(4/7/2014 5:36 AM, NCSHA)
On April 2, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan testified at a House Transportation-HUD Subcommittee oversight hearing on HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing programs. In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chairman Tom Latham (R-IA) commented that over the years, funding needs for renewals have steadily crowded out funding for other priority programs. Subcommittee Ranking Member Ed Pastor (D-AZ) stated that the programs discussed during the hearing are some of HUD’s most important. He commented that the Section 8 and public housing programs house more than 5 million tenants.
In response to a question from Latham about the authorizing provisions included in HUD’s budget proposal, Donovan said HUD believes there are a number of provisions appropriate for inclusion in the appropriations bill and that other provisions will be included in a package of authorizing proposals. Latham asked if restraining renewal costs is a goal of the provisions requested by HUD. Donovan answered that he believes reforms to the Housing Choice Voucher (voucher) program included in the FY 2014 appropriations omnibus will produce just more than $200 million in savings in 2015 and that the changes to medical deductions HUD proposes in its FY 2015 budget will save tens of millions more. HUD proposes increasing the threshold used to determine deductions for unreimbursed medical expenses from 3 percent to 10 percent of family income.