Appropriations Subcommittee Marks Up FY 2015 T-HUD Bill

Yesterday, the House FY 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) appropriations bill was considered in subcommittee where it was approved by a voice vote. The bill proposes funding levels for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Transportation (DOT) and other related agencies.

Overall, the bill allocates $52 billion in discretionary spending and represents cuts of $1.8 billion from current program funding levels to compensate for lower than expected Federal Housing Administration receipts. The breakdown, by agency, of proposed funding for relevant programs is as follows:

Department of Housing and Urban Development
The legislation includes a total of $40.3 billion for HUD, a decrease of $769 million below current funding levels. While funding is called out for existing community development programs, the bill does not contain funding for any new, unauthorized “sustainable,” “livable,” or “green” community development programs.

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, a flexible funding program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of development needs, receives $3 billion, which is nearly equal to the current funding of $3.03 billion.

The HOME Investment Partnership Program, which provides formula grants to states and localities to fund affordable housing projects, receives only $700 million, a cut of $300 million below current funding.

The Choice Neighborhoods program, which provides support for struggling neighborhoods and aids in community revitalization, is funded at $25 million in the House bill, $65 million less than the current level.

Department of Transportation
The FY 2015 THUD bill would provide $17.1 billion in discretionary funding for DOT, $723.3 million below the FY 2014 enacted levels.

The extremely popular TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant program would receive a drastic cut in funding to the amount of $100 million, compared to $600 million in FY 2014. Also, as proposed in the legislation, the eligibility would be limited to highway projects, construction of new bridges on a federal-aid highway, freight projects and port infrastructure projects. In the prior six rounds of TIGER funding, eligible projects also included pedestrian crossings, bike lanes, recreational trails, planning activities, public transit and passenger rail.

The Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grants program (New Starts/Small Starts), which provides grants for local transit projects, would be cut to $1.691 billion, down approximately $250 million from the current year.