Congress Takes Action on Federal Budget

Jacqueline Woo, Senior Associate

In late December, Congress took action to approve the 2023 Fiscal Year omnibus spending bill, funding the government through September 30, 2023. The budget includes some good news and bad news for affordable housing.

On the funding front, the spending bill allocates $61.8 billion for programs administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), an increase of $8.1 billion over 2022 funding levels. The budget included the renewal of all existing HCV contracts, with additional vouchers for 12,000 households experiencing or at risk of homelessness. However, it did not include the broader expansion of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program to 140,000 households, which was included in the House budget.

Housing advocates had also pushed for a tax extenders package that would have increased the amount of 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits allocated to each state and lowered the bond test from 50% to 25%, an action that would have created and preserved more than 170,000 affordable homes in California over the next ten years. Unfortunately, the extender package was not taken up before the end of the year.