The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) is providing $369 million in funding for the Section 202 Housing program, 51% less than the amount requested by the Obama Administration for fiscal year 2012.
The committee’s appropriation is $387.3 million below the administration’s budget request and almost $30 million less than fiscal year 2011.
“Unfortunately, due to severe budget constraints, the Committee is unable to continue to invest in the construction of new housing units,” said the committee report.
Under the program, HUD provides capital grants to eligible entities for the acquisition, rehabilitation, or construction of housing for seniors, and provides project-based rental assistance contracts to support operational costs for such units. HUD’s section 202 program provides 385,749 federally assisted, privately owned affordable apartments for the elderly. An additional 15,739 housing units are expected to become available in future years as the construction of new developments is completed, using funding appropriated in prior years.
The committee also provided $91 million for service coordinators and up to $20 million for the conversion of projects to assisted living housing or for substantial rehabilitation for emergency capital repairs.
“As we put together the legislation that funds critical pieces of our federal government, we must do everything we can to cut spending in a responsible way—but we must also make sure we are investing in our future and protecting the most vulnerable among us,” said Senator Patty Murray, (D-Wash.), Chairman of the Committee.
The Senate is providing much less than the House, which decided to provide $600 million for seniors housing. Both chambers will have to come to a compromise on their respective proposals before a final bill is brought to the floor for vote.
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Written by John Yedinak