Advocacy Update: Quarterly Report

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Advocacy Update | April 4, 2013

National Alliance to End Homelessness - Advocacy Update
April 4, 2013

Quarterly Report: Announcements and Recap 

This Quarterly Report includes a preview of key upcoming activities for advocates. Specifically, this issue reviews:

  • McKinney-Vento congressional sign-on letter circulating;  
  • President's FY 2014 Budget Briefing webinar;  
  • State of Homelessness in America 2013 report release and webinar;  
  • FY 2013 finalized federal funding summary;  
  • Capitol Hill Day 2013 preview; and  
  • State-level TANF and Medicaid advocacy tools.  
House McKinney Sign-On Letter Circulating!  
Earlier this week, Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI) began circulating a congressional sign-on letter to her colleagues in the House, requesting robust funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants in fiscal year (FY) 2014. The deadline for members of the U.S. House of Representatives to join the letter is
next Tuesday, April 9. 

 

We need your help getting as many representatives' signatures as possible!  

 

What You Can Do: 

  1. Contact the housing staff person in your representatives' Washington, DC offices RIGHT AWAY. Let us know if you need help finding this person. You can also call the congressional switchboard at 202.224.3121.  
  2. Ask the staff person if his/her boss will sign on to Rep. Moore's letter. A sample letter you can use is available here. If they say...
    • NO - Ask if they would be willing to submit a FY 2014 programmatic request to robustly fund HUD's McKinney-Vento programs. 
    • MAYBE - Ask when you can follow up on your request.
  3. Tell us what you learn! Just email Kate Seif at cseif@naeh.org with the name of the office(s) you contacted and what their response was!  
Background 

The House HUD Appropriations Subcommittee is accepting "programmatic requests" for the FY 2014 appropriations process. Programmatic requests are requests by congressional offices to fund specific federal programs at particular funding levels. This year, these programmatic requests are due by April 15 in the House.  

 

Given the tight turnaround, Representative Moore is circulating a congressional sign-on letter for HUD's McKinney-Vento programs to make it easier for her colleagues to support robust funding for this program. Representatives can either join the sign-on letter or submit their own programmatic request to register their support for funding HUD's McKinney-Vento programs. Both methods of support would be very helpful! Some representatives may not be able to join the sign-on letter, but they can submit an individual, private programmatic request.

 

Please note that this sign-on letter is for U.S. Representatives to express their commitment to funding HUD's McKinney-Vento programs. Organizations and advocates are unable to join the letter.  

President to Release FY 2014 Budget Proposal Next Week
 
Next Thursday, April 11 at 3:00 p.m. ET, the Alliance will host a webinar on the President's FY 2014  Budget Proposal, which will be released on Wednesday, April 10. The Alliance's policy team will provide a brief overview of the federal budget and funding processes along with an analysis of the Administration's proposed funding levels for key homelessness assistance programs.

The webinar will also officially launch the Alliance's FY 2014 advocacy campaigns focused on securing additional funding for HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants and homeless assistance programs within the Department of Veterans Affairs. The webinar will cover the importance of getting involved in advocacy efforts in 2013 and upcoming opportunities for engagement over the coming months.  
To register for the webinar, please click here.

State of Homelessness in America 2013

Release and Media Campaign   
On Tuesday, April 9 at 3:00 p.m. ET the Alliance will host a webinar launching a national media campaign to raise awareness about homelessness. The campaign will take place in conjunction with the roll out of the State of Homelessness in America 2013, a new comprehensive report on the economic, demographic, and housing factors relating to homelessness in the United States. 

 

During the webinar, presenters will summarize the key findings of the report and discuss strategies for approaching reporters. The webinar will cover the logistics of the media campaign as well as ways to engage the media and the importance of doing so.  

 

Media engagement offers a critical opportunity to educate the general public and opinion leaders alike on the importance of ending homelessness in our communities. With your help, we can use this new report to educate and persuade decisionmakers about the scope of this problem and ways to implement real solutions across the nation.

If you are interested in joining the campaign but are unable to participate in the webinar, please contact Julie Klein at jklein@naeh.org

To register for the webinar, please click here.  

Congress Finalizes FY 2013 Federal Funding      

   

On March 21, Congress passed the final FY 2013 funding legislation for all federal agencies. The President signed the bill into law on March 26. The legislation funds most of the federal government at FY 2012 levels until September 30, 2013 (the end of FY 2013), but does include some anomalies, or spending exception for a small number of key programs.

The final bill includes the following funding levels for key homeless assistance and low-income housing programs: 
  • $1.93 billion for HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants - a $28 million increase over FY 2012 levels;  
  • $17.66 billion for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers
    • This level also includes $75 million for approximately 11,000 new HUD-VA Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers;  
  •  $109.14 million for Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - a $5.8 million decrease from FY 2012 levels; 
  • $4.054 billion for the Public Housing Operating Fund within HUD - a $92 million increase over FY 2012 levels;  
  • $71.18 million for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Homeless Services programs within HHS - a $3.8 million decrease over FY 2012 levels;  
  • $61.69 million for the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program within HHS - a $3.14 million decrease from FY 2012;  
  • $61.69 million for the Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program within the Department of Education - a $3.3 million decrease from FY 2012; and 
  • $36.1 million for the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) within the Department of Labor - a $2 million decrease from FY 2012.   
Please note that the above funding levels include sequestration cuts (the across-the-board funding cuts of approximately 5 percent to virtually all federal programs). All programs within VA are exempt from sequestration. VA received $1.33 billion for its homeless assistance programs, including $300 million for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program - a $200 million increase over the FY 2012 level.

Following the passage of the completed FY 2013 legislation, both the House and Senate released their FY 2014 Budget Resolutions, which offer non-binding guidelines for federal spending during the upcoming fiscal year. Congress is expected to follow a more normal procedural process for appropriations (the federal funding process) this year. For further information on upcoming FY 2014 appropriations work, please register for the President's Budget Briefing webinar.  
 
Capitol Hill Day 2013 Preview
During the next few months, the Alliance will begin planning Capitol Hill Day 2013, to be held in conjunction with the Alliance's annual National Conference on Ending Homelessness taking place from July 22-24 in Washington, DC.
 
Each year, Capitol Hill Day provides an opportunity for conference attendees to inform federal policymakers about solutions to homelessness. Attendees are able to speak first-hand about the scope of homelessness and the successful interventions being implemented in their communities - one of the most important ways to impact federal homelessness policy.
 
This year, Capitol Hill Day will take place on Wednesday, July 24. Capitol Hill Day 2012 was a phenomenal success, with over 360 participants attending over 289 congressional meetings with Members of Congress from 44 states! If you are interested in serving as a State Captain this year or in participating in Capitol Hill Day, please contact Kate Seif at cseif@naeh.org.
 
State-Level Advocacy Tools
As part of its efforts to create a set of tools for state-level advocacy around the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and Medicaid, the Alliance has created audience-specific talking points that homeless advocates can customize with their own local data. Click here for templates to assist you with your state advocacy efforts on topics such as inter-agency coordination, using TANF for homeless assistance, and Medicaid health homes for homeless populations. For more information on state-level advocacy, please email us!
TOOLKIT
McKinney Sign-On Letter

President's Budget Webinar

State of Homelessness Webinar

State Advocacy Tools
 
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POLITICAL WILL
The Alliance works collaboratively with its local, state, and national partners to advance policies and programs that prevent and end homelessness.
CONTACT US

Kate Seif
Policy Outreach Coordinator
cseif@naeh.org
 
 
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