HAC News Formats. pdf
March 16, 2017
Vol. 46, No. 6
Administration’s FY18 budget outline released • Trump orders plan for reorganizing executive branch agencies • Indian CDBG funds available • Pilot to increase nonprofit preservation of Section 515 properties took effect March 1 • HUD withdraws comment requests for LGBTQ youth and gender nonconforming people • Congressional committee reviews National Flood Insurance Program • Report makes case for increased federal investments in affordable housing • Research finds large shifts in income for many, and associated financial strain • Upcoming Webinars on the Federal Budget
HAC News Formats. pdf
March 16, 2017
Vol. 46, No. 6
Administration’s FY18 budget outline released. The Trump Administration’s preliminary budget proposal, named America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again, summarizes parts of a longer proposal to be issued in May. Final funding decisions will need to be passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. The outline does not specifically mention USDA’s Rural Housing Service or rural housing programs. It does, however, propose to reduce USDA’s overall funding by 21% and HUD’s by 13.2%. It would eliminate CDBG, HOME, SHOP, Weatherization Assistance, LIHEAP, CSBG, and most of the CDFI Fund’s monies. Rural water and wastewater loans and grants would be zeroed out, along with Rural Business-Cooperative Service discretionary activities, and USDA Service Centers would see staffing reductions. HUD’s lead hazard control funding would be increased from $110 million to $130 million. VA programs for homeless and at-risk veterans and their families would be supported, as would opioid treatment and prevention. Among the 19 independent agencies slated for elimination are the Corporation for National and Community Service (which runs AmeriCorps), the Legal Services Corporation, the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks® America), and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, as well as several regional entities: the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Delta Regional Authority, the Denali Commission, and the Northern Border Regional Commission. Rural areas would also be impacted by termination of federal support for Amtrak’s long distance train services and by the repercussions of numerous Administration policies.Visit HAC’s website for more information and a statement on the budget.
Trump orders plan for reorganizing executive branch agencies. An Executive Order dated March 13 requires agency heads to submit reorganization plans to OMB by mid-September 2017. OMB must publish a Federal Register notice inviting public comment. By mid-March 2018, OMB will compile a proposed plan including, “as appropriate, recommendations to eliminate unnecessary agencies, components of agencies, and agency programs, and to merge functions.”
Pilot to increase nonprofit preservation of Section 515 properties took effect March 1. The pilot, announced in September 2016 (see HAC News, 11/3/16), will run for two years, allowing some incentives to recognize return on investment capital that have not been previously available to nonprofits. For more information, contact a USDA RD State Office.
HUD withdraws comment requests for LGBTQ youth and gender nonconforming people. Saying it will review the need for them, HUD has withdrawn two information collection notices. One is related to analyzing the effectiveness of the LGBTQ Youth Homelessness Prevention Initiative. The other accompanies a new regulation allowing people access to single-sex shelters in accordance with their gender identity (see HAC News, 9/22/16). For more information, contact Norm Suchar, HUD, 202-708-4300.
Congressional committee reviews National Flood Insurance Program. The House Financial Services Committee’s Housing and Insurance Subcommittee held hearings March 9 and March 14 on updating and reauthorizing the NFIP, which expires September 30.
Report makes case for increased federal investments in affordable housing. A Place to Call Home, published by the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding, highlights how federal investments in affordable housing and community development have a positive impact on low-income households and the U.S. economy. Some of the success stories in the report are from rural places.
Research finds large shifts in income for many, and associated financial strain. The Pew Charitable Trusts found 34% of U.S. families surveyed had income increases or decreases of at least 25% from 2014 to 2015. While incomes were volatile in all population segments, volatility was higher for some: 38% of families with incomes below $25,000 experienced a gain and 15% a loss, while 20% of Hispanic households, 18% of black households, and 20% of those with a high school diploma or less experienced an income loss. Families with volatile incomes, both gains and losses, reported lower financial well-being and less savings than those with stable income.
Upcoming Webinars on the Federal Budget
March 20, sponsored by the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding: Register here to learn more about the budget proposal and how to help address its proposed funding cuts.
March 30, the National Housing Conference’s annual budget forum: Register here for the National Housing Conference’s annual budget forum, a nonpartisan, interactive session.