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Year End Wrap-Up

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Dec 21, 2020

The House just released the FY 21 Omnibus Appropriations/ COVID relief bill. The bill is more than 5000 pages long.  The COVID package did not include any funding for rural development.

FY 21 Highlights

The House and Senate Agriculture Bills were relatively close in appropriations recommendations and the conference agreement reflects that.  One of the few areas of disagreement was rental assistance and vouchers.  The House included the total for vouchers in the rental assistance account, as proposed by USDA.  The Senate did not and prevailed in conference.

Most programs continue at the FY 20 level, which, of course, is billions of dollars above the budget agreement. 

See the table below for details

Highlights of the COVID Package

Rental Assistance

The bill provides $25 billion of rental assistance to low income tenants.  It also extends until the end of January 2021 a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, which Biden administration may extend again. The Treasury Department would be responsible for dispersing the rental assistance to states via a formula based on population. Landlords and building owners can apply on behalf of tenants meeting the eligibility requirements, generally those who make less than 80% of median income in their area, have at least one person in their households who has lost a job and can demonstrate they are at risk of losing their home.

CDFI Fund

  • $ 3 billion in emergency assistance grants to CDFIs;$1.25 billion to be made available within 60 days of enactment; $1.75 billion in CDFI emergency assistance target to low income minority communities;
  • $9 billion in a new CDFI capital investment program targeted to Minority Depository Institutions.

Low Income Housing Tax Credit

  • Establishes a 4% permanent floor on certain LIHTC projects;

New Markets Tax Credit

  • 5 year extension (2021-2025) of NMTC at $5 billion in annual allocation authority.
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