Direct News – Washington Update
FY 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill In-Depth: Community Development Programs
Mar 22, 2018
Congress has passed and the President has signed the FY 2018 omnibus spending package, which contains $63 billion in additional funding for domestic programs and a 10 percent increase in spending for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Overall, the Transportation-HUD (T-HUD) appropriations bill did very well, with a 24 percent increase. The increase in T-HUD spending was reflected in the HUD budget, which received a 10 percent increase compared to FY 2017. The additional funding resulted in funding increases for nearly every single program in the HUD portfolio.
Todays Direct News item is intended to provide NAHRO members with a comprehensive summary of the fiscal year 2018 omnibus appropriations bill as it relates to Community Planning and Development (CPD) programs, including the Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Homeless Assistance Grants, and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS. It also highlights important language included in the omnibus report. Report language included in the Senate and House FY 2018 spending bills also continue to apply, unless superseded by language in the omnibus report.
If you have questions on any of the items in this Direct News, please contact Georgi Banna, NAHRO’s Director of Policy and Program Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.580.7234.
Community Development Fund
For FY 2018, the omnibus provides $3.365 billion for the Community Development Fund. Of that amount, $3.3 billion would be used for carrying out the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, a $300 million increase over FY 2017. As common practice, the omnibus sets aside $65 million for the Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) program, a $5 million increase over FY 2017. The Presidents FY 2018 budget request had proposed to eliminate the CDBG program entirely and NAHRO applauds the hard work and strong advocacy by the NAHRO membership, which has resulted in the bi-partisan preservation and increase of CDBG funding by Congress.
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: The omnibus prohibits the use of funds to direct a grantee to undertake specific changes to existing zoning laws as part of carrying out the final rule entitled, “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” or the notice entitled, “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Assessment Tool.”
Section 108 Community Development Loan Guarantee Program
For FY 2018, the omnibus provides a Section 108 loan guarantee level of up to $300 million and continues language requiring HUD to use borrower fees to cover the credit subsidy costs of operating the program.
HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME)
The omnibus provides HOME with $1.362 billion for FY 2018, a $412 million increase over FY 2017. Once again, due to the hard work and strong advocacy by the NAHRO membership, bi-partisan Congress has rejected the Administrations proposal to eliminate the HOME program.
Suspension of the HOME 24-Month Commitment Requirement: NAHRO is pleased to report that the FY18 omnibus contains a hard-fought provision, first included in the FY 2017 omnibus, which would suspend the HOME programs statutory 24-month commitment requirement for HOME funds that are set to expire in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 due to this requirement. This commitment requirement is widely viewed as a difficult and unnecessary deadline for participating jurisdictions (PJs) to meet.
Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP)
Congress rejected the Presidents request to eliminate SHOP. The omnibus provides $54 million for the SHOP account, $3 million above FY 2017. Of that amount, $10 million would be reserved for the SHOP program, $35 million for Section 4 capacity building activities, another $5 million for rural capacity building activities, and $4 million to rehabilitate and modify homes of disabled or low-income veterans.
Home Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot Program for Disabled or Low-Income Veterans: The omnibus report language dictates that once the FY 2018 appropriations act is enacted, HUD must publish the NOFA within 30 days and funds awarded within 180 days.
Homeless Assistance Grants (HAG)
For FY 2018, the omnibus provides $2.513 billion to fund the Homeless Assistance Grants account, $130 million above FY 2017 enacted. The omnibus reserves at least $270 million be available for the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program and at least $2.106 billion for the Continuum of Care (CoC) and Rural Housing Stability Assistance programs, and up to $7 million for the national homeless data analysis project.
The $2.513 billion also includes up to $50 million for rapid rehousing projects and supportive service projects providing coordinated entry and for eligible activities that are critical in order to assist survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking; up to $7 million for the national homeless data analysis project; and up to $80 million for projects in up to 25 communities, including up to 8 rural communities, to demonstrate how a comprehensive approach to serving homeless youth can reduce youth homelessness, of which up to $5 million shall be for technical assistance on youth homelessness, and the collection, analysis, and reporting of data and performance measures under the comprehensive approaches to serve homeless youth.
Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)
The omnibus would provide $375 million for the HOPWA program, an increase of $19 million over FY 2017.
CPD Formula Allocations
The omnibus includes language first introduced by NAHRO requiring HUD to notify grantees of their CDBG, HOME, HOPWA, ESG formula allocations within 60 days of enactment of the Act
Section 202 Housing for the Elderly
The omnibus provides $678 million for the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program, $175.6 million above FY 2017 funding. $105 million is to be used for capital advance and project-based rental assistance awards, and $90 million for service coordinators and continued congregate service grants for residents.
Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities
The omnibus provides $229.6 million for the Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities program, $83.4 million above FY 2017. $82.6 million for capital advance and project rental assistance.
United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH)
The omnibus provides $3.6 million for USICH operating expenses and also extends USICHs sunset date by two years to October 1, 2020.
Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks)
The omnibus funds NeighborWorks with $140 million and requires $5 million to be used for a multi-family rental housing program.
Low Income Housing Tax Credit
In addition to increased HUD funding, the omnibus also contains two key provisions from the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548, H.R. 1661). The bill increases the allocation by 12.5 percent for 4 years and allows for income averaging. NAHRO members have been a key voice in the fight for the bill and even jumped into action during the weekend omnibus negotiations, urging leadership to include the legislation in the spending bill.