On Monday, December 16, congressional negotiators revealed the details of two "minibus" spending bills - one for domestic programs and the other, for the defense budget. These packages will fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 2020 (domestic and defense. Today, the House passed both measures, sending them to the Senate and then, upon passage, to the President of the December 20 funding deadline.
Our updated budget chart is included below, outlining many major programs of interest for Prosperity Indiana members, but here are key highlights:
HUD: The funding package is a victory for housing advocates in that most HUD programs are funded at or above the Senate proposed levels. The final figures are not as ambitious as the House proposal, but important increases were achieved for TBRA, PBRA (enough to renew all contracts for 12 months), the Public Housing Capital fund, Homeless Assistance Grants, Housing Counseling (which was at risk of cuts in the Senate budget proposal), and Section 202 Housing for the Elderly, among others.
The final bill does not include provisions from the House bill that would have prevented HUD from implementing the harmful proposed mixed-status rule that would separate families in HUD-assisted housing or it's proposed weakening of the Equal Access Rule that provide protections against discrimination in shelters based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
USDA: Most USDA's rural housing programs receive similar funding to last year, with small increases for Section 514 farm labor housing loans and Section 523 self-help housing grants and larger increases for the MPR rental preservation program and for Section 542 vouchers.
What Else Was Included? The minibus packages also contained significant funding and/or funding boosts for physically expanding national border fencing, military spending, the National Institutes of Health, the 2020 Census, election security grants and gun violence research.
WE COMMEND PROSPERITY INDIANA MEMBERS FOR YOUR ADVOCACY IN WORKING TO ACHIEVE CRITICAL FUNDING INCREASES!
WHAT ABOUT THE TAX PACKAGE? HOW DID AFFORDABLE HOUSING CREDIT IMPROVEMENT ACT PROVISIONS FARE?
As the FY20 appropriations bills move forward this week, a year-end tax bill is also moving through Congress this week. Unfortunately, despite the work of our network and local and national partners, no provisions from the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act were adopted. Early on yesterday, the 4 percent floor for LIHTC was included, but late night negotiations saw it cut that from the final package. Continued advocacy is needed on this front as we head into 2020.