|Congress is currently considering two primary options for funding the federal government for the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2011: a single, large appropriations bill based on work already done by the House and Senate (called an omnibus), and a stopgap funding measure, called a continuing resolution (CR), that would fund the government through the rest of FY 2011, mostly at FY 2010 levels.
Maintaining FY 2010 funding levels for homelessness programs would result in more than 65,000 Americans being homeless who would otherwise have been housed. See below for more details on this figure.
We must CALL CONGRESS TODAY to ensure that ANY final, FY 2011 funding bill for HUD include:
These funding levels proposed by Congress for FY 2011 may be cut if we don't act NOW! Congress is expected to decide by next week how to proceed in regard to FY 2011 funding.
- At least $2.2 billion for HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants;
- $75 million for 10,000 HUD-VASH vouchers; and
- $85 million for 10,000 joint HUD - HHS housing vouchers under the Housing and Services for Homeless Persons Demonstration.
What You Can Do:
- Call your representative(s) and senators TODAY. Ask to speak to the person who works on housing issues. You can find congressional office phone numbers by calling the congressional office switchboard at 202-224-3121.
- Explain the importance of providing these funding levels in the final FY 2011 funding bill. Use this one-pager on the impact of FY 2010 funding levels and these suggested talking points to guide your conversation.
- Ask the staff member if his/her boss will contact the Appropriations Committee in support of including these funding levels in the final FY 2011 spending bill, no matter what format it takes.
- Report any responses to Kate Seif at email@example.com / 202-942-8281 or Amanda Krusemark at firstname.lastname@example.org / 202-942-8256.
Legislative Update and Impact
Currently, the federal government is being funded through December 18 with a stopgap funding measure, known as a continuing resolution (CR). Congressional leaders are currently aiming to either pass another CR to act as a stopgap funding measure for the remainder of FY 2011 or to pass a single, large bill to fund all federal discretionary programs for the remainder of FY 2011, known as an omnibus bill. It is still unclear what method Congress will use.
If Congress passes a CR funding all federal homelessness programs at FY 2010 levels, at least 65,000 more people will be homeless who would have been housed under the current FY 2011 bill proposals put forward by the House and Senate.
- 10,000 veterans and their families who would otherwise be housed will instead be homeless;
- 25,000 people, mostly in families, who would escape homelessness through the Emergency Solutions Grant under HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program will be homeless instead;
- 4,000 people with disabilities and 6,000 families who would escape homelessness through the new Housing and Services for Homeless Persons Demonstration will be homeless instead;
- 5,000 homeless people with disabilities and children who would enter permanent supportive housing through McKinney-Vento funding for HUD's Continuum of Care will be homeless instead; and
- 15,000 children who are homeless, at risk, or could be reunited with their homeless parents through HUD-VASH and the Housing and Services for Homeless Persons Demonstration will be homeless instead.
If Congress decides to us a full-year CR, it should include adjustments (known as "anomalies") to provide the above-mentioned funding levels to avoid the hardship of homelessness for 65,000 people.
The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act increases funding for certain activities, particularly homelessness prevention and assistance to families and rural areas, under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The Senate Appropriations Committee proposed providing $2.055 billion in FY 2011 for Homeless Assistance Grants; the House, however, proposed an 18 percent increase to $2.2 billion. Without a funding level of at least $2.2 billion, communities may receive less funding for new Continuum of Care (CoC) projects or may not be able to implement as many of the HEARTH Act's changes. For more information, click here.
The joint HUD-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) voucher program supplies rent assistance from HUD and medical treatment and case management from VA. Both the House and Senate FY 2011 proposals include $75 million for 10,000 new HUD-VASH vouchers. However, if overall spending remains at FY 2010 levels with no adjustments, these additional vouchers may be in danger. For more information, click here.
Housing and Services for Homeless Persons Demonstration
Both the House and Senate have proposed funding a new joint initiative between HUD and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that would couple 6,000 Housing Choice Vouchers for families with resources under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and Department of Education resources, as well as coupling 4,000 Housing Choice Vouchers for chronically homeless individuals with Medicaid, substance abuse, and mental health resources. Since this program did not exist in FY 2010, it will be in danger of being cut if a CR is passed. For more information, click here.