The president’s proposed budget includes $49.3 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, about $4 billion more than what Congress approved for fiscal 2015.
The administration asked for funds to help 4.7 million low-income families afford rent. About $21.1 billion of it would go toward the Housing Choice Voucher program – enough to cover all the existing vouchers, as well as restore 67,000 that were cut due to the 2013 sequestration. Another $10.8 billion would be invested in the Project-Based Rental Assistance Program. In a report, also released Monday, HUD says more than 7.7 million renter households put more than half their income toward rent, live in substandard housing, or both.
To help end homelessness, the president requested $2.5 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants. In 2010, the administration launched an initiative that aimed to eliminate homelessness by the end of 2015 for veterans and the “chronic homeless” – people who have been on the street or in shelters for at least a year or have experienced four episodes or more of homelessness in the past three years. A HUD official said the administration still aims to end homelessness among veterans by the end of this year. But it has pushed the target date to end chronic homelessness to the end of 2017 due to budgetary constraints.
The president’s budget also includes $748 million to address the housing needs in Native American communities, $300 million for a housing policy grant program that helps localities boost economic growth, and $250 million for the Choice Neighborhoods program, which helps impoverished neighborhoods transition into mixed-income communities.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that HUD corrected its initial statement related to the agency’s ability to reach its goal of ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. HUD officials initially said the deadline for reaching that goal would be extended, but they now say the agency is on track to end homelessness among veterans this year.