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FYI: The House began work yesterday on its Housing and Urban Development funding bill for 2004, containing a host of controversial White House proposals. Most immediately relevant to the House’s funding bill, President Bush has requested $13 billion for existing housing vouchers. The Center for Budget Policy and Priorities issued an analysis Friday of HUD data on voucher costs and utilization released in April, which was unavailable when the administration wrote its budget proposal. Pointing to a spike in voucher use–driven by rising unemployment–and increasing housing costs revealed in the new data, the CBPP analysis argues that this year’s program will have a $700,000 million shortfall. That money can be made up with previous years’ surplus, but the president’s budget request counted on those surpluses for 2004. As a result, CBPP concludes, the program will be underfunded by $1.26 billion in 2004, necessitating the cancellation of 184,000 housing vouchers currently in use. [7/15/03]

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