2/15/19 – Congress and the White House reach spending deal to avoid another government shutdown

On February 15, 2019, President Trump signed into law the remaining FY19 funding bills, including HUD and USDA. This comes after Congress reached a final deal on border security funding, which had led to a recent 35-day government shutdown. Enacted funding levels for both HUD and USDA are quite positive and maintain funding increases from FY18, despite both agencies facing significant cuts proposed in administration’s FY19 budget request.

For HUD, the FY19 bill provides $53.8 billion, a $1.02 billion increase from last fiscal year, and over $12.5 billion more than the administration’s FY 2019 request. For USDA Rural Development, the FY19 bill provides mostly flat funding with minimal increases to rural housing programs. In providing increased funding, Congress rejected the administration’s proposed rent reforms to HUD’s rental assistance programs. Congress also rejected the administration’s proposed elimination of a few key affordable housing programs, including: Public Housing Capital Fund, Housing Trust Fund, HOME, CDBG, Choice Neighborhoods, and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.

More information on appropriations levels and ongoing funding debates is available in our NAHMAnalyses on the topic.

1/25/19 – Temporary Agreement Reached to Reopen Government

Congress and the White House have reached an agreement to reopen the government temporarily. A Continuing Resolution will fund HUD, USDA, and other impacted agencies until February 15th, 2019. In the meantime, HUD and USDA are working to address the backlog that accumulated during the funding lapse, but the funding uncertainty is still destabilizing for NAHMA members. NAHMA continues to advocate for full-year funding for the remainder of Fiscal year 2019, and is calling on Congress and the White House to avoid another shutdown in mid-February.

Background information on the 2018-2019 government shutdown

Due to a lapse in Congressional Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2019, parts of the federal government shut down on December 22, 2018 and remained closed until January 25, 2019 as funding negotiations continued between Congress and the White House. About a quarter of the government, including HUD and USDA, was affected by the shutdown; during the funding lapse, agency ability to make payments on contract renewals hinged on existing and available budget authority. NAHMA members experienced funding delays and contract non-renewals. Both agency websites were not updated, and most staff were furloughed for 35 days.

Government shutdowns are destabilizing for owners/agents and tenants, agency staff, and overall program operations. NAHMA continues to urge Congress and the White House to come to an agreement for full-year FY19 funding for housing and community development programs as soon as possible.

Is the shutdown impacting your operations, your staff, or your tenants? 

It is imperative that ALL NAHMA Members review and monitor the funding level on your contracts. With the exception of the 1,150 non-renewed contracts described below, it is NAHMA’s understanding that all other PBRA contracts have funding or access to reserves to at least cover January and February operations.  If this is not the case, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can help address the issue and relay the message to decision-makers in Washington.

1/10/19 – Contract Non-Renewals due to Funding Lapse

In early January, NAHMA, our industry partners, and national media outlets learned that an estimated 1,150 contracts were not renewed prior to government shutdown, despite HUD’s assurances prior to government shutdown. Specifically, HUD was not able to renew 650 rental assistance contracts up for renewal in December and an additional 500 January contracts will not be renewed. If you are one of these contracts, it is imperative you follow the memos below to ensure you are speaking with the appropriate HUD staff that can address your problem. During the shutdown, HUD operated with a very limited staff nationally. 

Shutdown Resources and Agency Information