NAA/NMHC urge HUD to eliminate bureaucratic inefficiences of Section 8.
For the second year in a row, Congress has adjourned without passing all the spending bills required to fund the government for the fiscal year that began on Oct. 1. Eleven of the 15 appropriations bills, including funding for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), remain unfinished. Before adjourning this week, the House passed an omnibus spending bill covering all the unresolved measures, but Democratic opposition prevented the Senate from passing the measure by "unanimous consent," calling instead for Senators to return to the Capitol for an actual roll call vote. Senate leaders refused to call the Senate back into session after promising legislators that they would not have to return from Thanksgiving break until Congress reconvenes on Jan. 20. As a result, government operations are being funded by a continuing resolution through Jan. 31.
NAA/NMHC will continue to monitor the appropriations process next year, particularly as it relates to the Section 8 program. At the urging of NAA/NMHC and others, the onmibus bill approved by the House rejects a proposal by the Bush Administration to eliminate funding for some existing voucher fielders and to convert the program into a state-run block grant called Housing Assistance for Needy Families (HANF). NAMNMHC opposed the IIANF block grant proposal and have worked hard to urge Congress and HUD to instead eliminate the current Section 8 program's bureaucratic inefficiencies to attract more private owners and expand the universe of affordable housing. Final funding for the voucher renewals is $12.1 billion, which House Appropriators say will fully fund all authorized vouchers based on the most current cost estimates and a 96 percent lease-up rate. Factoring in the reserve funds most states have, the appropriation should be enough to cover all vouchers expected to be used in FY 2004.
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|Title Annotation:||Capitol Beat|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2004|
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