The Project-Based Section 8 program faces considerable risk in its FY 2015 appropriations. The House of Representatives Appropriations Committee has included the Obama Administrations request to fund the PBS8 program at $9.75 billion and transition all contract funding schedules to a calendar year model in its FY 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill. HUD has stated that this transition will give the Department a better understanding of the true need in the program and that full-funding for contracts will be provided in FY 2016 and beyond.
In testimony submitted to the Appropriations T-HUD Subcommittee in April, NAHMA urged lawmakers to reject this proposal and instead provide the PBS8 program with full funding (i.e. $11.9 billion) in FY 2015. Our testimony highlighted that the requested transition to a calendar year funding schedule amounts to a budget gimmick and another example of contract short funding that will not save the federal government any money. We also cited that the $9.75 billion is $170 million below the FY 2014 enacted level, leaving HUD absolutely no room for contingencies if Congress does not provide the necessary funding for 12 months of renewals in future fiscal years. Furthermore, sequestration may restart in FY 2016, so the PBS8 program could face additional cuts.
On June 3rd, the Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a markup on their FY 2015 T-HUD appropriations bill. Before this markup, NAHMA is urging members to call their Senators and ask them to oppose the funding level of $9.75 billion and the calendar year funding provision for PBS8. If your senator is a member of the Appropriations Committee, it is critical that you participate (click here to see all members of this committee). Instead, appropriators should provide full funding for the PBS8 program and avoid budget-gimmicks that may place properties at financial risk. We have created a list of talking points and general information that you may use to strengthen your message. This document may also be shared with your Senator.
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