On November 18, 2011, the President signed as Public Law 112-55 the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012, (HR 2112; H.Rpt. 112-284) which provides full-year funding for programs under the Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, and the Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (HUD) appropriations measures. In this Memorandum, we report on the funding levels for select programs at the HUD which includes appropriations for the Native American Housing Block Grant and other programs of interest to tribes and tribal housing entities.
The Conference Report states that the legislative intent expressed in either the Senate Appropriations Committee report (S.Rpt. 112-83) or the report approved by the House Transportation, HUD and Related Agencies Subcommittee (report not filed) are approved by the conferees unless changed by the Conference Report.
The overall FY 2012 HUD discretionary funding is nine percent below the FY 2011 level and is 11 percent below the President’s request. Amounts for select programs follow.
Native American Housing Block Grants
FY 2011 Enacted $650 million
FY 2012 Request $700 million
FY 2012 Enacted $650 million
The following are funding levels for programs within the overall Native American Housing Block Grants amount:
• Indian Housing Block Grants (IHBG) – $631 million
• Training and Technical Assistance – $2 million. We note that the bill language has been revised to state the funds will go “national or regional organizations…” Thus, one or more regional Indian housing organizations could seek the funds in competition with the Native American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC), which is the entity that has traditionally been awarded these funds. An additional $2 million is set aside for HUD inspections and technical assistance.
• Title VI Loan Guaranty Subsidy – $2 million with $20 million loan guarantee, as requested
Regarding the IHBG funds, the Conference bill imposes a restriction on the availability of funds to address concerns regarding unexpended IHBG funds, but is not as restrictive as had been proposed in the House bill. The Senate had no restrictive language. In the House version, there were two provisions regarding the approximately $1 billion in unspent IHBG funds that 1) the funds would be available for only three years and any unspent funds remaining at the end of that period would be returned to the Treasury; and 2) no funds would be awarded to a tribe who had over $20 million in unexpended balances at the beginning of a fiscal year, excluding unexpended balances from FY 2011. The Conference Report states that funds will be available for five years (until 2016), and funds must be obligated, although not necessarily expended, within that time. The Conference Report notes that with a five-year obligation timeline, the funds should be expended within ten years. The Conferees also express dismay that with such a great need for affordable housing in Indian Country, there is such a large accumulated balance of unspent funds. The report states:
Timely Expenditure of Funds.—The conferees find it unconscionable that while there is significant need for affordable housing in Indian country, some tribes and TDHEs have not spent large amounts of block grant funding for several years, resulting in large accumulated balances and reduced housing activities on tribal lands. For this reason, the conferees provide a time limit for this funding and strongly urge tribes to address housing needs in a timely manner.
The conferees note this account had nearly $1,000,000,000 in unexpended balances at the beginning of fiscal year 2011, with almost half of that amount belonging to a single tribe. This tribe currently has over $375,000,000 in unexpended funds, with funds dating back twelve fiscal years, and a HUD official testified this tribe was unresponsive to HUD’s encouragement to address the backlog. Such large accumulated balances and decade-old unexpended funds call into question the present need for funding in this account. In times of scarce federal funding, all accounts come under closer scrutiny. It is in the interest of all 555 tribes that receive these grants to reduce the unexpended balances and to demonstrate current need through use of these funds. (pp. 315-316)
We also note that the House-proposed requirement that the HUD Office of Policy Development and Research submit a report on “alternative data sources” for the IHBG formula has been dropped. The Conference report does, however, direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study of the “unique barriers and challenges in tribal housing activities.” Additionally, HUD is required to notify grantees of their funding award within 60 days of enactment of the Conference bill.
HUD Multi-race census data policy. Congress, as requested, continued bill language from previous appropriations acts that is a “hold harmless” solution to HUD’s decision to use the multi-race census data from the 2000 Census in calculating the formula allocation. The language requires the Secretary to apply both the multi-race and the single race data, and award each tribe the higher of the two amounts it would receive under each application. The bill language, which is the same as in FY 2011, states:
Provided, That, notwithstanding the [NAHASDA], to determine the amount of the allocation under title I of such Act for each Indian tribe, the Secretary shall apply the formula under section 302 of such Act with the need component based on single-race census data and with the need component based on multi-race census data, and the amount of the allocation for each Indian tribe shall be the greater of the two resulting allocation amounts:
Section 184 Home Loans
FY 2011 Enacted $7 million
FY 2012 Request $7 million
FY 2012 Enacted $6 million
The Administration requested a loan authority of $428 million but the Conference bill limits it to $360 million. The FY 2011 loan authority was $919 million.
Community Development Fund
FY 2011 Enacted $3.5 billion
FY 2012 Request $3.8 billion
FY 2012 Enacted $3.3 billion
Funding for the Indian Community Development Block Grants program is $60 million, which is $5 million below the FY 2011 level.
Lead Hazard Reduction
FY 2011 Enacted $119.7 million
FY 2012 Request $140.0 million
FY 2012 Enacted $120.0 million
Within the total provided, up to $10 million may be used for the Healthy Homes Initiative and $45 million for “areas with the highest lead abatement needs.”
HOME Investment Partnerships
FY 2011 Enacted $1.60 billion
FY 2012 Request $1.65 billion
FY 2012 Enacted $1.00 billion
HOME funds are provided to States, local governments, tribes, and insular areas for the purpose of expanding the affordable housing supply.
Self-Help and Assisted Homeownership Opportunity Program
FY 2011 Enacted $81.8 million
FY 2012 Request –0–
FY 2012 Enacted $53.5 million
Please let us know if we may provide additional information regarding FY 2012 appropriations for the HUD.