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.
“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