On December 16, 2019 congressional negotiators released the text of two massive spending bills that are expected to fund the entire federal government for the rest of fiscal year 2020, which started on October 1, 2019 and ends on September 30, 2020.
The House is expected to pass both “minibus” bills on Tuesday, December 17. Then the Senate will pass them and President Trump will sign them by Friday, when the continuing resolution currently keeping the government open ends.
Most of USDA’s rural housing programs will receive the same amount of funding as in FY19. Section 514 farm labor housing loans and Section 523 self-help housing grants receive small increases. The most significant increases are for the MPR rental preservation program and for Section 542 vouchers, which are for tenants in properties where USDA-financed mortgages are prepaid.
The bill includes several other provisions favorable for preservation of USDA-financed rental housing:
- incentives to nonprofits and PHAs that purchase rental properties to preserve them;
- optional 20-year terms for Section 521 Rental Assistance agreements; and
- $1 million for technical assistance to facilitate acquisition of multifamily properties to preserve them.
The bill directs that, “to the maximum extent feasible” at least 10 percent of each program’s funding should go to persistent poverty counties. These are counties that have had 20 percent or more of the population under the poverty line for the past 30 years (beginning with the 1990 census).
USDA Rural Development Appropriations[tdborder][/tdborder]
|USDA Rural Dev. Prog.
(dollars in millions)
|FY18 Approp.||FY19 Final Approp.||FY20 Admin. Budget||FY20 House Bill
|FY20 Senate Bill (S. 2522)||FY20 Final (H.R. 1865)|
|502 Single Fam. Direct
|502 Single Family Guar.||24,000||24,000||24,000||24,000||24,000||24,000|
|504 VLI Repair Loans||28||28||0||28||28||28|
|504 VLI Repair Grants||30||30||0||30||30||30|
|515 Rental Hsg. Direct Lns.||40||40||0||45||40||40|
|514 Farm Labor Hsg. Lns.||23||27.5||0||30||27.5||**|
|516 Farm Labor Hsg. Grts.||8.4||10||0||10||10||10|
|521 Rental Assistance||1,345||1,331.4||1,375||1,375||1,375||1,375|
|523 Self-Help TA||30||30||0||32||30||31|
|533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants||10||15||0||15||15||15|
|538 Rental Hsg. Guar.||230||230||250||250||230||230|
|Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR)||22||24.5||0||40||24.5||28|
|542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers||25||27||35||35||32||32|
|Rural Cmnty. Dev’t Init.||4||6||0||8||6||6|
|Rental Prsrv. TA||1||1||0||0||1||1|
* For the self-help setaside in Section 502 direct, the figures in the table represent budget authority, not program levels.
** The bill provides $8.7 million in budget authority for Section 514 loans, which generates a program level somewhere between the House’s $30 million and the Senate’s 27.5 million.