The Impact of the Federal Budget Deal on Housing and Homelessness

By Nadine Hassoun, Associate

On February 15, the President signed the federal budget bill after Congress and the White House reached a compromise.  The signing of the bill offers relief to individuals and families relying on government-assisted housing, who faced the risk of losing their housing during the government shutdown in December and January. The bill provides HUD programs with over $12 billion above President Trump’s request and rejects the President’s proposal for rent increase and work requirements for tenants in public and assisted housing.

Under the bill, tenant-based rental assistance received an increase in funding of 2.65 percent from the previous year to $22.5 billion, providing enough funding to renew all existing rental assistance contracts and includes additional resources to provide an estimated 7,600 new vouchers to veterans and youth aging out of the foster care system.

The bill also provides enough funding to renew all contracts for Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities and Section 202 Housing for the Elderly. Project-based rental assistance received $11.7 billion, an increase of 1 percent. The President’s proposal to eliminate the public housing capital fund and the National Housing Trust fund, which serves the lowest-income people, was rejected.

USDA Rural Housing Programs, such as Section 514 Farm Labor Housing Loan and Section 516 Farm Labor Housing Grants received funding increases of $2.5 billion and $2 billion, respectively.  Section 515 Rental Housing Direct loans remained the same as FY 2018. The President’s proposal to eliminate all three of these programs was rejected

Homeless assistance grants also received a boost in funding, from $2.5 billion to $2.6 billion. The President’s proposal would have funded the programs at $2.38 billion.

For a full housing budget breakdown, view the budget chart created by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.