As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on February 6, 2019
The Tribal HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program provides rental assistance through grants to Native American veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The program is jointly operated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The Tribal program has received appropriations totaling $22 million through 2019 but is not authorized after 2019. CBO assumes that the bill will be enacted around the beginning of 2020.
S. 257 would require HUD to allocate 5 percent of the funds made available for the HUD-VASH program to the Tribal HUD-VASH program. The Congress appropriated $40 million for the HUD-VASH program in 2019 but that program also is not authorized after 2019. Assuming the Congress appropriates $40 million for HUD-VASH in each year over the 2020-2024 period, CBO estimates that HUD would allocate about $2 million in each of those years to make new tribal grants. Using information from HUD on the pace at which tribes are drawing grant funds, CBO expects that spending for the Tribal program would occur more slowly than for the HUD-VASH program. Thus, CBO estimates that outlays for new grants would not occur until 2022.
The bill also would permanently authorize HUD to set aside funds made available for the tenant-based voucher program to renew Tribal HUD-VASH grants and would thus effectively authorize additional appropriations for that purpose. The tenant-based voucher program is permanently authorized for whatever amounts are necessary. Based on an analysis of information from HUD about the pace of implementing the program, CBO estimates that the appropriations already provided to date will be sufficient to renew grants through 2021. CBO expects that in 2022 HUD would allocate about $6 million from the tenant-based account to renew grants. By 2024, that amount would increase to $7 million. On that basis, CBO estimates that implementing S. 257 would increase spending for the Tribal HUD-VASH program by $19 million over the 2019-2024 period.
The estimated budgetary effects of S. 257 are detailed in Table 1. The costs of the legislation fall within budget function 600 (income security).