FY24 Spending Package: What You Need to Know About Housing

The Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) spending package, signed into law by President Biden in early March, contains over 1,000 pages of text, much of which pertains to housing programs, policies, and key funding for planning and communities. What do planners need to know? Let's break it down.

The FY24 spending bill, which comes after a series of continuing resolutions that have kept funding levels in legislative limbo for the past six months, includes critical funding to support planning for diverse, attainable, and equitable housing and robust community development. This package moves us one step forward to ensuring that every American has a roof over their head.

In Focus: Housing and Urban Development

While the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is only one of the agencies funded through this bill, the package provides over $70 billion in funding for HUD. This funding includes support for a critical focus on housing supply, planning, and community development as well as a wide array of housing subsidy programs. The funding includes support for programs aimed at helping communities remove barriers to housing opportunities and development, including the elimination of administrative burdens.

Overall, HUD funding increased in this funding package, but fiscal and political constraints led to some cuts for some important HUD programs. With increased funding to ensure the maintenance of major subsidy programs, Congress has begun to prioritize planning and zoning reform at the federal level.

A major section of the bill focuses on increasing the supply of attainable housing. With the ongoing housing shortage now affecting every U.S. state, critical investments are necessary to increase the housing supply in cities, small towns, and rural communities.

Key HUD programs

The HOME Investment Partnerships Program was funded at $1.25 billion in the spending package, a $250 million decrease from the FY23 final budget. This is the main federal tool for state and local governments to produce affordable rental and owner-occupied housing. With the FY24 funding level, 7,000 new rental and homebuyer units will be constructed.

This grant program is designed exclusively to create housing for low-income households. This program, which reinforces principal values of community development by planners nationwide, empowers people to design communities tailored to needs and priorities and emphasizes consolidated planning at all levels of government.

The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative was given $75 million in funding, a $275 million decrease from FY23. This program provides support to locally driven strategies that address struggling neighborhoods and distressed public housing projects through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. The initiative revitalizes communities and offers critical improvements to neighborhoods around the country.

The Community Development Fund received $6.7 billion in funding for local community development and attainable housing needs, a $323 million increase from FY23. Flat funding of $3.3 billion went to Block Formula Grants. The Community Development Block Grant Program provides annual grants to develop vibrant communities to provide decent housing and a sustainable living environment by expanding economic opportunities for low and moderate-income people.

And $100 million has been allocated for a second year to the PRO Housing grant program, a $15 million increase over FY23. This is a striking, significant increase given the cut to HOME and Choice Neighborhoods funding and the flat rate for the Community Block Grants.

Current zoning and land use regulations limit the number of units that can be built in certain areas which adds to the lack of housing supply and production across the country. Housing costs continue going up. The federal government must continue to support state and local efforts in their work to remove barriers and expand planning for housing supply. Funding for policy development and research has continued to increase given HUD's growing work on zoning and land use reform.

Housing Funding Sparks Planning Innovation Momentum

Increased funding for crucial housing innovation programs creates opportunities for planners to develop new ideas for their communities at the local, state, and federal levels. With data-driven insight, local understanding, and in-depth research, planners have the knowledge and ability to use these new funding opportunities to advance current plans and develop proposals to increase housing supply across the country. With the nation's housing deficit reaching nearly 4 million homes in 2023, federal funding and intervention are necessary for spurring local and state housing production.

The Biden administration released its FY25 budget which includes new housing and zoning reform proposals that a divided Congress will have to consider in the months ahead. While ambitious new funding may seem unlikely in an election year, there is distinct and growing bipartisan momentum around planning for housing and modernizing zoning and land use.

Planners' Day on Capitol Hill logo

June 12, 2024 | Online

Be part of the movement to increase housing choice through planning-led zoning reform nationwide — planners' top policy priority in 2024. At Planners' Day on Capitol Hill, APA will bring you into conversation with lawmakers from your desk.

Top image: iStock / Getty Images Plus - RyanCSlimakPhoto

Sophia Flionis is APA's advocacy associate.

April 5, 2024

By Sophia Flionis