WASHINGTON -- The House Appropriations Committee approved a spending bill yesterday for housing programs and treatment projects for wastewater and drinking water.

The appropriations bill, which designates spending levels for the 1995 federal fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, follows the levels recommended by a House appropriations subcommittee two weeks ago.

The bill would hold spending on the Housing and Urban Development's HOME program to current-year levels of $1.275 billion. That is $175 million over the president's budget request.

The Community Development Block Grants program would receive an increase of $200 million, or $4.6 billion, for fiscal 1995.

When the spending bill was approved at the subcommittee level, many state and local officials were pleasantly surprised that the spending levels for the housing programs not only remained stable, but grew.

"This is the first time in recent memory that we have seen the House subcommittee vote an increase in CDBG" from the prior year, John C. Murphy, executive director, Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies, said at the time.

Congress is working on a separate bill to reauthorize spending for dozens of federal housing programs, including the HOME and CDBG programs.

The Environmental Protection Agency's water infrastructure initiatives would receive $2.73 billion, or $82 million more than the initial budget request. The fiscal 1995 level is $25 million more than the current year.

Of the $2.73 billion, $700 million would go toward a state revolving loan fund being created for drinking water treatment facilities. State revolving loan funds for wastewater treatment facilities would receive $1.28 billion

Congress is working on separate bills to reauthorize the wastewater treatment and safe drinking water programs.

One bill would reauthorize the six-year-old revolving fund program many states use to help stretch their federal dollars by leveraging bonds to help build wastewater treatment facilities.

The other would renew the safe drinking water act and establish a new revolving fund program to help finance construction of drinking water treatment facilities.

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