Advocacy Update: HUD Funding at Risk; Call Your Senators TODAY!


Advocacy Update | March 11, 2013

National Alliance to End Homelessness - Advocacy Update
March 11, 2013
Senate Finalizing FY 2013 Funding Bills This Week
Sequestration, the across-the-board spending cuts of slightly more than 5 percent to all security and non-security discretionary programs, went into effect on March 1. These cuts will impact virtually every program within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as well as many other programs that assist those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. 

Following failed negotiations around sequestration, the House passed legislation wrapping up fiscal year (FY) 2013 last Wednesday that would extend the current stopgap measure funding HUD, HHS, and almost all other programs (with the exception of Veterans Affairs and Defense programs) at FY 2012 levels. This would result in harmful cuts to many programs serving the nation's most vulnerable populations, including youth, veterans, and those with mental illnesses. Flat-funding would be particularly devastating to HUD programs; for instance, the continuation of FY 2012 levels combined with sequestration and increased renewal burden would result in about a 10 percent cut to HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program. Public housing and Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers would be extremely underfunded as well.

The Senate is expected to take up some sort of FY 2013 funding legislation as soon as today. The Senate may pass a new bill funding HUD at fuller levels for FY 2013, add exemptions for certain HUD programs, or keep FY 2012 levels just as the House did. The inclusion of a HUD funding bill in the complete legislative package, if carefully crafted, would alleviate some of the detrimental effects of sequestration. Should the Senate simply adopt the House legislation as is, it would have disastrous consequences for our nation's poorest people. We MUST make sure that the legislation the Senate passes includes robust funding for HUD.


Here's What You Can Do:

  1. Call your Senators' offices TODAY! Ask to speak to the person who handles housing issues. You can find their number by calling the congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121. 
  2. Ask them to urge their boss to provide increases for homeless assistance and affordable housing programs in the final FY 2013 funding legislation. Tell them the negative impact cuts would have on your state's programs, using this document to help you (note, these impacts refer only to sequestration's cuts).

  3. Encourage others to call, too! Please forward this alert to your partners and anyone interested in ensuring Congress robustly funds homeless assistance and low-income housing programs.

  4. Let us know who you contacted and what they said!   
Further Information on FY 2013 Funding 
If the Senate passes separate funding measures for each Department, as opposed to the House's blanket stopgap funding measure - known as a continuing resolution (CR), one possibility is that it could allow relevant agencies to move funds around to better manage sequestration's cuts without undoing them. Members of both parties have expressed support for extending this flexibility to more agencies.  

Failing to strategically increase funding for programs subject to sequestration that serve the most vulnerable people in our society will have devastating effects. We MUST make sure that Congress understands the importance of programs that prevent and end homelessness and the need to adequately fund them throughout the remainder of the fiscal year. Let Congress know NOW that it is imperative to increase FY 2013 funding for programs targeted toward those at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

Sequestration "Frequently Asked Questions"

State-by-State Cuts
The Alliance works collaboratively with its local, state, and national partners to advance policies and programs that prevent and end homelessness.

Kate Seif
Policy Outreach Coordinator 


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