Update on Federal Housing Counseling Funding
Thanks to the many, many housing counseling groups that participated, we have mobilized more effectively this year on federal housing counseling funding than ever before. Here is where we stand currently:
–FY 2015 Senate T-HUD Subcommittee
•$49 M for HUD Housing Counseling Assistance
•$50 M for NFMC
–FY 2015 House Full Appropriations Committee
•$47 M for HUD Housing Counseling Assistance
•$50 M for NFMC
The Good News: The Senate increased the HUD Housing Counseling funding from last year’s $45 million to $49 million. Housing Counseling was one of the very few programs to see an increase in the HUD budget and most saw cuts. The House T-HUD subcommittee initially passed a HUD budget with $45 million for HUD Housing Counseling. Working closely with the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley and Rep. Charlie Dent, we were able to get an amendment passed in in the Appropriations Committee raising the amount to $47 million.
The Bad News: Last year’s housing counseling allocations were $45 million for HUD Housing Counseling and $67.5 million for the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program (NFMC). This represented a total of $112.5 million for FY 2014. In the current budget, numbers are likely to be $47 to $49 million for HUD Housing Counseling and $50 million for NFMC. This represents a likely total of $97 to $99 million or a net loss of $13.5 to $15.5 million in federal housing counseling funding from last year’s totals.
What did we do this year?
A sign-on letter to the House and Senate with signatures from 480 groups — a record turnout.
Face to face meetings with House and Senate members
Phone meetings with T-HUD House and Senate Appropriators and counseling groups from their local districts.
Mobilization of email, phone, and letter campaigns by the counseling community at key stages along the way.
Next Steps? We will monitor progress of the budget, explore if there are possibilities for an amendment on the floor, and mobilize when the budgets go to conference committee. Stay tuned for further action.