Act on the NOFA Cuts!

written by Kate Seif
December 16, 2013

In the upcoming year, communities will have less funding to address homelessness. The up to 5 percent cuts that communities will face in the fiscal year (FY) 2013 NOFA (Notice of Funding Availability) for the Continuum of Care (CoC) are a direct result of sequestration and other congressional funding decisions. Fortunately, we can be proactive about the tiering process and work to make sure that HUD’s Homeless Assistance Grants funding never go short-funded again.

Tomorrow, the Alliance is hosting a webinar on planning for your NOFA application and working with your Members of Congress to ensure that subsequent NOFAs provide sufficient funding for renewals and even new projects. The webinar will also explore Richmond, Va’s approach to the NOFA and what steps that community is taking to ensure the cuts have a minimal impact on their efforts to address homelessness.

After sequestration (the automatic, across-the-board federal funding cuts that resulted from the Budget Control Act of 2011), this year’s NOFA could have been much worse. It was thanks to advocates like you who worked tirelessly to remind  your Members of Congress that HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants needed an increase in FY 2013. The account received a funding increase, but unfortunately, after sequestration, the increase was not enough to cover all renewals in this year’s NOFA.

We can’t let this happen again. We saw great news in the 2013 AHAR – homelessness has gone down by nearly 4 percent since 2012! That’s because, despite the bad economy, these programs are having an impact. We need to make sure Congress knows about the great work that’s being done, the progress that’s being made, and the detrimental impact underfunding has on these efforts.

We need to work NOW to make sure that the final FY 2014 funding bills include an increase to the Homeless Assistance Grants to make sure we keep up the good work and every family, child, veteran, and person in this country who needs a home has one.

Join us tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET to learn more about how you can get involved in our advocacy efforts, and how you can best approach your NOFA application to minimize the deleterious effects of congressional funding decisions.