Congress Passes Detailed Spending Measure for FY 2013
Last Thursday, March 21, Congress passed the final fiscal year (FY) 2013 funding legislation for all federal agencies. The President is expected to sign the bill into law shortly. The bill, H.R. 933, funds most of the federal government at FY 2012 levels through September 30, 2013, but includes anomalies, or spending exceptions, for certain key programs.
The final bill includes funding for numerous federal programs impacting homeless and at-risk people, including:
$1.929 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program; $109.135 million for Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS);
$4.045 billion for HUD's Public Housing Operating Fund;
$71.175 million for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) homeless services programs within HHS;
$61.685 million for the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program within HHS;
$123.37 million for Health Care for the Homeless Centers within HHS;
$61.685 million for the Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program within the Department of Education; and
$36.062 million for the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) within the Department of Labor.
Please note that the above numbers represent funding for these programs after sequestration, the automatic across the board cuts of approximately 5 percent to the final FY 2013 funding level of most security and non-security discretionary programs. All programs within the Department of Veterans Affairs, including the following homeless assistance programs, are exempt from sequestration:
$300 million for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program;
$235 million for the Grant and Per Diem transitional housing program; and
$75 million for joint Department of Housing and Urban Development - Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers.
$245 million for the case management portion of the HUD-VASH vouchers.
Senate Passes FY 2014 Budget
Last Saturday, March 23, the Senate approved its budget blueprint (known as a Budget Resolution) for FY 2014. The blueprint would reduce the deficit by approximately $1.85 trillion through a combination of tax increases and spending cuts. In contrast, the House FY 2014 Budget Resolution, which was passed last Thursday, March 21, would reduce the deficit by approximately $4.6 trillion, but would include drastic cuts to non-security discretionary spending, which includes HUD funding, while lessening cuts to security discretionary spending.
Neither the House nor Senate Budget Resolution will become law; rather, they set frameworks for each chambers' priorities that mark a starting point for the upcoming negotiations to determine the final FY 2014 budget. The President's FY 2014 Budget Proposal is expected to be released on April 8, and Congress has until April 15 to pass a joint-Budget Resolution.
Congress Departs for Recess
The House departed for Spring recess on Thursday, March 21, and is expected to return to session Tuesday, April 9. The Senate departed Saturday, March 23 and is expected to return Monday, April 8.
New Capacity Building Resources
The Center for Capacity Building has updated the Alliance's online Coordinated Assessment and Prevention and Diversion Toolkits with new materials and new subsections, including separate Planning and Assessment and Referral subsections and a dedicated Coordinated Assessment and Domestic Violence Survivors subsection. Other updates include recent webinars and conference workshop materials from the 2013 National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness. More updates are coming soon. Questions about the new materials, as well as any requests or suggestions for materials to add should be emailed to Alliance Capacity Building Associate Kim Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partnering with TANF Agencies to End Family Homelessness: Idaho
On Thursday, March 28, at 3 p.m. ET, the Alliance will host a webinar on the partnership between the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, which administers state TANF funding, and the Charitable Assistance To Community's Homeless, Inc. (CATCH) program, which is expanding rapid re-housing to homeless families in Idaho. The partnership was the focus of a recent promising strategy brief by the Alliance. Speakers will include Ross Mason, regional director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, and Greg Mason, executive director of CATCH.
Register for the webinar
Opportunities for Advocacy and Media Engagement
On Tuesday, April 9, the Alliance will host a webinar detailing the President's FY 2014 Budget Proposal, to be released on April 8, and the Alliance's to-be-released State of Homelessness in America 2013 report. Samantha Batko, director of the Alliance's Homelessness Research Institute, will explain latest data in The State of Homelessness and why it matters for communities working to prevent and end homelessness. In addition, Alliance policy analysts will provide a brief overview of the federal budget process and an analysis of the Administration's proposed funding levels for key low-income housing and homelessness programs.
In addition, the webinar will officially launch the Alliance's FY 2014 advocacy campaigns and cover ways to act on the information through media engagement and concerted advocacy efforts.
Register for the webinar
Now Is the Time for Rental Assistance Reform
On Wednesday, April 3 at 4 p.m. ET, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities will host a webinar on the urgent need for positive reform to key features of HUD's rental assistance programs, particularly in light of sequestration cuts. The webinar will include presentations from numerous low-income housing advocates and will focus on upcoming legislative activity and opportunities to ensure that rental assistance reforms take our nation's most vulnerable people into account.
Register for the webinar
Video: Building Support for Retooling Transitional Housing
The Alliance recently released the latest video in a series that answers your frequently asked questions on converting transitional housing. In the video, "What if your program's leadership doesn't support retooling?" Capacity Building Associate Kay Moshier McDivitt shares information about what to do when your organization's leadership doesn't support retooling a transitional housing program but the local Continuum of Care is moving in that direction.