Funding for key housing programs would be cut under amendments that have been offered as the Senate debates the fiscal 2014 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) appropriations bill (S.1243) this week.
Amendment No. 1758 by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) would cut Community Development Block Grant funding from the THUD level of $3.15 billion to $2.798 billion.
Another move by Coburn could lead to the elimination of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. Amendment No. 1753 would prevent an extended authorization of the Council. Before being reauthorized, the Council needs to evaluate programs and consider streamlining to improve response, says the amendment.
Coburn has also offered Amendment No. 1754, which seeks to exclude federal funds from being counted as matching funds for McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants.
Another one that could impact affordable housing development is Amendment No. 1768 by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), which would cut HOME funding from $1 billion to $950 million.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition has urged people to contact their senators to oppose these amendments.
Senators are expected to continue debating the bill into next week.
A lively exchange took place Thursday afternoon when Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) sought to send the THUD bill back to committee. However, senators voted to table his motion.