As analysts and critics pore over the details of the White House's proposed budget for fiscal year 2016, the executive department in charge of housing says it hopes to use its share to restore cuts made after 2013's budget sequester.
Included in President Barack Obama's newest budget is $49.3 billion set aside for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a $4 billion increase over last year.
In a statement, HUD Secretary Julián Castro said the proposed funding provides a "blueprint for greater opportunity for all Americans."
"By increasing our Department's funding level by nearly $4 billion over current levels, the President's Budget helps us continue our progress toward achieving our mission to promote homeownership, support community development—including making neighborhoods more resilient from natural disasters—and expand to affordable housing for all," Castro said.
In a call with reporters, HUD Deputy Secretary Nani Coloretti explained that much of the budget will be used to undo some of the cuts made as the department experienced budget restraints as a result of sequestration. Included in that category is the planned restoration of 67,000 Housing Choice Vouchers used to help fund rental housing assistance for low-income families.
Also on HUD's agenda for fiscal year 2016 is a $2.5 billion investment for Homeless Assistance Grants, which the department hopes to use for housing counseling, transitional programs, and other initiatives to meet the administration's goals of ending homelessness.
Based on current projections, HUD says it is on track to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015 and chronic homeless by the end of 2017.
The budget also includes $250 million to assist neighborhoods with distressed HUD-assisted housing, $748 million to promote housing and community development for Native American tribes, and $50 million to convert public housing units to project-based rental assistance contracts.
A more complete rundown of HUD's planned budget can be found at the department's website.
While the administration may have big plans for the next year, analysts anticipate a fight with Republicans over the full scope of the budget, which comes to nearly $4 trillion.
"Of course we hope the entire budget will get through Congress," Coloretti said in a conference call with reporters. "... I know that some of our proposals remain both popular and supported by Congress because we accept every community," she said.