On Wednesday, June 3, the House of Representatives began deliberation of H.R.2577, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2016. This is the T-HUD bill which previously passed the House Appropriations Committee on May 13, 2015. Lawmakers in the House will continue to deliberate this bill through next week, with final votes most likely to occur on Tuesday, June 9, 2015.

Nearly all of the proposed funding levels for HUD’s affordable housing programs in the House bill were below the Obama Administration’s budget request, and NAHMA remains extremely concerned about the slated funding level for the Project-Based Section 8 program (PBS8). H.R. 2577 contains $10.5 billion for all contract renewals in FY 2016, an amount which is below the Obama Administration’s request for PBS8 contract renewals, and well below HUD’s previous estimates to renewal all contracts up-front for a full 12-months.

Due to the transition of all PBS8 contracts to a calendar year funding model, wherein all contracts would be funded on January 1 rather than their individual renewal date, HUD must fully fund each PBS8 contract on the same day for their full 12-month term. NAHMA is concerned that $10.5 billion will be insufficient to renew all PBS8 up-front on January 1, and that the resulting funding shortfall could lead to major issues in the program such as mortgage defaults and residents losing their homes. We believe that the true cost to renew all contracts for their full 12-months in FY 2016 is at least $10.8 billion.

NAHMA is requesting that you contact your House Representative and urge him or her to reject any appropriations measure which could cause defaults and tenant dislocation in the PBS8 program. We request that members urge lawmakers that under no circumstance may the funding for PBS8 contract renewals fall below $10.8 billion in FY 2016 under the calendar year model.

During your call, or within your email message to your Representative’s office, it is important to remind him or her that:

  • The Project-Based Section 8 program serves 2.11 million residents in 1.2 million households through 17,300 private contracts
  • 76 %  of the total residents served fall under the extremely low-income bracket (less than 30% of the AMI). Average household income is 22% of the area median income (AMI) or $11,639 average nationwide
  • Elderly persons comprise 47% of the PBS8 population while 33% is non-elderly persons with disabilities, and 26% are headed by females with children

Again, we ask that you call or email your House Representative to request that the PBS8 funding for contract renewals in FY 2016 may not fall below $10.8 billion. Final votes will most likely occur on Tuesday, June 9, 2015.

Please click here for additional facts on the PBS8 program to share with your House Representative, including more information on the calendar year funding model

To find your Representative and their contact information, please use NAHMA Maps

To see if your member sits on the House Appropriations Committee, please click here

Thank you in advance for your participation in this effort. If you have any additional questions, please contact me or Larry Keys at lkeys@nahma.org.