An article yesterday incorrectly stated what an amendment by Rep. Steve Bartlett (R-Tex.) to the housing bill would affect. The amendment applies only to Federal Housing Administration loans.
The House yesterday approved and sent to the Senate a scaled-down housing bill that would put the government back into production of housing for the poor but otherwise provide little more than what backers called "life-support" for federal programs.
The vote on the authorization, covering almost all the major federal housing activities, was 263 to 158.
The bill would allow new housing commitments of $15.6 billion--down from the $23.6 billion voted by the House Banking Committee--which places it in line with the appropriations measure signed Tuesday by President Reagan and slightly below the $17.6 billion called for in the pending Senate authorization bill.
Most of the trims, to which the Democrats reluctantly agreed yesterday, were in programs to assist the poor, which made up the bulk of the authorization. Nonetheless the bill remains well above what Reagan had sought, and it contains a number of program changes that the administration opposes.
Several Republican House members indicated during debate that they expect that if the measure goes to the White House in its current form it will be vetoed.
Among the provisions opposed by the administration is one that would cut the amount that a subsidized tenant has to contribute toward his rent. Currently, a tenant must pay 30 percent of his income in rent; the House bill would reduce that to 25 percent.
The bill also would specify a more generous rent-subsidy formula than the administration wants, and would block an administration plan to sell off government-held mortgages on apartments for the elderly.
At the same time, it provides no money for the so-called housing voucher program, which Republicans had called "the key element of the administration's assisted housing legislation."
The bill would reauthorize the Community Development Block Grant and Urban Development Action Grant programs for three years, providing $3.5 billion for CDBG and $440 million for UDAG.
It also would provide $3.2 billion for rural housing programs and $1.45 billion for public housing operating subsidies.
And it would provide $9.9 billion for low-income assisted housing. Included in this were $900 million for a rental apartment production program, expected to generate 75,000 units, and $167 million to assist moderate-income persons in buying homes, expected to generate 6,700 units.
A Republican effort, led by Rep. Steve Bartlett (R-Tex.), to kill the new production programs by converting the money to subsidies for existing housing was defeated, 300 to 120.
Other major funding provisions of the bill include:
* For assistance to the homeless, $100 million.
* For an urban homesteading program, $24 million.
* For a new neighborhood reinvestment program designed to help small businesses and generate jobs in distressed neighborhoods, $16 million.
In addition, on an amendment by Bartlett, the House voted to let the Federal Housing Administration/Veterans Administration loan rates float. Currently these rates are set by the government and are lower than the prevailing market rate.
Lenders make up for this gap by charging a premium in the form of points, each point being equal to 1 percent of the loan amount. Backers of the Bartlett amendment argued that these points are burdensome and an impediment to house sales. Opponents said that letting the rates float would expose borrowers to excessive interest rates.
In addition, opponents of rent control almost succeeded in inserting in the bill a provision that would have prevented communities with such laws from participating in the new apartment production program.
That amendment, offered by Rep. Chalmers P. Wylie (R-Ohio), failed, 208 to 206, and a motion by Wylie to recommit the bill to committee to have an anti-rent-control provision added was rejected, 217 to 205.