House Committee Proposes $8 Million Funding Raise for HUD Counseling

A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee recently approved legislation that proposes to increase funding for various Department of Housing and Urban Development programs, including housing counseling services.

Earlier this month, the House Appropriations Committee introduced the Fiscal Year 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill, which includes a total of $38.7 billion for HUD—an increase of $384 million above the FY 2016 enacted level.

Of this allotted amount, the Committee recommends $55 million for housing counseling assistance, an increase of $8 million above the FY 2016 enacted level and equal to the budget request for FY 2017.

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“This bill provides for our nation’s transportation and housing needs, while making tough choices to protect hard-earned taxpayer dollars,” said Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) in a written statement. “It recognizes the need to house the most vulnerable and get critical infrastructure back on track. Most importantly, it will ensure the safety of our infrastructure and improve the quality of our public housing programs.”

Other housing programs within the bill are funded at $11.6 billion—an increase of $355 million above the FY 2016 enacted level. The bulk of this funding increase, according to the Committee, is needed to continue existing assistance to all those currently served by these programs. Additionally, the bill also provides a program level of $505 million for Housing for the Elderly and $154 million for Housing for Persons with Disabilities.

In total, the bill reflects an allocation of $58.2 billion in discretionary spending, an increase of $889 million above FY 2016.

When accounting for various program shifts within President Obama’s budget request for these funds, the House legislation represents a reduction of $4.9 billion below the request.

Also included in the bill is $19.2 billion in discretionary appropriations for the Department of Transportation for FY 2017.

“This bill invests in critical national infrastructure to help move our people and products safely and efficiently as possible,” said House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) in a written statement. “It prioritizes important programs and projects, making the best use of every transportation dollar. In addition, it funds housing programs at a responsible level, keeping a roof over the heads of individuals and family members who need help the most.”

View the bill text.

Written by Jason Oliva

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  • The $8 Million increase is welcomed news, all we can get the better! Every bit of good news is only a plus for the reverse mortgage industry. I feel we have received more positive publicity this year so far than I can remember in a long time!

    Keep it coming, we will take all we can get from anywhere, as long as it is positive quotes and articles!!

    John A. Smaldone
    http://www.hanover-financial.com

    • John,

      The more positive news we read about reverse mortgages, the lower our endorsement numbers go. Could it be that seniors are reasonably skeptical about the sudden turnaround in the press?

      It seems what seniors may be looking for is a careful analysis of how especially HECMs work that brings clarity. Most of the positive articles being written today are written by people who barely understand what a HECM is. For example one columnist who regularly writes positively on reverse mortgages wrote the other day that reverse mortgages are a special kind of HECM. When that was pointed out on Linked In, I just shook my head in disbelief. See

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-lazar/hud-to-roll-out-new-rever_b_10210392.html

      Michael also makes statements like: “The HUD is planning to add rules that mandate credit counseling for all borrowers.” How ridiculous since that has been in place for decades.

      Even some of the personal finance academicians have done less than stellar jobs promoting HECMs. Our seniors deserve better than that and good for them for not jumping on board just because we claim that HECMs are cheaper, safer, and better for THEM.

      What we claim is new about HECMs sounds exactly like what it is, sales promotion, not education. HECMs can be a great product and adjustable rate HECMs a great financial tool when used prudently but too few know how to present them in that way.

      Just because of need and growth in that population segment, we will see increased annual endorsement volume despite our inadequacies. There is a need for this product and it is growing.

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