FY 14 & Omnibus Policy Changes
Funding levels for HUD programs in the FY 14 budget represent an attempt to restore pre-sequester funding levels, although this was not achieved for every program. For a detailed comparison chart, see Budget Chart at http://housingactionnh.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/FY14-HUD-budget-chart-comparison.pdf.
There were also several policy reforms included in the Omnibus that advanced some initiatives pursued by advocates in other authorizing legislation:
• Definition of “Extremely Low Income” – The bill creates a new statutory definition of ELI (through HUD rulemaking), as was proposed in prior iterations of the Section Eight Voucher Reform Act (SEVRA), to mean having an income that is the higher of either 30% of area median, or the federal poverty line, adjusted for family size.
• Revised Section 8 Inspections – The Omnibus allows for biennial, instead of annual inspections and permits “alternate inspection methods,” which would allow inspections conducted pursuant to a federal, state, or local housing program (including HOME and the low income housing tax credit programs) to be used in lieu of inspections carried out under the voucher program.
• Rental Assistance Administration – Also included is language allowing nonprofits to administer rental assistance with FY12 – FY14 funds. While not considered a permanent fix to this technical change brought about by the HEARTH Act, it does provide a temporary solution to nonprofit agencies.