President Joe Biden has issued his request for fiscal year 2022 discretionary funding in advance of his full budget proposal to Congress due later in the spring.
Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was a step toward the nation’s recovery, as it provided urgently needed resources to help build a bridge toward economic repair. For the housing market and its impact on the overall economy, President Biden outlined a number of housing-related issues discretionary funding request to address expanding housing opportunities and reducing the racial wealth gap. The President’s discretionary request includes $68.7 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a $9 billion or a 15% increase from the 2021 enacted level.
- Expanding housing choice vouchers to 200,000 additional families: The Housing Choice Voucher program currently provides 2.3 million low-income families with rental assistance to obtain housing in the private market. The discretionary request proposes $30.4 billion, an increase of $5.4 billion over the 2021 enacted level.
- Investments to end homelessness: The 2022 discretionary request provides $3.5 billion, an increase of $500 million over the 2021 enacted level, for Homeless Assistance Grants to support more than 100,000 additional households, including survivors of domestic violence and homeless youth.
- Modernizing and improving energy efficiency, resilience, and safety in HUD-assisted housing: HUD-supported rental properties collectively provide 2.3 million affordable homes to low-income families. The discretionary request not only fully funds the operating costs across this portfolio, but also provides $800 million in new investments across HUD programs for modernization and rehabilitation aimed at energy efficiency and climate change The request includes $3.2 billion for public housing modernization grants, an increase of $435 million above the 2021 enacted level.
- Increasing the supply of affordable housing: To address the shortage of affordable housing, the discretionary request provides a $500 million increase to the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, for a total of $1.9 billion to construct and rehabilitate affordable rental housing and to support other housing-related needs.
- Investments in affordable housing in tribal communities: The discretionary request helps address poor housing conditions in tribal areas by providing $900 million to fund tribal efforts to expand affordable housing, improve housing conditions, and infrastructure, and increase economic opportunities for low-income families.
- Spurring infrastructure modernization and rehabilitation in marginalized communities: The discretionary request provides $3.8 billion for the Community Development Block Grant program, which includes a targeted increase of $295 million to incentivize communities to direct funds toward the modernization and rehabilitation of public infrastructure and facilities communities facing persistent poverty.
- Reducing lead and other home hazards: The discretionary request provides $400 million, an increase of $40 million, for state and local governments, and non-profits to reduce lead-based paint and other health hazards in the homes of low-income families with young children.
- Supporting access to homeownership and pandemic relief: The discretionary request will support access to homeownership for underserved borrowers through the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) mortgage insurance programs. FHA financing accounted for 83% of first-time homebuyers and 37% of minority homebuyers of FHA home purchase loans in 2020.
- Promoting efforts to prevent housing discrimination: The discretionary request provides $85 million in grants to support State and local fair housing enforcement organizations and to further education, outreach, and training on rights and responsibilities under federal fair housing laws.
“Addressing our nation’s urgent housing challenges and building a more affordable, equitable, and resilient housing system demands strong federal leadership backed by robust federal funding,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “President Biden’s FY22 discretionary funding request turns the page on years of inadequate and harmful spending requests and instead empowers HUD to meet the housing needs of families and communities across the country. I am particularly pleased that the request proposes more than $30 billion to expand housing vouchers to an additional 200,000 low-income families. I look forward to working with the President to advance HUD’s critical priorities.”