UPDATED July 14, 2020 – The House of Representatives is expected to consider the Agriculture funding measure, H.R. 7610, during the week of July 20. It will be part of a “minibus” package of four appropriations bills, along with the State, Interior and Veterans Affairs Departments. The House Appropriations Committee approved the Ag bill on July 9.
July 7, 2020 – On July 6, 2020 the House Subcommittee on USDA Appropriations approved a funding bill for fiscal year 2021, which begins October 1, 2020. The bill keeps most rural housing programs at their FY20 funding levels, with increases for Section 521 Rental Assistance and Section 542 vouchers requested in the Administration’s budget. There is no funding for the rental preservation technical assistance program.
The full House Appropriations Committee will mark up the bill on July 9 and then it can proceed to a vote in the House itself. The Senate has not yet begun work on FY21 appropriations and will not meet again until July 20.
The bill would make two changes in language related to rental housing preservation. First, vouchers would be available for tenants in properties whose mortgages are “prepaid or otherwise paid off” after September 30, 2005. Past appropriations have limited vouchers to properties “prepaid” after that date and have excluded tenants in properties where mortgages have matured or been foreclosed upon.
Second, the bill adopts a shift proposed in the Administration’s budget. In past years, appropriations bills have put the MPR rental preservation program and vouchers in a single pool of money. In practice, this has meant MPR funds have been used to fill shortfalls in voucher funding. This House bill moves the voucher program into the Rental Assistance account, separating it from MPR.
The bill includes last year’s language allowing property owners to request 20-year terms for Rental Assistance contracts. It also continues incentives for nonprofits to purchase and preserve properties, including a return on investment and an asset management fee of up to $7,500 per property.
USDA Rural Development Appropriations
|USDA Rural Dev. Prog.
(dollars in millions)
|FY19 Final Approp.||FY20 Admin. Budget||FY20 Final Approp.||FY21 Admin. Budget||FY21 House Bill|
|502 Single Fam. Direct
|502 Single Family Guar.||24,000||24,000||24,000||24,000||24,000|
|504 VLI Repair Loans||28||0||28||0||28|
|504 VLI Repair Grants||30||0||30||30||30|
|515 Rental Hsg. Direct Lns.||40||0||40||0||40|
|514 Farm Labor Hsg. Lns.||27.5||0||28||0||30|
|516 Farm Labor Hsg. Grts.||10||0||10||0||10|
|521 Rental Assistance||1,331.4||1,335**||1,375||1,410**||1,410**|
|523 Self-Help TA||30||0||31||0||31|
|533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants||15||0||15||15||15|
|538 Rental Hsg. Guar.||230||250||230||230||230|
|Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR)||24.5||0||28||40||30|
|542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers||27||32**||32||40**||40**|
|Rural Cmnty. Dev’t Init.||6||0||6||0||6|
|Rental Prsrv. TA||1||0||1||0||0|
* For the self-help setaside in Section 502 direct, the figures in the table represent budget authority, not program levels.
** The budget and the FY21 House bill would separate vouchers from MPR and move them into the Rental Assistance account.