents the first time since 2013 that this money will be spent on housing.
Still Room to Grow
This budget represents the best possible outcome of negotiations between the House and Senate for NCHC priorities and with the restoration of CDBG, continues the trend of gradually increasing the state’s affordable housing investment after a low point in 2015. That is in large part thanks to all of you who responded in timely and effective ways to action alerts in recent weeks. However, with nearly 1.2 million cost-burdened families across North Carolina, we cannot forget that our current investments still fall short of the need.
The budget is expected to pass both chambers this week.