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Affordable Housing , Homelessness , State News

Housing and Homelessness Resources in the Committee Budget & Bond Package

23 April 2021

Key Legislative Committees Advance Budget Proposals for Fiscal Year 2022-2023, Expanding and PreservingResources for Critical Homeless and Affordable Housing Programs 

April 23, 2021 
 
The Appropriations and Finance Revenue and Bonding committees’ actions provide critical new resources to create affordable housing and preserve existing resources for critical homeless and affordable housing programs found in Governor Lamont’s proposed FY 22-23 budget. 

“Connecticut has a severe shortage of affordable homes, and investment in housing is crucial to the state’s future,” said Kiley Gosselin, Executive Director of the Partnership for Strong Communities. “By preserving the funding for housing programs in the Governor’s budget and including significant new bond authorizations for affordable housing, the Appropriations Committee and Finance, Revenue and Bonding committee shown that Connecticut’s lawmakers have a strong consensus in favor of housing investment.” 

On Wednesday, April 21st the Appropriations Committee passed H.B. 6439 detailing spending over FY22 and FY23.  

The budget bill proposes $46 billion in spending over the biennium, representing a 2% increase over FY21.  

The state had faced a projected revenue shortfall of $3.3 billion over the biennium while spending $1 billion less than anticipated in the previous year due to the influx of federal pandemic relief. The Appropriations Budget uses $240 million of projected surplus and $1.9 billion of federal American Rescue Plan (ARP), with the Budget Reserve (“Rainy Day”) Fund projected to reach a historical $3.8 billion by end of the year.  

In addition, the Appropriations Committee provided an increase of $210 million over the biennium, including $50 million of FY 21 surplus funding,for nonprofit health and human services providers contracted by the state. 

The Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee met on Thursday, April 22nd and passed S.B. 887 (Bond Package). This includes a robust package of new bond authorizations of $1.8billion in FY22 and $1.6billion in FY23, including a total of $305million for affordable housing development, while cancelling $144million of existing bond authorizations. In addition, the Finance Committee created a new state child tax credit, and increased the Earned Income Tax Credit to 40% of the federal credit. 
Budget and Bonding Proposals Include: 

Items from the Reaching Home and HOMEConnecticut legislative agendas appear bolded 

Department of Housing 

  • Funding for the Housing/Homeless Services line at $81.9 million in each year of the biennium, a decrease reflecting current expenditure levels in Money Follows the Person (MFP) and Connecticut Housing Engagement and Supportive Services (CHESS) Programs, consistent with the Governor’s proposed budget.  
  • Homeless Youth Program funding at $2.6 million in FY 22 and $2.9 million in FY 23, representing a $351,975 increase from FY 21 in FY 22 and a $641,975 increase in FY 23. This new funding is transferred from the Housing/Homeless Services line to fund the Youth Homeless Demonstration grant match at $410,000 in FY 22 and $700,000 in FY 23, consistent with the Governor’s proposed budget. 
  • Transfers to DMHAS $352,500in FY 22 and $352,000 in FY 23 for wrap-around services for 47 individuals expected to receive HUD mainstream vouchers. 
  • New bond authorizations for the Housing Trust Fund are funded at $55 million in FY 22 and $50 million in FY 23, consistent with the Governor’s proposed budget. 
  • New Bond authorizations for the Affordable Housing Flex Fund are funded at $100 million for each year of the biennium, which includes $30 million each year for the State Sponsored Housing Portfolio, consistent with the Governor’s proposed budget. 

Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services 

  • Housing Supports/Services funded at $23.4 million in each year of the biennium, representing an increase from FY 21 of $391,297 in FY 22 and $437,422 in FY 23, consistent with the Governor’s proposed budget. 
  • Discharge and Diversion Services lineis funded at $28.9 million in FY 22 and $30.3 million in FY 23, representing an increase from FY 21 of $4.7 million in FY 22 and $6 million in FY 23. This funds 30 new Money Follows the Person (MFP) placements for individuals discharged from Connecticut Valley Hospital and reallocates $352,500 for services from DOH each year to 47 MFP individuals expected to receive HUD mainstream vouchers, consistent with the Governor’s proposed budget. 
  • Young Adults Services line is funded at $80 million in FY 22 and $84.3 million in FY 23. This reflects an increase from the Governor’s proposed budget of $1.7 million in FY 22 and $5 million in FY 23 to support caseload growth in specialized community-based residential treatment.  
  • Funding is provided in the Managed Service System line at $59 million in FY 22 and $59.4 in FY 23, including $2.5 million each year for Mobile Crisis Services statewide.  
  • Provides new bond authorizations to design the replacement for Whiting Forensic Hospital at $3 million in FY 22, consistent with the Governor’s proposed budget. 
  • Grants for Mental Health Services funded at $66.5 million in FY 22 and $66.6 million in FY 23, representing an increase from FY 21 of $150,704 in FY 22 and $329,855 in FY 23. 

Department of Social Services 

  • Eliminates Governor’s proposed asset test for the Medicare Savings Program. 
  • Allocates $13.9 million in FY 22 and $26.9 million in FY 23 to provide new residential support to 90 individuals in FY 22 and 69 individuals in FY 23 aging out of DCF programs, and for 30 MFP placements in both years. 
  • Restores Cost-of-Living Adjustments for public assistance recipients. 
  • Eliminates funding for individuals impacted by Hurricane Maria due to anticipated lapse, through the deduction of $504,000 each year. 
  • Medicaid expenditures are reduced by $128.6 million in FY22 due to COVID-19 emergency/reimbursement from the federal government.  
  • Behavioral Health Partnership (DSS, DCF, and DMHAS) - plans to seek a Substance Use Disorder demonstration waiver (CMS) – allow for federal reimbursement for individuals residing in mental health facilities.  
  • Provides $10 million in each year of the biennium to reflect rate increases to providers of home health and waiver service providers.  

Department of Children and Families 

  • Maintains Supportive Housing funding at $19.9 million in both years, consistent with Governor’s proposed budget. 

Department of Labor 

  • Second Chance Initiative is flat funded at $311,829 in FY 22 and $312,381 in FY 23. 
  • Veterans Opportunity Pilot funded at $350,000 in each year of the biennium, representing an increase of approximately $100,000 each year from the Governor’s proposed budget.  

Department of Corrections 

  • Provides an additional $6.7 million in each year of the biennium for Community Support Services, including $500,000 each year for Emerge CT (a New Haven-based reentry program) and requires report to Appropriations Committee by 1/1/22 on bed utilization.  
  • Reductions to reflect savings due to closure of units and facilities of $15.4 million in FY 22 and $41.5 million in FY 23, consistent with the Governor’s proposed budget. 
  • Provides new bond authorizations to renovate existing buildings for inmate housing and support facilities at $30 million in FY 22 and $10 million in FY 23, consistent with the Governor’s proposed budget.   

Judicial Department 

  • Increases funding for the Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee (JJPOC) by $70,000 in each year of the biennium.  

Office of Early Childhood 

  • Care4Kids continues to be funded at $59.5 million in each year of the biennium. 
  • Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership is restored at $1.5 million in each year. 

Department of Economic and Community Development 

  • Provides new bond authorizations for the Brownfield Remediation and Revitalization Program at $25 million in each year of the biennium, consistent with the Governor’s proposed budget. 

Department of Public Health 

  • Provides new bond authorizations for the Health Disparities and Prevention Grant Program at $40 million in each year of the biennium. This includes $25 million for Federal Qualified Health Clinics (FQHCs) and $15 million for mental health and substance abuse treatment providers. 

Office of Policy and Management 

  • Provides nonprofit providers of health and human services contracted by the state with increases of $30 million in each year of the biennium, based on uniform percentage increases. 
  • Provides new bond authorizations for Urban Act at $100 million in each year of the biennium, representing a $50 million increase each year above the Governor’s proposed budget. 
  • Provides new bond authorizations for Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) at $0 for FY 22 and $15 million in FY 23, consistent with the Governor’s proposed budget. 
  • Provides new bond authorizations for nonprofit health and human services organizations at $25 million in each year of the biennium. 

Department of Education 

  • Funds a new Open Choice pilot program for 50 seats in Norwalk and Danbury at $275,000 in FY 22 and $900,000 in FY 23, consistent with the Governor’s budget proposal. 

Department of Energy & Environmental Protection 

  • Transfers $175,000 in each year of the biennium to the Department of Public Health for sewage treatment system permits, due to the increase from 7,500 to 10,000 gallons per day.  
  • Provides new bond authorizations for the remediation of industrial sites in urban areas at $10.5 million in each year of the biennium, consistent with the Governor’s proposed budget.   

The Finance Committee rejected the Governor’s proposal that would have capped credits claimed against the Public Utilities Tax at 50.01%.  The cap might adversely affect the state Housing Tax Credit Contribution program (HTCC). 

In addition, H.B. 5742 requires OPM to distribute $10 million in COVID relief funding to provide grants for mental health and substance abuse services, suicide prevention, and domestic violence interventions for individuals experiencing such issues as a result of the pandemic. 

Finally, H.B. 6662 establishes the Commission on Racial Equity in Public Health and requires studies concerning the racial equity of various state programs related to such crisis. 

We will continue to keep you informed as more information becomes available, particularly the allocation of federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds.