The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently unveiled President Obama’s proposed HUD Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 which is focused on helping Americans to secure and maintain affordable housing, ending homelessness, making our communities more resilient from natural disasters and protecting people from housing discrimination.
HUD’s work is critical to the Administration’s efforts to strengthen communities, bolster the economy, and improve the quality of life of the American people.
HUD’s 2017 Budget includes $48.9 billion in gross discretionary funding and $11.3 billion in new mandatory spending over ten years, with an emphasis on supporting 4.5 million households through rental assistance; increasing homeless assistance; supporting tribal communities and providing opportunities to Native American youth; and making targeted investments in communities to help revitalize high-poverty neighborhoods and improve housing affordability.
“HUD’s proposed budget was built on the values that we uphold as Americans. That our entire nation benefits when our children grow up in a community that’s full of promise, not problems,” says HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “When a hard-working family is able to responsibly buy their first-home, put down roots, and build wealth. When homeless veterans are able to get the housing they need to succeed in the very nation they risked so much to protect. When every person gets a fair shot and a fair shake to achieve their dreams.”
Helping Families Secure Quality Housing
HUD’s 2017 budget maintains a core commitment to provide opportunity for residents of low-income neighborhoods. The Budget provides funding for rental housing assistance to support 4.5 million low-income families, including $20.9 billion for the Housing Choice Voucher program to help approximately 2.2 million low-income families afford decent housing in neighborhoods of their choice.
The Budget also includes $10.8 billion for the Project-Based Rental Assistance program, which supports 12 months of funding for rental assistance contracts with public and private owners who maintain affordable rental housing for 1.2 million families, and $6.45 billion in operating and capital subsidies to preserve affordable public housing for 1.1 million families.
Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Budget provides $2.1 billion in Public Housing Authority (PHAs) administrative fees using a new evidence-based formula that not only more accurately reflects the actual cost of running the program, but ensures that PHAs have sufficient resources to provide low-income families greater access to opportunity areas. In addition, the Budget requests $15 million for a new mobility counseling demonstration that is designed to help HUD-assisted families move and stay in higher-opportunity neighborhoods. A portion of the funding will also support an evaluation to measure the impact of the counseling pilot to further inform the policy process and design.
Native American Housing and Community Development
The Budget invests $700 million for Native American Housing Block Grants, $50 million above the 2016 enacted level, to address severe overcrowding and substandard housing conditions in Indian Country. An additional $20 million is provided for projects to improve outcomes for Native youth, such as the construction or renovation of community centers, health clinics, transitional housing, pre-school/Head Start facilities and teacher housing, and up to $5 million for Jobs-Plus will be used to implement a demonstration of the Jobs-Plus model in Indian Country to boost employment and earnings.
To support the Opening Doors Initiative, the Budget provides $11 billion in mandatory spending and $112 million in discretionary spending in housing vouchers and rapid rehousing to reach and maintain the goal of ending homelessness among families with children by 2020. In addition, the Budget maintains programs dedicated to ending veterans homelessness, and within the $2.7 billion provided for Homeless Assistance Grants, the Budget maintains existing projects, creates 25,500 new units of permanent supportive housing to end chronic homelessness, and invests $25 million in new projects targeted to youth experiencing homelessness.
Strengthening All Communities in this Century of Cities
To empower local communities, the 2017 Budget invests $200 million to transform neighborhoods with distressed HUD-assisted housing and concentrated poverty into opportunity-rich, mixed-income neighborhoods through the Choice Neighborhoods program.
Consistent with the Administration’s place-based approach to helping communities address their self-identified priorities, Choice Neighborhoods grantees develop a comprehensive neighborhood plan that addresses the broader needs of the community, including public safety, local schools, economic development, and other critical community improvements.
Choice Neighborhoods grantees have leveraged over $3.69 billion, including new and refocused funds from private investors, banks, cities, universities, foundations, and a range of local partners.
HUD is proposing to provide $50 million to the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program to help local public housing agencies to finance the recapitalization of more than 180,000 units of public housing and a targeted expansion to include certain properties that provide housing for the elderly.
The Budget also reflects HUD’s commitment to providing communities with new flexibilities to help families achieve self-sufficiency. The Budget provides $35 million for Jobs-Plus to help public housing residents secure employment and increase their earnings through job training and financial incentives. The Budget also provides $75 million for the Family Self-Sufficiency program to link HUD-assisted households with job training, child care, transportation, financial literacy and other supportive services, and help them build assets through interest-bearing escrow accounts.
Read HUD’s proposed FY 2017 Budget here.