Last week the Senate voted 84-9 to pass a four-bill FY 2020 spending package that includes funding for Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, Interior-Environment and Transportation-HUD. The bill includes modest increases over FY 2019 funding levels for rental assistance programs but cuts funding for Choice Neighborhoods, Housing for Persons with AIDS, Indian Housing Block Grants and Community Development Block Grants. The bill includes several housing related amendments:
- Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) – would allow USDA to extend rental assistance agreements for projects financed by existing Section 514 or 515 loans for up to 20 years.
- Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) – would prioritize maintenance of USDA rural housing properties through capital repairs, staffing provisions, and enforcement.
- Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) – calls on Congress to create a tax incentive to encourage owners of manufactured home communities to transfer properties to nonprofit organizations and residents to help preserve the homes’ affordability.
The Senate must finalize the remaining eight spending bills or pass a continuing resolution before the November 21 deadline. Last week a procedural vote on another four-bill spending package failed, indicating a dismal outlook for completing the full FY2020 spending packages before the deadline.