Advocacy Update: Quarterly Report - FY 2014 Negotiations & NOFA Webinar


Advocacy Update | January 8, 2014


National Alliance to End Homelessness - Advocacy Update
December 11, 2013

Quarterly Report: Announcements and Recap 

This Quarterly Report includes a preview of key upcoming activities for advocates through next March, as well as a review of major developments from the last quarter. Specifically, this issue reviews:

  • FY 2014 funding negotiations;
  • Upcoming NOFA webinar and advocacy opportunities;   
  • State advocacy materials;  
  • Second Chance Act reauthorization;  
  • Join our advocacy lists!   
FY 2014 Funding Decisions Moving Forward

Last night, the conference committee tasked with coming up with a topline spending number for fiscal year (FY) 2014 reached a deal. They came up with a deal that would set FY 2014 total spending at around $1 trillion - more than the $967 billion level proposed by the House, but far less than the $1.058 trillion number the Senate was using to write its FY 2014 funding bills.


The House and Senate still need to vote on and approve the $1 trillion spending level and it seems very likely that that will occur in the next few days. Following congressional approval, appropriators in the House and Senate will be moving fast to finalize FY 2014 spending bills. Since they will be working with a new number, the appropriators will have to write new bills - including a new HUD funding bill.  

Given the quick turnaround for the appropriators, we also need to work quickly to make sure that every Member knows the importance of HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants in their communities as they work on these funding bills.


Here's What You Can Do:


1. Call your senators and representative(s) THIS WEEK. Ask to speak to the person who handles housing issues.  

a. You can reach your Members' offices by calling the congressional switchboard at 202.224.3121.  

2. Tell your Members that HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants need an increase in FY 2014!  

a. Use this paper to help you make your case.  

3. Let us know which office(s) you contacted!  


NOW is our opportunity to capitalize on "regular order" and make another big push for homeless assistance funding. We need to make sure that Members of Congress work to make up for the FY 2013 Continuum of Care cuts (see next article) and ensure that we continue our great progress preventing and ending homelessness in America.


More Information

The deal struck by the conference committee includes numerous components. It eases sequestration cuts by approximately $63 billion in FY 2014 and FY 2015. This would be paid for through increases in various fees, including airline fees, raising contributions federal employees make to their retirement plans, and increasing premiums for a variety of pensions, among an assortment of other smaller savings provisions. The easing in sequestration cuts will likely result in more funding for HUD in the upcoming years.


Congress is very likely to finalize FY 2014 spending by the January 15 deadline and we need to make sure that as many Members as possible know they must provide an INCREASE to HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants. 

Alliance Webinar on FY 2013 NOFA Completion
Next Tuesday, December 17 at 2:00 p.m. ET, the Alliance is hosting a webinar on the fiscal year (FY) 2013 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Continuum of Care. The webinar will feature Norm Suchar, director of the Alliance's Capacity Building Team; Kate Seif, the Alliance's policy outreach coordinator; and Kelly King-Horne, executive director of Homeward in Richmond, VA.

The webinar is intended to give participants insight into the best approach to your community's applications. In addition, the webinar will cover the importance of reaching out to your Members of Congress to ensure that communities will not have to worry about further cuts to their programs in the near future.

Continuums will now need to tier their programs and many communities will face cuts to their Continuum programs of up to 5 percent. These cuts are a direct result of sequestration and congressional funding decisions. We must take this opportunity to ensure that the FY 2014 NOFA contains full funding and makes up for cuts in the FY 2013 NOFA. Call your senators and representatives THIS WEEK and tell them that HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants must receive an increase to ensure we continue our great progress preventing and ending homelessness in America.  
To register for the webinar, please click here. Please see above for further information on reaching out to your Members' offices.
State Advocacy Materials Available Online 
In Case You Missed It:  
  • The Alliance has released the State Advocacy Guide, a companion to the Advocacy toolkit. The State Guide walks you through advocacy planning and strategy, and offers a number of tools to help you and coalition partners decide how and where to engage in state policy processes. Make ending homelessness a priority in your state!
  • A webinar hosted November 18 by the Alliance explored two very different strategies - in two very different states - to address homelessness with state policy. A recording of "Resetting State Priorities to End Homelessness: Updates from California and Virginia" is available here.

Second Chance Act Reauthorization Introduced   

Judiciary Committee leaders in the House and Senate are renewing the effort to re-authorize the Second Chance Act. Originally signed by President Bush in 2008, this law funds programs that help ex-offenders who are re-entering the community from prison. In mid-November, bills to improve the current program were introduced in both chambers with bi-partisan support (S.1690/HR 3465). Language throughout the bill reinforces housing and homeless assistance as important elements of re-entry programming. The demonstration projects that could be funded are expected to target vulnerable re-entering populations such as people with behavioral health conditions and those experiencing homelessness. The proposed reauthorization would make more nonprofit organizations eligible for grants, along with units of state and local government. The Alliance is a member of the coalition advocating for the passage of Second Chance reauthorization. Currently, efforts are focusing on adding co-sponsors to the bill.   


Join Our Campaign Lists!
The Alliance deeply values all the work you, our advocates, have accomplished this year. It has been a difficult funding environment but we have still managed to see decreases in homelessness and make a huge impact in Congress.

As you know, there is still much to be done and we need your support and assistance to ensure that we have the biggest impact possible. The Alliance has two dedicated campaign mailing lists which we would love for you to join if you haven't already!  
If you have any other questions about the Alliance's advocacy efforts, please let us know!  
HUD Homeless Assistance Needs an Increase

NOFA Planning and Advocacy Webinar

State Advocacy Materials
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 
All Rights Reserved.