The House Appropriations Committee approved a fiscal 2013 appropriations bill for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, setting up a potential showdown with the White House.
The full House could vote on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) spending bill as early as this week.
The committee’s spending plan would provide less money than President Obama’s request in several key areas, including the public housing capital fund, Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, Sec. 202 seniors housing program, Sustainable Communities Initiative, homeless assistance grants, and housing counseling assistance.
The White House has already said that if President Obama were presented with H.R. 5972, his advisers would recommend that he veto the bill.
“The bill undermines key investments in economic and community development programs that drive local innovations while also weakening the safety net for Americans facing significant hardship in these challenging economic times,” said an administration statement.
The House committee bill falls short of the White House requests in these areas:
- Public Housing Capital Fund: Both the House and Senate appropriations committees are calling for $1.99 billion here, lower than the White House request of $2.07 billion.
- Choice Neighborhoods: The committee recommends no funding for this program aimed at revitalizing distressed neighborhoods. The White House was seeking $150 million, and the Senate committee agreed to $120 million.
- Sec. 202: Neither the House nor Senate committees meet the White House request for $475 million for the seniors housing program. The House committee calls for $425 million while the Senate committee in April approved only $375 million.
- Sustainable Communities: The House committee bill fails to fund the Sustainable Communities program. The White House is calling for $100 million here, and the Senate committee agreed to $50 million.
- Homeless Assistance Grants: The House committee proposal provides $2 billion, less than the $2.2 billion sought by the administration and the $2.1 billion in the Senate committee plan.
- Housing Counseling Assistance: There’s $45 million here from the House committee, $10 million less than the White House and Senate committee requests.
The House committee bill matches or provides more money than the White House spending plan in these areas:
- HOME: It is notable that the committee approved funding for the embattled HOME program at $1.2 billion, $200 million more than the administration’s request and a Senate committee passed bill. However, HOME funding would still be significantly below the $1.6 billion enacted in fiscal 2011 and the $1.8 billion in fiscal 2010.
- CDBG: The committee plan gives $3.4 billion to the Community Development Block Grant program, about $261 million more than the White House request and $194 million more than the Senate committee proposal.
- Project-Based Rental Assistance: Affordable housing advocates continue to raise concerns that the rental-assistance programs for the neediest Americans are way underfunded. Both the Obama administration and the House committee have proposed $8.7 billion for project-based Sec. 8 assistance, while the Senate committee bill calls for $9.9 billion. The National Local Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) is calling for at least $9.9 billion to renew all contracts for 12 months.
- Tenant-Based Rental Assistance: Tenant-based rental assistance is another area of big concern for advocates. The White House and the House committee have proposed $17.2 billion for contract renewals, while the Senate committee has approved $17.5 billion. NLIHC leaders are calling for at least $19.8 billion.
- VASH: The House and Senate committees and the White House all support providing $75 million for Veterans Supportive Housing Vouchers.