HUD FY 2014 grantmaking could start as early as September

(From the Federal and Foundation Association Monitor)

While HUD is being more tight-lipped than usual about its grantmaking plans, the agency is likely to start its FY 2014 funding season in September with the release of its General Section, sources tell Federal and Foundation Assistance Monitor, a grant news service focusing on funding for a wide range of community programs, such as housing, community development, education, healthcare, and social services.

In previous years, staff at the agency’s Office of Departmental Grants Management & Oversight have been open about their work on the section, providing updates on revisions and internal reviews. ODGMO oversees HUD grantmaking and is responsible for releasing the General Section, which provides the basic application information for all HUD grants and lays out the overall strategic plan for fiscal year grantmaking.

ODGMO’s Rita Yorkshire tells the Monitor she has no idea when the section will be released, however, previous practices provide a sense of where the agency is in the process. The document likely is undergoing final internal review, with plans to release it by the end of September. HUD likes to get an early start on its grantmaking, usually way before funding totals are set.

Analysis: The House and Senate appropriations committees have both passed their respective HUD funding bills (HR 2610; S 1243). As expected, the bills are miles apart, except for a few areas. Both bills, for instance, would provide $75 million for 10,000 new HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers for homeless veterans.

The Republican-controlled House doesn’t support White House priorities like its community-wide funding efforts. It would defund these programs, including Choice Neighborhoods. House GOP leaders are even attacking the bipartisan-approved Community Development Block Grant – threatening to cut funding in half. Not surprisingly, the Democratic-controlled Senate is a fan of White House priorities, including a new $10.8 million rental assistance demonstration project.

Those seeking HUD funding shouldn’t worry. The budget situation has been this dire in the past several years, and HUD still started its grantmaking early. Funding for White House priorities will still be funded in FY 2014. The House calls for an end to Choice Neighborhoods every year, for example, but it always survives yearly budget discussions. As for CDBG, the proposed cut won’t even enter into the final discussions. Full funding around $3.1 billion is the best bet.

The Monitor will continue to provide ongoing updates on HUD’s 2014 funding and the status of its grant solicitations, with details on upcoming solicitations typically in advance of and official notices.

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