HUD’s 202 Program Secures White House FY 2020 Funding Anomaly

As Congress returns from its August recess, lawmakers must act to secure funding for fiscal year (FY) 2020 ahead of the September 30 deadline. The White House released a list of requested anomalies, or changes to the current funding levels and legislative language, if lawmakers rely on a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government past Sept. 30. HUD’s Section 202 Housing for the Elderly secured a coveted spot on that list, with the White House calling for the program to be “apportioned at a rate for operations necessary to maintain project rental assistance for the elderly under section 202(c)(2) of the Housing Act of 1959, including making amendments to contracts for such assistance and renewing expiring contracts for such assistance for up to a 1-year term.”

Funds for HUD’s 202 program are extremely tight; HUD has been renewing August and September contracts on a “just in time” basis. A FY 2020 CR, even for a few weeks, would exacerbate the problem. PRAC renewals after September 30 will be wholly reliant on appropriations because there will be no carryover funds to help bridge any gap in funding. Further, because HUD has been strapped for funds since July, HUD has also had to initiate temporary policies for non-renewal needs that are critical to buildings’ upkeep and preservation.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition maintains a budget chart for selected HUD and USDA Programs. The Senate has yet to pass any appropriations bills, while the House has passed ten of the twelve appropriations subcommittees. Right before the August recess, Congress passed and President Trump signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 which eliminates the spending caps for the final two years of sequestration imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011.