Understanding HUD and the Budget Process

By Judy Sullivan

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is currently operating with funding under a Continuing Resolution (CR) that expires April 28, 2017. The federal government operates under a Fiscal Year (FY) which lasts from October 1 to September 30, of the following year. However, Congress did not approve a budget for the current FY, and in order to avoid a government shutdown, it has passed a series of CRs with the current CR expiring this April. When the government operates under a CR, funding continues at the previous FY levels (By the way, all other federal departments are also currently operating under a CR).

Every year, usually in February, the president submits a budget to Congress. This is the starting point for the budget process because Congress uses the president’s budget to begin its budget deliberations.

According to the Blueprint * document the Trump Administration submitted, the president is considering cuts to the HUD budget in order to increase defense spending. The president’s 2018 budget requests $40.7 billion in gross discretionary funding for HUD, a $6.2 billion or, 13.2 percent decrease from the 2017 annualized CR level.

Following, are some of the programs impacted:

  • The Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), which has enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress, is budgeted to receive $3 billion this fiscal year; yet, the proposal would cut those funds entirely for the future. By eliminating block grants for community development and housing production, states lose their ability to address pressing needs such as cleaning up struggling neighborhoods;
  • Housing for the elderly — known as the Section 202 program — would be cut by $42 million, nearly 10 percent; and
  • There is a huge capital needs backlog (close to $40 billion and growing at a rate of $4.3 billion per year). Unfortunately, the proposed budget cuts the resources needed to repair and rehabilitate HUD developments. These cuts mean that despite the billions of dollars invested over decades, HUD properties fall further into disrepair.

*Budget blueprint document

How Does the Federal Government Create a Budget?
There are five key steps in the federal budget process:

Step 1: The President Submits a Budget Request
The president sends a budget request to Congress each February for the coming fiscal year, which begins on October 1.

Step 2: The House and Senate Pass Budget Resolutions
After the president submits his or her budget request, the House Committee on the Budget and the Senate Committee on the Budget each write and vote on their own budget resolutions.

Step 3: House and Senate Subcommittees “Markup” Appropriation Bills
The Appropriations Committees in both the House and the Senate are responsible for determining the precise levels of budget authority or allowed spending for all discretionary programs.

Step 4: The House and Senate Vote on Appropriations Bills and Reconcile Differences
The full House and Senate then debate and vote on appropriations bills from each of the 12 subcommittees.

Step 5: The President Signs Each Appropriations Bill and the Budget Becomes Law
he president must sign each appropriations bill after it has passed Congress for the bill to become law. When the president has signed all 12 appropriations bills, the budget process is complete. But rarely is work finished on all bills by October 1.
(From:  https://www.nationalpriorities.org/budget-basics/federal-budget-101/federal-budget-process)

How can you weigh in on the HUD Budget?

Deep cuts to the HUD budget are expected this year. It’s not too early to contact your members of Congress to urge them to tell Budget Committee members how important HUD funding is to you and your cooperative. The timing is perfect as the budget process is just beginning. Call them today!

USA.gov is an easy way to find your senators and representative.

The following are links to Congressional Budget Committee members:
House Budget Committee Members
Senate Budget Committee Members

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