Assisted Housing Funding: A Federal Budget Numbers Game
The real estate industry remains concerned with insufficient funding levels for HUD’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program and the Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) program, as requested by the Administration and reflected in the current House and Senate appropriations budget proposals.
The Section 8 voucher program is supported by the 700,000 property owners who participate and enable quality housing for more than two million low-income households. The PBRA program provides housing for 1.2 million households through public-private partnerships, consistently delivering quality affordable housing by leveraging private sector investment and expertise.
Congress is currently working to determine how they will address overall government funding for Fiscal Year 2015. This will be accomplished by either approving a continuing resolution, which funds the government at last year’s levels, or through an omnibus appropriations package that funds individual programs government-wide. Lawmakers must address funding issues before Dec. 11 when the current continuing resolution expires.
The uncertainty of funding for the Section 8 voucher and PBRA programs can lead to delayed payments to NAA/NMHC members. We continue to push for lawmakers to fully fund these important programs and, just this week, joined with a coalition of real estate industry groups in expressing concern regarding the insufficient funding.
Specifically, in a detailed letter, we outlined support for the higher funding levels approved by the Senate for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. We also expressed our opposition to “short funding” the PBRA program and emphasized that without full funding, the ability of the Federal Government to honor its contractual obligations will be compromised, endangering its long-term success.
NAA/NMHC are not only pushing for lawmakers to fully fund these HUD programs, but also all federal programs that impact multifamily housing. We joined a coalition of real estate groups in sending a letter to appropriators supporting funding for the USDA and Rural Housing Service’s multifamily housing programs. The letter highlights problems with under funding and policies that could put multifamily rental apartment complexes, financed by the USDA’s Section 515 and 514 programs, in financial jeopardy.
Provided by NMHC as part of the NAA/NMHC Joint Legislative Program