New Construction and Home Modification Funding in Senate Bill

Legislation | June 11, 2018 | by Linda Couch

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved $44.5 billion for HUD in fiscal year 2019, including $678 million for the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly account and $11.7 billion for Project-Based Rental Assistance, which provides the operating subsidy for approximately two-thirds of Section 202 homes. The Committee approved its bill on June 7.

Of the $678 million approved by the Committee for the Section 202 account, $90 million is for service coordinators (level with fiscal year 2018 funding), approximately $36 million is for new homes under the Section 202 program, and $10 million is for a new home modification program. The remaining funds, the majority of the fiscal year 2019 appropriation in the Senate Committee’s bill, are to renew existing contracts under the Section 202 account.

The home modification program, funded by the Committee’s bill at $10 million, is a new program for, “a program to be established by the Secretary to make grants to experienced non-profit organizations, states, local governments, or public housing agencies for safety and functional home modification repairs to meet the needs of low income elderly persons to enable them to remain in their primary residence.” Of the $10 provided by the bill, no less than $5 million must be available “to meet such needs in communities with substantial rural populations.”

The bill provides substantially more than President Trump requested for the Section 202 account for fiscal year 2019. President Trump requested $601 million as well as increases to resident rents and a freeze to owners’ contract rents. The Senate Committee bill rejected each of these: the insufficient renewal funding, increases to resident rents, and freezes to owner rent levels.

The House Appropriations Committee bill would also provide a total of $678 million for the Section 202 account, but does not include a $10 set aside for the new home modification program. The Section 202 account received $678 million for fiscal year 2018.

LeadingAge is closely watching funding needs for Project-Based Rental Assistance renewals. Both the Senate and House bills would provide $11.7 billion for this account in fiscal year 2019. LeadingAge understands full renewal need may be somewhat closer to $12.2 billion.