When the President and Congress write a final fiscal year 2021 funding bill for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), they should adopt many provisions of a version that the House Appropriations Committee has passed — which would provide substantial new funds for programs that reduce homelessness and help low-income families, seniors, and others afford decent homes to rent.
Overall, the House bill includes $4.8 billion (or 8.4 percent) more for HUD programs than in 2020 (before adjusting for inflation), despite tight budget caps on non-defense discretionary spending in 2021.
The funding increase includes the following substantial investments:
In addition to its housing investments, the bill would obstruct several Trump Administration proposals that could increase homelessness or restrict people’s access to services. It would block a proposed rule that would prohibit families of mixed immigration status from living in subsidized housing, effectively evicting 25,000 families that include 55,000 children. It would also prevent attacks against the Equal Access Rule, which protects transgender and nonbinary individuals’ access to emergency shelter and homelessness services, and the Housing First model, an evidence-based homelessness intervention.
The House is expected to pass the House Appropriations Committee’s version of the 2021 HUD funding bill (along with other agency funding bills) this week; the Senate’s timing for action is uncertain, as it has yet to write its version of the HUD funding bill. Either way, the President and Congress likely won’t finalize agency budgets for 2021 until after November’s election.
Meanwhile, policymakers should enact the bill’s separate emergency funding title that would make major housing infrastructure investments, promoting economic recovery and meeting other pandemic needs.