HUD's 1994 budget for the Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) has been doubled as a result of Congressional action concluded in September.
Strong support for fair housing was shown when the House of Representatives added $3.6 million for FHIP to an appropriations bill (H.R. 2491) that already included a increased HUD request. HUD had asked for $16.9 million for FHIP, which was $6.3 million more than 1993 projections. The House bill approved in June did not specify which sections of FHIP should receive the additional funds.
Most of the FHIP request was $6.4 million for the Fair Housing Organizations Initiative, to fund new private fair housing groups. HUD estimated funding for 53 new groups with average grants of $120,000 per group. The HUD request for FHIP included $6 million for the Private Enforcement Initiative estimating 53 awards averaging $113,000 each; $3 million for the Education and Outreach Initiative (34 awards averaging $86,000 each); and $1.5 million for the Administrative Enforcement Initiative (15 awards averaging $95,000 each).
The Senate initially cut the FHIP budget voted by the House, but later accepted the House increases.
Small Increase for State And Locals
The Congress also approved HUD's request of $4.5 million for the Fair Housing Assistance Program which represents an increase of $119,000 over the current estimate for 1993. HUD expects 50 state and local agencies to be deemed "substantially equivalent" during 1993, and it expects 15 additional agencies to submit requests for designation during 1994. Most of HUD's $4 million request for Fair Housing Assistance Program funding is earmarked for case processing. State and local agencies will be paid $1,300 per processed case.
While it was increasing national fair housing funds, Congress also approved a decrease of $500,000 in HUD's requested $48 million for Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity salaries and expenses. HUD officials said that Secretary Henry Cisneros is committed to transferring staff from within HUD if necessary to maintain the FHEO staff.