Advocacy Update: House to Vote on HUD Funding Bill

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Advocacy Update | June 25, 2012

National Alliance to End Homelessness - Advocacy Update
June 25, 2012


House Voting on Bill with Cuts to Homeless Assistance
Later this week, the full House of Representatives is expected to vote on the fiscal year (FY) 2013 funding bill for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD). The bill increases or maintains level funding for many HUD programs, including key affordable housing and homelessness programs, such as the joint HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers.

The legislation includes $75 million for approximately 10,000 new HUD-VASH vouchers in FY 2013. However, the bill includes only $2 billion for HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants. This funding level would provide $286 million for the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), but it is insufficient to fund all Continuum of Care (CoC) renewals. We anticipate that the shortfall in renewal funding would result in approximately 25,000 people being homeless rather than housed. One possible result of this funding shortfall would be a cut of about 5 percent to all Continuums' pro-rata need. 

With the legislation going to the full House, every representative will have a chance to vote on the legislation. While we were happy to see that programs like HUD-VASH received robust funding, we must ensure that the representatives know the impact on their communities of not funding all CoC renewals. We need your help getting as many Members of Congress as possible to know there is strong support from their constituents for a higher funding level for HUD's McKinney-Vento programs.  

Here's 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. Explain the importance of HUD's McKinney-Vento programs for your community. Mention that while you were happy to see many other affordable housing programs receive increases (for a full list of key programs, click here), you were disappointed to see renewals short-funded in this legislation, which will result in 25,000 people being homeless rather than housed.  
  3. Ask your representative to voice his/her disappointment with the funding level in the House floor debate prior to voting on the legislation. In addition, he/she can contact his/her colleagues on the HUD Appropriations Subcommittee in support of the President's requested funding level of $2.31 billion for McKinney-Vento programs. 
  4. Tell us which office(s) you contacted by emailing Kate Seif at cseif@naeh.org.    
More Information 

Although the House's FY 2013 HUD funding bill would technically increase the funding level for McKinney-Vento programs by about $99 million, the funding level is still about $100 million short of the level needed to maintain all CoC renewals and existing ESG activity. This is largely due to the expiration of multi-year contracts which must now be included in the baseline for appropriations. The Alliance will be providing further information on this in the coming weeks. 

 

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved legislation in April that would provide $2.146 billion for HUD's McKinney-Vento programs, which is enough to both maintain existing ESG programs and fund CoC renewals. The full Senate has not yet voted on the legislation, and it remains unclear when it will do so. Following passage in both the House and Senate, the bill will go to conference where the differences in the two bills will be worked out, making it CRITICAL that House members understand that there is strong support among their constituents for a higher funding level for HUD's McKinney-Vento programs.

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