Advocacy Update: Senate Voting on HUD Funding Bill As Early As TODAY

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Advocacy Update | July 30, 2013

National Alliance to End Homelessness - Advocacy Update
July 30, 2013

Senate Voting on HUD Funding Bill As Early As TODAY   

Last Tuesday, the Senate advanced the fiscal year (FY) 2014 funding bill for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to the Senate floor. Now, Senators have been offering amendments to the bill and the full Senate is expected to address those amendments and the legislation in its entirety by the end of the week.  

 

One of the amendments introduced by Sen. Coburn (R-OK), S. Amdt.1754, would very negatively impact our efforts to prevent and end homelessness. The amendment ("1754") would prevent communities from using any federal funds for their 25 percent Continuum of Care (CoC) matching requirement. This means that programs like HOME, CDBG, SAMHSA, TANF, and any other federal programs would no longer be acceptable to meet matching requirements. Further, unless the amendment is altered, if passed, it would make the prohibition on federal match requirements retroactive - in other words, communities would have to return federal funds they had previously used for the CoC matching requirement.  

 

1754 would obviously have an extraordinarily detrimental effect on many communities across the country. We need to make sure every Senator in the United States Senate understands the deleterious impact this would have and votes NO on 1754!

 

The Senate Appropriations Committee, the Committee tasked with providing federal funds for key housing and homeless assistance programs, approved its fiscal year (FY) 2014 funding legislation earlier this month. The next step in the process is to advance the legislation to the full Senate for approval from the entire chamber. Sen. Mikulski (D-MD), chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, intends for the HUD funding legislation (which is always coupled with funding for the Department of Transportation) to be a so-called litmus test for the remaining funding bills.   

 

While it is imperative that 1754 be STRUCK DOWN, it is just as important that the Senate's HUD funding bill pass! The Senate's version of FY 2014 funding for HUD has significantly more funding for programs like McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants, Section 8, and many others. Encourage your Senators to pass the funding legislation without 1754!     

 

Here's What You Can Do:

1. Call BOTH your senators' offices TODAY. Ask to speak to the person who handles housing issues for the Senator.

 a. You can find their office number by calling the congressional switchboard at 202.244.3121, or we can help you find this information. 
2. Explain to them you want their boss to support the FY 2014 HUD funding legislation on the Senate floor and VOTE NO ON 1754!

a. You can use these talking points, and this information on 1754 to help you make your case!   

3. Let us know who you contacted and what response you get! Email Kate Seif (cseif@naeh.org) or Julie Klein (jklein@naeh.org)!

More Information
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to approve $2.26 billion for HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants. While less than the $2.381 billion requested by the Administration, this funding level would be a significant increase over last year's final sequestered level - $1.929 billion - or the House's proposed funding level of $2.088 billion. The Senate's funding level would lead to housing instead of homelessness for significantly more people than the Senate's bill and would greatly expand rapid re-housing resources.

We need our Senators to hear from us TODAY about the importance of increased funding for HUD programs and the need to strike down 1754! Please call your Senators and tell others to call, too!
House Voting on HUD Funding THIS WEEK
 
In addition to the Senate activity, the full House is also voting on FY 2014 funding legislation for HUD. The legislation includes $2.088 billion for HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants - significantly less than the amount requested by the President and less than the level proposed in the Senate's legislation (see above). It is important the House legislation has as much of an increase for the Homeless Assistance Grants as possible. This will ensure that the program is in a strong place when the two versions of the legislation go to conference (the process whereby key members of the House and Senate work out the differences in the two versions and create a final compromise).

Our Representatives need to hear from us THIS WEEK about the importance of low-income housing and homeless assistance programs in HUD. We must make sure that the House legislation, which as it stands would be a disaster for HUD programs, has as much money for HUD as possible!


Here's What You Can Do:
1. Call your Representative(s) THIS WEEK. Ask to speak to the person who handles housing issues for the Member.  
a. You can find their office number by calling the congressional switchboard at 202.244.3121, or we can help you find this information. 
2. Explain to them you want their boss to support higher funding levels in the FY 2014 HUD funding legislation!  
a. You can use these talking points to help you make your case!  
3. Let us know who you contacted and what response you get! Email Kate Seif (cseif@naeh.org) or Julie Klein (jklein@naeh.org)!
Following the votes in the House and Senate this week, both Chambers will go on recess until early September, making these next few days one of our last opportunities to make a significant impact in the funding legislation before "crunch time" prior to the end of the fiscal year (September 30). Please make your calls TODAY!
TOOLKIT
 
McKinney-Vento Congressional Talking Points

Section 8 Congressional Talking Points

 
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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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Kate Seif 
Policy Outreach Coordinator 
 
 
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