Lawmakers in the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA) voted last week to pass a delayed $30 billion spending plan. The final vote was 70-40 in the House after midnight on Friday September 22, and in the Senate it passed 26-17 later that same Friday morning. A draft version of the budget was leaked on Monday September 18, but the official draft and conference report for the FY 23-25 budget wasn’t released until after 4:00 pm on Wednesday September 20.
The chart below highlights the allocations for the key housing programs in the approved budget and how they compare with the proposed budgets released earlier this year from the NC House and NC Senate. For a reminder of what these housing programs are and why they matter, visit our Key Housing Appropriations post here.
In addition to the investments in the key housing programs listed in the chart above, various non-profit organizations, including several Habitat affiliates also received funding for at least part of the FY23-25 biennium:
- $3 M in non-recurring funds (page 558) to Purple Heart Homes, Inc., to provide personalized housing solutions for service-connected disabled and aging veterans and their families across the state.
- $7,521,789 – CDBG – Neighborhood Revitalization (page 329-330).
- $4,748,726 – CDBG – Rural Community Development (page 329, 331).
- For FY 2023-2024 (year 1 of the biennium) funding for Habitat affiliates across the state include:
- Habitat for Humanity of Goldsboro-Wayne, Inc. – $50,000 in non recurring funds
- Habitat for Humanity of Randolph County, Inc. – $100,000 in non recurring funds
- Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region, Inc. – $200,000 in non recurring funds
- Habitat for Humanity of the NC Sandhills, Inc. – $100,000 in non recurring funds
- Mitchell-Yancey Habitat for Humanity, Inc. – $100,000 in non recurring funds.
- $100,000 each year of the biennium for North Carolina Housing Coalition
- $157,278 each year of the biennium for the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness
Standout Budget & Policy Provisions
The adopted conference report and ratified budget bill included policy language changes as well as new policy language that create different processes and restrictions for organizations receiving state funding. Here are a few examples of language that relates to housing, community development, or homelessness that stood out in the bill:
- WHLP project caps increased (page 541) in Section 29.2 of the approved budget. County designations are given by the NCHFA.
- The WHLP cap in low-income counties has been increased from $2 M to $3 M
- The WHLP cap in moderate-income counties has been increased from $1.5 M to $2 M
- The WHLP cap in high-income counties has been increased from $250,000 to $500,000
- Additional language in section 29.2 (page 542) of the budget allows for additional WHLP funds to potentially be granted if the project is in a designated low-income county and can demonstrate that the loan funds are necessary to address “inflationary costs associated with the low-income housing development, including costs to finance the development.”
- A budget provision that instructs The Human Trafficking Commission to develop and implement a Competitive Grant (pg 425)
- Changes made to funding previously allocated to the Department of Public Safety, Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) in S.L 2019-224 under Section 2.1(4)a. The $5 million will be used for mitigation buyouts, relocations, rehabilitations, reconstructions, and for the purchase of manufactured housing units in order to serve homeowners and communities affected by Hurricanes Matthew and Florence.
- A specific change was made that only applies to Dare County and the $35 million the state awarded to the county to build affordable housing in the FY 2022-23 budget. The budget provision essentially stipulates that none of the county’s six municipalities could enforce their zoning regulations on any affordable housing project funded by Dare County under the $35 million the state allocated to them in S.L. 2022-74.
- Funds previously allocated to the Housing Finance Agency in S.L. 2021-180 and amended by Section 5.4(j) of S.L. 2022-74 shall be used by the agency to provide a grant to Robeson County for the development of an elderly housing project to support low and moderate income senior citizens displaced by natural disaster from the Dunn Road Area of Lumberton, North Carolina.
- Establishment of the Transportation Reserve Fund for homeless and foster students to “provide for a grant program to cover extraordinary school transportation costs for homeless and foster students” (page 99, section 7.30.(a), § 115C-250.5.).
- 4% of child care subsidy allocations are to be set aside for vulnerable populations, which include a child whose family is experiencing homelessness or is in a temporary living situation (page 218).
Governor Cooper announced on Friday September 22 that we would allow the budget to become law without his signature. It is also anticipated that a bill with technical corrections may be in the works over the next few weeks. To view the approved budget click here, and the conference report click here.