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Congress Passes FY 2018 Omnibus Package, President Signs at Press Conference

23 Mar 2018 1:56 PM | Steve Wallace (Administrator)
Congress has passed and President has signed the bipartisan FY 2018 Omnibus Package. In the House, the vote was 256-167 and the Senate passed the measure by a vote of 65-32. The Omnibus enjoyed bipartisan support in both Chambers. Unlike the Trump Administration's FY2019 Budget Proposal, key HUD programs are preserved, and funding for the Department as a whole is increased substantially. The Omnibus also contains provisions from the "Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act" (S. 548/H.R. 1661).
Congress has allocated $42.7 billion for HUD, substantially more than the $39.2 billion in President Trump's FY 2019 Budget Proposal. Funding for HUD in the Omnibus is an increase of $3.9 billion from FY 2017. Section 8 programs are set to receive $33.5 billion, $11.5 billion for project based and $22 for vouchers, and CDBG will receive $3.3 billion. Section 202 and Section 811 projects are funded at $907.6 million, and HOME Investment Partnerships Program at $1.4 billion. Finally, the CHOICE Neighborhoods Initiative is to be allocated $150 million, which will remain available until September 30, 2020.

Changes to the Rental Assistance Demonstration Program (RAD) includes a cap increase to 445,000 units for RAD 1 and a new sunset date of September 30, 2024. An important change to RAD 2 is providing comparable market rents for RAP/Rent Supp properties located in "high cost areas" which is not defined. Also, Section 202 PRAC properties are now eligible for RAD 2. 
Also included in the Omnibus Package are provisions from the "Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act" (S. 548/H.R. 1661), better known as "Cantwell-Hatch". Housing Credit allocation is to be increased by 12.5% for four years (the rest of 2018 through 2021). Income averaging is also modified (on a permanent basis), with the 60% AMI Ceiling applying to all units in a project rather than individual Housing Credit units. It should be noted that properties will be able to rent at incomes up to 80% AMI so long as the entire property averages 60% total.
In a bizarre turn of events, President Trump tweeted this morning that he is considering vetoing the Omnibus Package, due to lack of funding specifically for a border wall (it allocates funds for various other border protection initiatives, but not specifically for a massive wall along our Southern Border), and the absence of a provision designed to protect the former recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. President Trump ended the program in September 2017 (although he gave a 6-month deferment of the action shortly afterwards), in keeping with a key campaign promise. He has since signed the Omnibus during a press conference this afternoon.

Omnibus   (HUD Appropriations on pages 1649-1734 and Cantwell-Hatch on pages 2049-2055)

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