Diaz-Balart Introduces Transportation and Housing Appropriations Bill, Giving Southern Florida Opportunities to Compete for Federal Dollars
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, issued the following statement after he introduced the fiscal year 2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill.
“I am proud to introduce this legislation that continues the work we accomplished last year towards rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure. For the second year in a row, I have worked to protect hard-earned taxpayer dollars and reduce waste and abuse, while providing historic funding levels to improve our airports, roads, bridges, and seaports. In turn, this will create jobs across the country and locally, and will lead to a boost in our economy. Right here in Southern Florida, localities can compete for the $750 million provided to the multimodal BUILD program (formerly known as TIGER) for new infrastructure projects. Our local airports can pull from the $500 million provided to Airport Grants, our community will receive needed funds from the $4.25 billion provided for Highway Grants, and our bus and rail systems can benefit from the $2.6 billion provided for Capital Investment Grants or the $800 million provided for transit infrastructure grants. With this bill, our local community is empowered to revitalize the roads, bridges, buses, and rail lines we use every day.
“Expanding access to affordable housing is also emphasized in this legislation. Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) are funded at $3.3 billion dollars, providing localities with the opportunity to apply for grants that address community development, poverty, and other infrastructure needs. Also included is $1.2 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which leverages this funding with private investments to create more affordable housing options. Housing for the elderly is funded at $632 million dollars, vouchers for disabled citizens is funded at $390 million dollars, and housing assistance for those living with HIV/AIDS is funded at $393 million dollars. I am confident we are helping those with the most need in this legislation.
“I thank Chairman Frelinghuysen and Ranking Member Price for their efforts in crafting this bill. I am pleased with the work we have done to upgrade our nation’s infrastructure, and am humbled that my Subcommittee Chairmanship affords me the unique opportunity to help our nation and our local community. I will continue to work tirelessly to deliver results for Floridians, and ensure your federal dollars are seen back home.”
As Chairman of this Appropriations Subcommittee, Diaz-Balart was able to secure the following funding so that localities across the country like Collier, Hendry, and Miami-Dade Counties could apply for and compete for grants to improve their infrastructure and transit systems and address their affordable housing needs.
- $750 million for the Department of Transportation’s BUILD grant program (formerly known as TIGER), helping localities fund infrastructure they might not be able to otherwise without federal dollars
- $250 million set aside for port projects
- $250 million set aside for urban areas
$250 million set aside for rural areas
- $1.3 billion for NextGen investments to modernize air traffic control
- $500 million for airport infrastructure grants
- $4.25 billion for highway grants which goes directly to the states
- $150 million is included for the Tribal Transportation Program to fund projects on federal and tribal lands
- $300 million for Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements grants which will improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of passenger and freight rail systems
- $150 million for grants to install positive train control (PTC) technologies
- $800 million for transit infrastructure grants
- $150 million for urbanized area formula grants
- $350 million for bus and bus facilities competitive grants
- $50 million for rural areas
- $200 million for state of good repair grants
- $50 million for high density state apportionments
- $2.6 billion for Capital Investment Grants, which provides grant funding for major transit capital investments that are planned and operated by local communities
- $835.7 million for signed new starts projects
- $500 million for unsigned new starts projects
- $200 million for signed core capacity projects
- $550 million for unsigned core capacity projects
- $502 million for small starts projects
- Language is included pushing the Administration to move projects through the pipeline and execute the program consistent with the will of Congress
- $3.3 billion for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
- $1.2 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which provides incentives for private sector and non-profit development of affordable housing
- $22 billion in public housing vouchers, helping needy populations including the elderly, disabled, and veterans.
- $393 million for housing for persons living with HIV/AIDS
- $632 million for Housing for the Elderly, and $154 million for Housing for Persons with Disabilities
For the subcommittee draft text of the legislation, click here.