HUD Funding

By on Feb 19, 2015 in News

In positive news for the public housing realm, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has received $49.3 billion in gross discretionary funding. It’s a $4 billion increase over FY 2014. The resources will be allocated to rental assistance vouchers, assistance fHUDhorizonor homeless and at-risk families, community improvement, and additional training for the Public Housing Authority staff.

A notable portion of the funds will be used to compensate for 67,000 Housing Choice Vouchers lost during the sequestration in 2013 and a $25.6 billion deficit between FY 2014 and FY 2015.

There are few new initiatives. $35 million will be divided between new affordable housing for seniors and 700 new households with supportive services for persons with disabilities.

The bulk of funding is focused on the continuation and enhancement of existing programs for vulnerable populations.

  • $332 million will support the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program.
  • First nation tribes will receive $748 million towards housing and community development.
  • $2.5 billion will be channeled to the Homeless Assistance Grants, which reduce homelessness among families and veterans.

Additional housing assistance comes in the form of adjustments for FHA mortgage insurance premiums. The new parameters will permit access to credit for 250,000 new homebuyers.

$4.7 million low-income families will receive rental housing assistance. A grant of $50 million will transform 25,000 public housing units into project-based rental assistance contracts that can further spark capital investment.

Communities will receive an additional boost of community improvement through Choice Neighborhoods. The organization receives $250 million to reconstruct impoverished neighborhoods as mixed-income communities with employment and enrichment opportunities for residents.

Overall, the budget is a $4 billion increase over the budget for last year, but is it enough? HUD Secretary Julián Castro believes that it is a great start.

“By increasing our Department’s funding level by nearly $4 billion over current levels, the President’s Budget helps us continue our progress toward achieving our mission to promote homeownership, support community development—including making neighborhoods more resilient from natural disasters—and expand to affordable housing for all,” says Castro.

Whether the $4 trillion long-term proposed budget will reach fruition rests in the hands of Congress. HUD Deputy Secretary Nani Coloretti remains optimistic.

“Of course we hope the entire budget will get through Congress,” Coloretti says. “[…] I know that some of our proposals remain both popular and supported by Congress because we accept every community.”