Congress to act soon on omnibus appropriations bill for 2015

Yesterday Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY), chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, introduced an omnibus bill (H.R. 83) to wrap up all of the unfinished appropriations business for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2015. You can read the text of the HUD portion of the bill here (see PDF pages 38 to 55) and the HUD portion of the explanatory statement here. In brief, the bill provides the following amounts for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):

  • Public housing operating fund: $4.4 billion, $40 million over the 2014 amount
  • Public housing capital fund: $1.9 billion, no change from the 2014 amount
  • Section 8 tenant-based vouchers: $19.3 billion, $127 million over the 2014 amount (This total includes funding for voucher renewals, tenant protection vouchers, administrative fees, and new vouchers for homeless veterans, nonelderly disabled families, and the family unification program.)

If approved by both chambers of Congress, the bill will raise the cap on the number of public housing conversions allowed under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) from 60,000 to 185,000, relax the flat rent requirements that were mandated under the 2014 appropriations act, and increase the cap on fungibility between public housing capital and operating funds. The bill also includes the following language regarding physical needs assessments:

The agreement prohibits HUD from requiring or enforcing the physical needs assessment (PNA) in fiscal year 2015. HUD is not, however, prohibited from continuing to work on a PNA tool that will help PHAs assess the physical quality of their public housing stock in a way that is not overly burdensome. HUD is expected to continue to evaluate the PNA tool and update its 2014 report to the Committees on Appropriations, as specified in the Senate report accompanying this act, no later than March 2, 2015.

Currently, much of the federal government is being funded under a continuing resolution (CR). That resolution will expire tomorrow, so the House likely will pass a new CR to give the Senate time to approve the omnibus bill.

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Friday news roundup 11/21/14

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies: Housing cost burdens continue to strain renters

MetroTrends: 3 trends that signal hard times for renters

Next City: Tying housing vouchers to public schools

NLIHC: AFFH assessment tool comments due Tuesday

NLIHC: Hold put on PIH assistant secretary

NLIHC: HUD submits fair housing report to Congress

Rooflines: A RADical change for public housing?

Our offices will be closed next Thursday and Friday to celebrate Thanksgiving, so we won’t be publishing the weekly news roundup. Check back on Friday, December 5 for the next installment. In the meantime, enjoy your holiday!

Midweek news roundup 11/11/14

In honor of Veterans Day, we’re publishing a midweek roundup. News of note this week:

Dallas News (via HUD): Every veteran deserves a home

Housing Finance: Julián Castro’s priorities for 2015

Next City: Tens of thousands of veterans have no place to call home

NLIHC: Washington advocates propose using Medicaid to help end chronic homelessness

Off the Charts: Progress against veterans’ homelessness shows value of rental assistance

Off the Charts: Rental assistance helps more than 340,000 veterans and their families afford housing

Off the Charts: Why expanding RAD makes sense

Veterans Affairs (via HUD): Veterans Day 2014

Friday news roundup 11/7/14

Housing Finance: IRS announces 2015 LIHTC, bond caps

The HUDdle: Survivors of domestic violence need fair housing, not eviction

NCSHA: HUD reports further decline in homelessness

NCSHA: Judge rejects HUD’s disparate impact rule

New York Times: Free broadband for public housing in New York sought as condition in Comcast deal

Next City: NYCHA is revisiting its policy of barring many formerly incarcerated people from public housing

Next City: Using Wall Street tactics to preserve affordable housing

NLIHC: 40 years ago: Public housing changes in Housing and Community Development Act of 1974

Off the Charts: Neighborhoods do matter to kids’ success

Off the Charts: Tens of thousands apply for scarce housing vouchers

PD&R Edge: Why did Pruitt-Igoe fail?

Rooflines: HUD’s perspective on the Rental Assistance Demonstration

Shelterforce: Lifting the fog on Section 3

Washington Post (via Planetizen): These five charts show the progress made in fighting homelessness

Friday news roundup 10/24/14

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NLIHC: Advocates have spent much of the past 40 years striving to gain the resources necessary to provide housing and supportive services to all low-income people with mental illness

Off the Charts: Housing choice vouchers help families live in better neighborhoods—but they can do more

Off the Charts: 4 ways to help more families use vouchers to live in low-poverty neighborhoods

Off the Charts: 2 programs could boost opportunity for families with project-based rental assistance

Off the Charts: 2 changes to RAD that could help public housing families

Spotlight on Poverty (via CBPP): Helping more kids live in better neighborhoods

Friday news roundup 10/10/14

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies: The 1968 HUD act forever changed the politics and policy of low-income housing in this country

Next City: Inside HUD’s favorite new program, the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD)

Rooflines: The vast majority of people making less than 60 percent of AMI are working at essential jobs that make our economies function

Friday news roundup 10/3/14

Even if your agency is not participating in the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, you may be interested in the inaugural issue of the monthly “RAD Newsletter” launched today. The two-page issue includes recent RAD news, highlights key program statistics, and lists recently closed projects. You’ll find a link to the newsletter on the RAD news page.

In other RAD news, last week HUD posted a “case studies” document spotlighting four agencies participating in the demonstration program. The eight-page document focuses on the differing issues faced by the participating housing authorities, including:

  • Combining RAD and Moving to Work (Cambridge, MA)
  • A small PHA leveraging private financing (Ilion, NY)
  • Financing substantial rehabilitation (Lexington, NC)
  • Effective resident engagement (Broward County, FL)

Notable articles this week in the affordable housing blogosphere:

NCSHA: Supreme Court agrees to hear Texas disparate impact fair housing case regarding tax credits

New Yorker: Over time, Housing First has saved the government money

Next City: Making the renters vs. homeowners competition a thing of the past

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