Saturday, February 4, 2012

House votes to abolish guaranteed funding for transit, could threaten housing funds

The U.S. House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee today terminated the guaranteed trust fund revenue for transit and gave it to the highway program. This dedicated funding stream established during the Reagan Administration comes from an excise tax on gasoline. Under this new provision, the burden for funding mass transit would fall entirely on the annual appropriations process, meaning lower funding and much more uncertainty for public transit.

This directly threatens housing. HUD and the Department of Transportation fall under the same appropriations subcommittee, which means their programs compete directly for funds. Putting greater pressure on the transportation side could significantly reduce funds available for housing. Not to mention, mass transit serves many residents of affordable housing as their only connection to jobs, schools, and other community services.

NHC united with others in housing and transportation to oppose this provision contained in HR 3684.  We'll continue to advocate as the bill moves to the House floor and interacts with the Senate transportation bill (which does not contain the damaging provision).  Join NHC at its Annual Budget Forum Feb. 24 to hear more about the connections between transportation and housing funding.

No comments: