COSCDA has joined with national partners to advocate for CPD programs in the fiscal year 2022 appropriations process. Both CDBG and HOME coalitions have issued appropriations requests to advocate for additional funding to programs. Also, COSCDA is engaging with key congressional offices to discuss the importance of CPD programs. State and district-specific information is being disbursed to Senate and House offices as well. COSCDA staff will connect with individual states to obtain further information to showcase program results.
COSCDA supports the following funding levels for CPD programs in FY22:
- CDBG: $4.2 billion ($725 million above FY21)
- Homeless Assistance: $3.4 billion ($400 million above FY21)
- HOME: $1.9 billion ($550 million above FY21)
COSCDA’s FY22 funding priorities are available here.
Once the president’s budget is received, Congress determines policies and procedures to establish the annual appropriations process. A budget agreement is required for top-line caps on discretionary spending in FY22 and beyond. Once this is determined, the appropriations process can move forward. For more details on the budget process, click here for an overview by The Washington Post.
The 2022 fiscal year begins on October 1. Annual appropriations or a continuing resolution needs to be signed into law before this date to avoid a lapse in federal spending.
COSCDA supports the inclusion of housing programs as a part of a comprehensive package to address local infrastructure. Programs including the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), and Housing Trust Fund (HTF) provide key investments in affordable housing, water and wastewater systems, public buildings, and transportation. Communities rely on these programs to promote safe neighborhoods, reliable roads and utilities, and business development.
The Senate voted to approve a $3.5 trillion budget resolution on August 10. In a memorandum to colleagues, Senate leadership cited a $332 billion spending level for the Senate Banking Committee which oversees HUD programs. Renewed investment for HTF, HOME, and CDBG is referenced.
Continued outreach is ongoing promoting resources and related support to CPD programs in a comprehensive infrastructure plan.
American Rescue Plan Act
The American Rescue Plan Act is a $1.9 trillion emergency relief package signed into law on March 11. The legislation aims to facilitate recovery from COVID-19 and includes direct payments to individuals and families, extension of unemployment benefits, support for testing and vaccine distribution, and expansion of the child tax credit.
The measure provides $195.3 billion for states through a program established under Treasury. The State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund directs resources to four eligible categories: economic recovery and emergency response, premium pay to essential workers, reinforce government services affected by pandemic-related loss of revenue, and water and broadband infrastructure.
Additionally, HOME received $5 billion in supplemental funds for homelessness assistance.
COSCDA will engage congressional leadership and committees on state-led efforts in directing Treasury and HUD resources moving forward.
COVID-19 Relief: CARES Act
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law on March 27, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The $3 trillion package provides a multitude of resources across federal programs. Housing and Urban Development programs received $12.4 billion to address housing and community-based needs. Among these programs, the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) were provided supplemental funding.
Provisions for distributing $5 billion through CDBG include:
- Funding provided may be used to reimburse allowable costs incurred by state and local governments regardless of the date when costs were incurred
- FY19 and FY20 consolidated and action plan deadlines are extended from August 16, 2020 to August 16, 2021
- HUD is permitted to waive requirements it deems necessary to facilitate or expedite distribution of funding (except for requirements on labor, environmental, nondiscrimination, and fair housing)
- Grantees are given the option of suspending in-person public hearings and instead holding virtual public meetings with notice of at least 5 days
- The 15% cap on Public Services is suspended
CDBG funds are allocated as follows:
- $2 billion is allocated using the FY20 formula (allocations made within 30 days of enactment)
- $1 billion is provided to states for response measures in both entitlement and non-entitlement communities using a new formula based on public health, transmission risk, number of cases compared with national average, economic and housing market disruptions, and other factors determined by the HUD secretary (allocations made within 45 days of enactment)
- $2 billion is allocated to states and local governments based on impact of COVID-19 on jurisdictions using a new formula determined by the HUD secretary with priority on transmission risk, cases compared to the national average, and economic and housing disruptions from coronavirus (allocations made on a rolling basis)
Provisions for distributing $4 billion provided to ESG include:
- Assistance eligibility is extended to very low income individuals (as determined by HUD) at risk of homelessness
- Funding can be used to cover or reimburse allowable costs related to coronavirus response including costs incurred before enactment of the legislation
- Regular procurement standards can be waived in procuring goods and services in coronavirus response
- Grantees may use 10% of funds for administrative costs
- Citizen participation and match requirements do not apply in distributing funds
- Temporary shelters are eligible expenses including property leases, temporary structures, and other activities, and minimum period of use standards do not apply
- Environmental review standards do not apply in utilizing temporary shelters
- Funds are eligible to be used for infectious disease prevention and mitigation training, and hazard pay for staff in coronavirus response; these activities are allowed expenses outside of the 10% administrative cap
- HUD is permitted to waive regulations or statutes in program implementation necessary to facilitate coronavirus response (except for fair housing, nondiscrimination, labor standards, and environmental unless otherwise previously noted)
Additional supplemental spending is being considered by congressional leaders in continuing response to COVID-19. The House passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act) on May 15. The $3 trillion package dedicates significant resources to housing needs including support for emergency rental assistance and homeless assistance. Emergency rental assistance is funded at $100 billion through ESG. Another $11.5 billion is provided to ESG for homeless assistance. Additionally, similar to the CARES Act, the bill includes $5 billion for CDBG. The Senate though is not expected to consider the HEROES Act. Instead, discussions continue on further emergency relief amid the pandemic’s ongoing impact.
COSCDA is partnering with key stakeholders on policies and procedures involved with CARES Act implementation. Resources and guidance on CDBG-CV, ESG-CV, and CPD formula programs can be found on COSCDA’s COVID-19 page here. Updated information will be provided as available.
COSCDA will be monitoring developments on additional federal relief measures and providing input on housing and community development needs.
Recent Legislation Targeting HUD – Community Planning and Development Programs
Reforming Disaster Recovery Act
Introduced in July 2021, the Reforming Disaster Recovery Act would codify the CDBG-Disaster Recovery program (CDBG-DR) and direct reforms to improve expediency and accountability of federal resources. Specifically, the measure would establish an office to coordinate HUD’s disaster resiliency and recovery efforts, support data access between HUD and other federal entities, and insert timelines on plan approval and funding availability to grantees, among other needed improvements to the program. At the core of the program’s challenges are cumbersome and inconsistent administrative processes which have delayed funds to impacted areas and impeded long-term recovery efforts.
The bill was first introduced in 2019 with the House approving the measure on a bi-partisan vote.
Companion bills have been introduced in the House and Senate (S. 2471, H.R. 4707) and are identical. Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Todd Young (R-IN) are leading the bill in the Senate. Rep. Al Green (D-TX) is sponsoring the legislation in the House.
COSCDA is continuing to engage congressional leaders to ensure enactment of the legislation and state priorities are adopted in the bill. Further updates will be provided to states as available.
Housing is Infrastructure Act of 2021
The Housing is Infrastructure Act has been reintroduced in the 117th Congress. The bill proposes over $600 billion in new spending to support affordable housing.
Among authorized funding in the measure, supplemental resources would be targeted to HTF ($45 billion) and HOME ($35 billion). CDBG is also proposed for $2.25 billion with funding being designated to colonias and manufactured housing. Additionally, a Community Revitalization Fund is included in the legislation and proposed for $10 billion although few details remain.
The latest version of the Housing is Infrastructure Act is available here. Click here for COSCDA’s recent letter to the House Financial Services Committee on the legislation. Further outreach is planned with committee leadership to engage on the legislation’s targeting of resources and support to community development and housing initiatives.
Ending Homelessness Act of 2021
The Ending Homelessness Act of 2021 was introduced in July 2021. The measure would establish universal housing vouchers, dedicate $10 billion over five years to both HTF and Homeless Assistance Grants, and permanently authorize the U.S. Interagency Council of Homelessness and McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
Legislation is being led by House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA), Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), and Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY). Bill text can be found here.
COSCDA will provide further response and updates on our advocacy efforts with the legislation as available.
The Yes in My Backyard Act (YIMBY Act) would require CDBG grantees to report on an extensive list of land use policies. Grantees would need to provide an update as a part of the consolidated plan.
The legislation has been reintroduced in the 117th Congress. In the House, the legislation is being co-sponsored by Reps. Kilmer (WA), Hollingsworth (IN), Foxx (NC), Quigley (IL), and Herrera Beutler (WA). The Senate version is being co-sponsored by Sens. Todd Young (IN), Raphael Warnock (GA), and Brian Schatz (HI).
COSCDA has engaged directly with congressional offices to communicate the legislation’s impact on CDBG administration as well as relevance to jurisdictional housing and development needs. Click here for COSCDA’s letter to committee leadership. Similar correspondence has been sent to bill co-sponsors.
The legislation is pending further consideration in respective House and Senate committees (House Financial Services and Senate Banking).