The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is facing cuts that would put its budget at the lowest level in a decade, in inflation-adjusted terms, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and this will negatively impact the amount of government funds allotted to seniors housing.
“These reductions in funding would come in spite of the fact that the number of low-income families experiencing severe hardship due to the lack of affordable housing—which HUD has termed, ‘worst-case housing needs’—has increased by more than 40% since 2001,” says the CBPP.
Public housing is also severely underfunded by both bills. The House budget reduces funds for 2012 by nearly $1.4 billion, or 20% beneath the 2011 level. The Senate bill’s cuts, while not quite as deep, reduce funding by $800 million.
“Following the significant reductions in public housing capital funding made over the last decade, these further cuts would expose low income families, most of whom include people who are elderly or have serious disabilities, to deteriorating or even hazardous living conditions,” the file says. “They would also accelerate the loss of this important source of affordable housing in many communities.”
The CBPP also outlines how House and Senate funding bills would negatively impact the Housing Choice Voucher Program, as both bills don’t meet President Obama’s 2012 budget request for renewing the vouchers in important respects. It goes on to detail substantial cuts to administrative funding for the 2,400 agencies who are in charge of the voucher program and ensuring proper use of Congressional funds.
The reductions in administrative funding will almost certainly result in helping fewer families in 2012 than in 2011, says the CBPP.
However, if Congress combines certain features of the House and Senate bills, it could significantly reduce cuts in rental assistance, says the CBPP. Suggestions include funding the overall HUD budget at least at the House bill level of $38.1 billion and considering accepting the funding rescissions of $432 million in unspent funds, included in the Senate bill.
Read the CBPP file here.
Written by Alyssa Gerace