Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Announces Funding For Key Veteran and Native Hawaiian Housing Programs In Appropriations Bill

July 31, 2020
Press Release
Washington, DCRep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) announced funding for key programs benefiting the nation and Hawai‘i through the Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies funding bill for fiscal year 2021. The bill, which was passed by the House Appropriations Committee and then included as part of the “minibus” — a combination of 6 smaller funding bills — was passed by the House of Representatives today.
“Having just gone through a narrow miss with Hurricane Douglas in the midst of a raging pandemic and economic crisis, we recognize the importance of government assistance towards programs that provide safety and security during this grave time of need,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “That’s why I fought to make sure that programs like the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant and the HUD Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing received robust funding.”
For fiscal year 2021, the legislation provides $158.3 billion in discretionary budget authority with an increase of $1.7 billion above the FY 2020 enacted level and $16.8 billion above the President’s 2021 budget request. The bill includes budgetary resources for surface transportation programs totaling $78.7 billion. In addition, the legislation provides $75 billion to support the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic by investing in our nation’s transportation and housing infrastructure.
Rep. Gabbard has led the effort to prioritize support for a number of transportation and housing programs that benefit Hawaiʻi. Some of those provisions were included in the bill, including:
  • Recognizing climate change impacts on Hawaiʻi and U.S. Territories’ coastal roadways, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is directed to make a list of roads most vulnerable to sea level rise, recommend solutions to address shoreline erosion, and provide technical assistance to local departments of transportation as they develop their transportation budgets and priorities.  
  • $24 million for the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant (NHHBG) to build homes for Native Hawaiians.
  • $2 million for the Native Hawaiian Housing Loan Guarantee program which gives Native Hawaiians another financing option to purchase and/or rehabilitate an existing home on Hawaiian home lands.
  • $3 million for the Maritime Guaranteed Loan (Title XI) program to promote the growth of the U.S. merchant marine.
  • $172.8 million for the Contract Tower Program to improve air traffic safety in rural airports. 
Other provisions that were prioritized by Rep. Gabbard and included in the Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies funding bill for fiscal year 2021 include:
  • $62.5 million for housing for homeless veterans.  This includes $20 million for the HUD Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH), $2.5 million for Tribal HUD-VASH, and $40 million for the Incremental Vouchers to Address Homelessness. 
  • $943 million for the Housing for the Elderly (Section 202) program, which helps low-income, elderly people with housing, which includes $50 million in emergency funding due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This formula grant program will bring much needed financial relief to expand housing opportunities for Hawaiʻi's kūpuna.
  • $60 million for the Self-Help and Assisted Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP). SHOP has been very successful in helping to finance numerous self-help home building projects statewide where first-time homeowners contribute sweat-equity for building their homes.  
  • $1.7 billion for the HOME Investment Partnership Program for State and local governments to develop a housing affordability strategy to acquire, rehabilitate, or construct new affordable housing, or to provide rental assistance to eligible families. Since 1992, Hawaiʻi has received $160.4 million for 2670 housing projects.
  • $3.5 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. CDBG has helped fund the Kroc Center in Kapolei, recreation centers, affordable housing, and social services activities throughout the state.
  • $25.7 billion for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance and, through the CARES Act, an additional $1.25 billion to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.
  • $75 million for Housing Counseling Assistance. This program is strongly utilized by Native Hawaiian housing organizations as well as non-native organizations to place economically stressed families into homeownership.
  • $227 million for the Housing for Persons with Disabilities and an additional $179 million for COVID economic recovery infrastructure funding.
  • $208.5 million for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NRC),  commonly referred to as the NeighborWorks America, which helps local communities establish working partnerships between residents and representatives of the public and private sectors. An additional $300 million for the NRC in infrastructure investments.
  • $80.3 million for the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.
Background: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, on July 1, 2020, voted to pass H.R.2, the INVEST Act, to authorize funding for key infrastructure projects and improvements across the country and in Hawaiʻi.
About Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is serving her fourth term in the United States House representing Hawai‘i’s Second District, and serves on the House Armed Services and Financial Services Committees. She previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Homeland Security Committee. She was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 2010, and prior to that at age 21, was elected to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in 2002, becoming the youngest person ever elected in the state. Tulsi Gabbard has served in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard for over 17 years, is a veteran of two Middle East deployments, and continues to serve as a Major. Learn more about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard...
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