Late last night, the North Carolina Senate released its budget proposal. After two years of growth, the Senate cut affordable housing funding at a time when the state needs it the most and put spending limits on counties without consideration of their historic affordable housing needs.
The Senate’s budget appropriates:
- $7.66 million for the Housing Trust Fund (level funding);
- $3 million federal HOME match (level funding); and
- $16.05 million for the Workforce Housing Loan Program (decrease of $4 million and all appropriated from the settlement with Moody’s).
The budget also adds a $500K cap on the amount of Workforce Housing Loan Program money that the NC Housing Finance Agency can spend in each county per year. This cap is particularly troubling, as it would significantly limit the Agency’s ability to effectively distribute the appropriated funds to counties with the most need.
In addition to decreased appropriations, the Senate missed an opportunity to restore a portion of the annual $43 million of federal Community Development Block Grant allocation to develop affordable housing leaving rural North Carolina communities behind.
The Senate is expected to vote on the budget on Friday. We will update you as we learn more, and as we continue to work with the House to craft a better budget.