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National Alliance to End Homelessness

Newsletters | February 5, 2008

February 5, 2008    

    POLICY  \|  DATA + RESEARCH  \|  TOOL + TRAINING  \|  NEWS + MEDIA Forward Editor: Samantha Batko    
   
 
Spotlight On...
Budget Would Cut Programs for Housing and Homelessness
The Administration released its proposed budget for fiscal year (FY) 2009 on February 4. It proposes an increase for the Department of Defense, cuts to health care programs, and about $2.4 billion less for domestic discretionary programs other than Homeland Security. Domestic discretionary programs include most of the housing, human service, veterans, education, and infrastructure programs that help low-income people. After accounting for inflation, these programs would be cut by 4 percent from last year.

Funding for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Grants would increase by $50 million (3 percent), much less than is necessary even to keep up with increasing renewals of permanent supportive housing. The proposal does not include a prisoner reentry initiative, which the Administration proposed in previous years, or a rapid rehousing for families initiative, which was funded by Congress last year. The budget for Section 8 includes $75 million for additional HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers, which should fund an additional 8,000-10,000 vouchers for homeless veterans.

Many mainstream housing and services programs would be cut substantially. Housing Choice Voucher funding is $1.3 billion less than is needed to continue housing families that are currently assisted. The shortfall could result in at least 100,000 vouchers not being renewed. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program would be cut by $659 million, or almost 20 percent. The $654 million Community Services Block Grant, which alleviates the causes and conditions of poverty, would be eliminated. The budget also proposes to cut Medicaid by $18 billion over 5 years.

The Administration's budget is a proposal. Congress will make decisions on actual funding levels later this year.

The President's FY 2009 Budget Proposal: Analysis and Policy Implications

 

 


On January 30, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) released a new study on domestic violence programs services. The 24 hour survey included 1,300 domestic violence programs across the nation (a participation rate of 69 percent). NNEDV tracked the number of people who used any of the various services offered, and the number who asked for help, but were turned away. The study found that over 53,000 people were provided vital services, while 7,707 were turned away due to lack of resources. Of those turned away, 4,676 were seeking either short- term emergency shelter or long-term transitional housing. According to participant organizations, the top three reasons for denying aid are lack of funds, employees, and space.

Associated Press, the number of U.S. homes that slipped into some stage of foreclosure in 2007 was 79 percent higher than in 2006, according to the real estate company RealtyTrac, Inc. Nevada, Florida, Michigan, California, and Colorado posted the highest foreclosure rates, although many homeowners started to fall behind on mortgage payments in the last three months, setting the stage for more foreclosures this year. More than 1 percent of all U.S. households were in some phase of the foreclosure process last year, up from about half a percent in 2006, a number which may not seem shocking until one considers that December was the fifth consecutive month in which foreclosure filings topped more than 200,000. More than 1.8 million subprime mortgages are scheduled to reset to higher interest rates this year and next.

The New York Times told the story of Sandra Rolon, a returning Army Reserve grandmother who bought a home with a monthly payment beyond her salary after her mortgage broker told her she could simply refinance the mortgage later and easily pay it. Now the house is in danger of foreclosure, and she may become homeless. A new program created by The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund is responding to people like Ms. Rolon during the surge in subprime lending and foreclosures. The program will help dozens of families at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure from becoming homeless by awarding grants to pay for moving costs, the first month's rent and the security deposit at their new apartments, and other emergency expenses. Each eligible family can receive up to $10,000 as part of the Subprime Neediest Program.

Domestic Violence Funding Opportunity for Rural Areas

The U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) is seeking applications for the Rural Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Assistance Program. This program supports projects designed to address and prevent domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking in rural jurisdictions. The primary purpose of the program is to support projects uniquely designed to address and prevent these crimes in rural jurisdictions. The program challenges victim advocates, law enforcement officers, pre-trial service personnel, prosecutors, judges and other court personnel, probation and parole officers, and faith- and/or community-based leaders to collaborate to overcome the problem of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and to ensure that victim safety is paramount in providing services to victims and their children. Eligible organizations include states; Native American tribes; local governments; and nonprofit, public, or private entities. The application deadline is February 26, 2008.

 
 
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