Largest New 202 Funding Since 2010

Legislation | June 11, 2019 | by Linda Couch

The House is expected to take up the fiscal year 2020 HUD appropriations bill the week of June 17 as part of a small package of spending bills.

Housing programs for older adults benefited from a $5.9 billion increase, over the fiscal year 2019 enacted level, in the fiscal year 2020 bill the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, HUD, and Related Agencies approved on May 23. 

The overall Section 202 account, under the Subcommittee bill, would receive $803 million.

For new homes under HUD’s Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program, the bill would provide $140 million. This would be the largest single-year funding for new Section 202 homes since fiscal year 2010. Since fiscal year 2017, when the Section 202 program was resurrected after years of zero funding for new homes, Congress has appropriated a total of $166 million for new Section 202 homes. LeadingAge is seeking $600 million for new homes under the Section 202 program in fiscal year 2020.

Also in the Section 202 account, Service Coordinators would see their first expansion in many years. The bill would provide $95 million for Service Coordinators. Because renewal needs for existing Service Coordinator grants is $90 million, HUD would have $5 million for new Service Coordinator grants.

LeadingAge is advocating strongly for expansion of funding for both new Section 202 homes and new Service Coordinators.

The bill would also provide full renewal funding for all Section 202 rental assistance contracts, including Project-Based Rental Assistance and Project Rental Assistance Contracts. And, the bill would provide $10 million for HUD’s home modification program for older adults.

A large share ($2.1 billion) of the bill’s $5.9 million increase over FY19 is to make up for reduced revenue from the Federal Housing Administration’s mortgage insurance programs. House and Senate appropriators rely on FHA receipts for overall HUD funding. When FHA receipts dip, appropriators first use available funding to make up for reductions in FHA receipts.

The bill provides increases for the public housing capital and operating funds, a significant increase to the HOME program, fully funds the renewal of Housing Choice Vouchers and an expansion of vouchers for veterans experiencing homelessness and children and families. Homeless assistance programs would also see increases under the bill.

On the policy side, the bill would prohibit HUD from implementing its May 10 proposed regulation to force the termination of housing assistance for thousands of U.S. citizens and eligible immigrants, including older adults.

As House Appropriations Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY) said at the bill’s mark up in Subcommittee, “Housing is the foundation on which lives are built. It is nearly impossible to go to school, get a job, raise a family, or age in place without having a stable place to live.”

The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to begin consideration of its bill in June. These committee marks ups are key steps to the ultimate adoption of a final FY20 HUD appropriations bill. Before a final bill can be enacted, the House, Senate and White House must agree on how much to raise the budget caps.

LeadingAge is pleased with the House bill’s dedication to preservation and its acknowledgment of the need to expand the supply of affordable housing for older adults through the Section 202 program. LeadingAge remains committed to our policy priorities of significant expansion of the Section 202 program, funding for new Service Coordinators, and preservation of existing homes.