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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Julie Klein (email@example.com)!
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!