Funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gets a $7 billion boost under the White House’s 2010 budget proposal.

The early budget direction increases HUD funding in 2010 to $47.5 billion, a nearly 19 percent increase from the $40 billion in the House-passed 2009 omnibus bill.

President Barack Obama’s spending blueprint calls for $1 billion to fund the new National Housing Trust Fund that will develop, rehabilitate, and preserve affordable housing.

The proposal also calls for:

  • Funding the Community Development Block Grant program at $4.5 billion.
  • Increasing funding for the housing choice voucher and the project-based rental assistance programs. The voucher program will help more than 2 million families, and the project-based rental assistance program will preserve about 1.3 million rental units.
  • Creating an Energy Innovation Fund to catalyze private-sector lending for energy-efficient housing.
  • Creating a Choice Neighborhoods Initiative to support programs in neighborhoods with concentrated poverty.
  • Eliminating ineffective and duplicative programs. The plan eliminates funding for two HUD programs totaling $16 million. The Sec. 108 Community Development Loan Guarantees Program and the American Dream Downpayment Initiative are duplicative of larger programs, according to the proposal.

“We are extremely supportive of the administration’s focus on affordable housing and on preventing and ending homelessness,” said Nan Roman, president of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. “This is especially important during the current economic crisis when so many families and individuals are losing their homes each day. It is my hope that by increasing the amount of affordable housing in this country and bringing homeless assistance programs to scale, we can finally end this terrible problem.”
Officials at the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) said the proposal “signals a refreshing and much-needed change of direction for the country’s housing policy.” The NLIHC is particularly pleased with the $1 billion in funding for the National Housing Trust Fund.