Governor Lamont's FY 21 Midterm Budget Adjustments Authorizes New Resources to Create Affordable Housing - Preserves Existing Budgets for Critical Homeless and Affordable Housing Programs
February 6, 2020
The Governor's proposed FY 21 Midterm Budget Adjustments authorizes new resources to create affordable housing and preserves existing budgets for critical homeless and affordable housing programs.
"Governor Lamont's budget released today provides critical resources for those who need a safe, affordable home and preserves essential programs for statewide efforts to make homelessness rare, brief and one time," said Kiley Gosselin, Executive Director of the Partnership for Strong Communities.
"This budget is a firm step in the right direction, though additional investment is needed to help Connecticut families who are facing homelessness every day, as well as the over 100,000 households spending half or more of their income on rent. The Governor has demonstrated that he, like our legislative colleagues, understands and supports the need for stable housing in both fiscal and human terms."
The Governor's FY 21 budget totals $22.3 billion. The Budget Reserve Fund (Rainy Day Fund) is expected to close FY 20 at $2.8 billion. This budget protects existing bond authorizations for DOH, as well as the DOH line items for Housing/Homeless and Homeless Youth, and DHMAS Housing Supports and Services.
Unlike the biennial budget proposed a year ago, the Governor has recommended a total of $205 million over the biennium in new bond authorizations for affordable housing development for the state Housing Trust Fund and the Affordable Housing Flex Fund. In addition, there currently remains $63 million in available authorizations in the Housing Trust Fund and $50 million in the Affordable Housing Flex fund. There is also $12 million available for the Homeless Prevention Response Fund. Approximately $2 million in bonding from the IT Capital Investment Bond Authorization will be used to support the proposed Clean Slate program. Total new bond authorizations are $1.44 billion in FY 20 and $1.42 billion in FY 21. Governor Lamont has cautioned that if his tolls proposal is not acted upon by the legislature, the bond package will be at risk of being scaled back drastically.
Budget Proposals Include:
Department of Housing
- Funding for the Housing/Homeless Services line at $84.7 million in FY 21. Funding is reduced by $1.6 million in FY 20 and $1.2 million in FY 21 to reflect recurring delays in transitions associated with the Money Follows the Person program.
- Medicaid Supportive Housing Benefit for High Cost, High Need Individuals remain at levels in the enacted budget, providing $2.3 million for FY 21.
- Rental Assistance vouchers to support the Department of Social Services' Long-Term Care Rebalancing Strategy remain at levels in the enacted budget, providing $1.3 million for FY 21.
- No change was made to the Community Investment Account funding, estimated to reach $3 million for FY 21. Provides financial support for Coordinated Access Networks and the 2-1-1 Info line.
- Homeless Youth Program funding is preserved at $2.3 million each year.
- New bond authorizations for the Housing Trust Fund are funded at $30 million in FY 20 and $0 in FY 21.
- New Bond Authorization for the Affordable Housing Flex Fund are funded at $100 million for FY 20 and $75 million for FY 21, which includes $30 million each year for the State Sponsored Housing Portfolio.
Department of Development Services
- Annualized Housing Supports continues to be funded at levels of the enacted budget, $1.4 million in FY 21.
Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
- Housing Supports/Services maintained at $23 million for FY 21.
- Additional funding of $3 million for FY 21 is provided in the Discharge and Diversion Services line for community placements from Connecticut Valley Hospital.
- Young Adults Services maintained at levels of the enacted budget, $78 million in FY 21.
Department of Social Services
- Funding of $250,000 in FY 21 maintained in the enacted budget for consultant
services to assist in the development of an opioid plan.
- Medicaid Supportive Housing Benefit for high cost, high need individuals reflects a Medicaid savings of $3.1 million in FY 21. Funding is also included in the Department of Housing to support this effort.
- Strengthening of rebalancing efforts under Money Follows the Person is funded at $3.5 million in FY 21, which is included in the DOH Housing/Homeless line.
- Rental assistance to support Long-Term Care Rebalancing Strategy is maintained at $1.3 million for FY 21, also included in the DOH Housing/Homeless line.
Department of Corrections
- Funding to expand the Medication Assisted Treatment program at $6 million for FY 21.
- Establishes a Director of Reentry Services to align the education and job training offered by DOC with the employment needs of the community.
Office of Early Childhood
- Care4Kids continues to be funded at $58.9 million for FY 21.
Department of Transportation
- Funding to provide 60-Day bus passes to offenders discharged at the end of sentence or from a halfway house is maintained at $92,520 for FY 21.
Department of Economic and Community Development
- Provides funding for the Brownfield Remediation and Revitalization Program at $30 million in new bonding authorizations for FY 20 and $17 million in FY 21.
Office of Policy and Management
- New Urban Act bond funding is provided at $75 million in each year of the biennium.
- Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) funded at $0 for FY 20 and $30 million in FY 21 in new bonding authorizations.
- Provides new bond authorizations for grants to nonprofits, funded at $25 million each year over the biennium.
The Governor's Midterm Budget Adjustments also caps the amount by which a utility company may reduce its utility tax liability using state tax credits at 50.01%, which could adversely affect the state Housing Tax Credit Contribution program (HTCC).
While the documents released yesterday provide the overall framework for the Governor's proposed Midterm Budget Adjustments, PSC awaits further details in the Governor's legislative proposals that will accompany the budget and will become available over the next few days. We will continue to keep you informed.