Advocacy Update: Congress to Finalize FY 2014 Federal Funding

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Advocacy Update | January 22, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

National Alliance to End Homelessness - Advocacy Update
January 15, 2014
Congress to Finalize FY 2014 Federal Funding

On Monday, January 13, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees released the final version of fiscal year (FY) 2014 funding legislation. Both chambers are expected to approve the legislation and the President is expected to sign the legislation into law by January 18, when the current stopgap funding measure is set to expire.  

 

The omnibus (combined) funding legislation funds the government at the topline spending level laid out by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (signed into law in late December 2013). The FY 2014 funding legislation represents a compromise between the funding bills released by the House and Senate in mid-2013, with many of the funding levels falling somewhere in between those two proposals, and nearly all funding levels falling short of the amounts proposed in the President's FY 2014 Budget Proposal.   

 

The final bill includes the following funding levels for key homeless assistance and low-income housing programs: 
  • $2.105 billion for HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants, a $176 million increase over FY 2013;
    • At least $250 million of this will be used for the Emergency Solutions Grants; 
  • $19.1 billion for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, a $1.41 billion increase over FY 2013;
    • This level also includes $75 million for approximately 10,000 new HUD-VA Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers;
  •  $114.1 million for Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a slight increase over FY 2013; 
  • $4.4 billion for the Public Housing Operating Fund within HUD a $346 million increase over FY 2013; 
  • $64.8 million for the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program within HHS, a slight increase from FY 2013;  
  • $38.1 million for the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) within the Department of Labor, a slight increase from FY 2013; and
  • $1.39 billion for homeless assistance programs within VA, a $38 million increase over FY 2013.   
The FY 2013 funding levels referenced above include the across-the-board sequestration cuts that took place in March 2013.

More Information
$2.105 billion for HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants, as noted, includes at least $250 million for Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) programs, though HUD could choose to allocate even more.

The Alliance anticipates that this funding level will cover all renewals, though it would not be enough to replace funds lost in the FY 2013 NOFA. Any additional funds remaining from the renewal burden in the Continuum of Care will be allocated to ESG, essentially meaning that no extra funding will be available in the FY 2014 NOFA for CoCs; however, there will be significant additional funds for ESG.

Of note to many advocates is that this omnibus funding bill includes language allowing nonprofits to administer rental assistance with FY 2012 - FY 2014 funds. While this is not a permanent fix, it will solve immediate issues surrounding nonprofits and the administration of rental assistance.

The Alliance will continue to analyze the funding legislation and keep advocates abreast on key provisions and its passage.

What's Next?
Following passage of this omnibus funding bill, which will mark the completion of the FY 2014 appropriations process, Congress will take a brief break from the appropriations process. The President is expected to release his FY 2015 Budget Proposal at some point in February, which will launch the FY 2015 appropriations process. Stay tuned to these Advocacy Updates and the Alliance's general advocacy work for more information and frequent updates!

 

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Kate Seif 
Policy Outreach Coordinator 
 
 
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