Advocacy Update: House De-Funds Some McKinney Renewals

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Advocacy Update | June 7, 2012

National Alliance to End Homelessness - Advocacy Update
June 7, 2012


House De-Funds Some McKinney Programs, Releases FY 2013 HUD Bill
Today, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (T-HUD) approved its funding bill for fiscal year (FY) 2013.

The legislation includes $2 billion for HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants. While this is nearly $100 million above the FY 2012 level, the Alliance estimates that it would not be sufficient to fund all Continuum of Care (CoC) renewals and maintain the existing level of Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) activities.

As a result, the Alliance estimates that more than 25,000 people would be homeless instead of housed under this legislation.

However, the bill also includes level or increased funding for a number of other key affordable housing and homeless assistance programs, including:
  • $19.1 billion for Section 8 Tenant-Based Rental Assistance, including $75 million for approximately 10,000 new HUD - Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers;
  • $3.3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), nearly $400 million above the FY 2012 level;
  • $1.2 billion for the HOME Investment Partnership Program, $200 million above the FY 2012 level; and 
  • $4.5 billion for the Public Housing Operating Fund, an increase of over $560 million above the FY 2012 level.  

These proposed funding increases will go a long way toward keeping many low-income families and individuals in affordable housing; however, cuts to the number of homeless people served would be devastating.

 

We need YOUR help to send a strong message to Congress that, while we are thankful increases in funding for key affordable housing and community development programs, additional resources are needed for homeless assistance.

 

What You Can Do:

  1. Call your representatives' Washington, DC offices RIGHT AWAY. Ask to speak to the person who handles housing issues. Congressional office phone numbers can be found by calling the congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121.
  2. Express your appreciation that House's FY 2013 HUD Appropriations Act includes strong funding levels for HUD-VASH and other key affordable housing programs, but explain that you were EXTREMELY disappointed to see that the legislation would make more than 25,000 additional people homeless instead of housed.
  3. Urge the representative to contact leaders of the  HUD Appropriations Committee to express his/her support for providing the Administration's requested funding level of $2.231 billion for HUD's McKinney-Vento programs.
  4. Tell us which office(s) you contacted by emailing Kate Seif at cseif@naeh.org.    

 

More Information 
Due to overall budget pressures and a limited amount of funding available overall for federal domestic programs in the House's FY 2013 budget, there is not enough funding to provide sufficient resources for affordable housing and homelessness programs.

Within this context, the House's HUD appropriations bill maintains existing funding or even increases funding for some key affordable housing programs. These funds are critical for preventing and ending homelessness, but they cannot come at the expense of people experiencing homelessness and being served by HUD's McKinney-Vento programs.

The Alliance estimates that the $2 billion provided in the House legislation is about $100 million below the level necessary to maintain existing ESG activities and renew all CoC projects.
As a result, more than 25,000 additional people would be homeless instead of housed under this legislation.

The next step is for the legislation to be approved by the full House Appropriations Committee, likely the week of June 18. The Senate Appropriations Committee has already approved its version of the legislation, which included $2.146 billion for HUD's McKinney-Vento programs.

We need YOUR help to ensure that the House's proposal doesn't become law. Please contact your representatives RIGHT AWAY to let them know how important these programs are. Explain what the local impact of not funding all CoC renewals would be.
Join Organizational Sign-On Letter to Protect Affordable Housing Spending

Last August, Congress passed the Budget Control Act (BCA), which called for reduced federal spending to decrease our nation's debt. The BCA requires "sequestration" - or automatic, across-the-board cuts - to take place in January 2013, if Congress does not act before then to prevent these cuts.  

 

These across-the-board cuts of 8.4 percent to "non-defense discretionary" programs (a budget category which includes nearly every federal affordable housing and homeless assistance program, as well as many low-income and safety net programs) will have a tremendous impact on our ability to prevent and end homelessness.

 

These cuts would be on top of any cuts Congress passes in its FY 2013 funding bills. The potential cuts to CoC renewals mentioned in the article above would be further compounded by sequestration.  

 

A coalition of organizations dedicated to protecting the broad range of non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs - which range from housing to transportation programs, and health to law enforcement programs, and beyond - is sending a message to Congress: we must avoid the January 2013 across-the-board cuts by passing "a balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not include further cuts to NDD programs."  

 

The Alliance encourages advocates to sign onto a letter that will go to key Members of Congress urging them to protect these programs from further cuts. The deadline for adding your organization to the letter is Friday, June 22.  

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The Alliance works collaboratively with its local, state, and national partners to advance policies and programs that prevent and end homelessness.
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    Amanda Benton
    Director of Policy Outreach 

 
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