Capitol Hill Day 2012 Policy Priorities

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National Alliance to End Homelessness

Advocacy Resource | May 22, 2012

Files: PDF | 274 KB | 1 page

The following are high-priority issues on which Congress is currently working and we can make significant progress during Capitol Hill Day at the 2012 National Conference on Ending Homelessness. Please note that this is not a complete list of the policy initiatives that the Alliance supports.

Click on each priority below for more information.

1. Provide $2.23 billion in FY 2013 for HUD’s Homeless Assistance Grants Program.
The HEARTH Act, which reauthorized HUD’s Homeless Assistance Grants in 2009, changed the way program funding is allocated and created an expanded Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) to fund rapid re-housing and homelessness prevention. The Administration’s requested funding level of $2.23 billion would mean the difference between housing and homelessness for 150,000 Americans, through renewing and expanding rapid re-housing and permanent supportive housing and by helping communities continue their investment in the ESG program to begin to balance the loss of HPRP.

2. Provide $127 million in FY 2013 for Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) Programs.
RHYA Programs are critical to prevent exploitation of youth on the streets and to support reconnection to their families, schools, employment, and housing options. America’s homeless youth are denied services because communities lack outreach, shelter, and housing programs. A funding level of $127 million would help communities to expand the use of innovative and evidence-based strategies to meet the needs of vulnerable, unaccompanied youth.

3. Provide $1.35 billion for VA’s targeted homeless veteran programs, including $300 million for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.
SSVF provides cost-effective rapid re-housing and homelessness prevention services, which have been the missing piece in VA’s range of interventions. VA’s requested $1.35 billion funding level covers expanding SSVF to scale, and continuing other valuable options for ensuring that homeless veterans have the services they need to stay housed. It is precisely what is needed in the upcoming year to stay on target with VA’s plan to end veteran homelessness by 2015.

4. Provide $100 million for SAMHSA Homeless Services Programs in FY 2013.
Additional resources are needed for the SAMHSA Homeless Services programs to fund essential mental health and substance use treatment services linked to permanent supportive housing and other housing programs targeted toward homeless and at-risk families, youth, and individuals. Providing $100 million would fund approximately 20 new services grants targeted toward ending homelessness.

5. Renew all existing Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers in FY 2013, and provide $75 million for about 10,000 new HUD – VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program vouchers.
A leading contributor to homelessness is the lack of affordable housing. By providing more Housing Choice Vouchers, communities will be able to make more progress on ending homelessness. The HUD-VASH program helps veterans who are chronically homeless access permanent housing that is coupled with supportive services.

6. Prevent further cuts in non-defense, discretionary spending for affordable housing and targeted homeless assistance programs.
These programs, which can reduce public costs and help people stabilize in housing, gain independence, re-enter the workforce, and create more opportunities for their children, have already gone under- or un-funded for several years. Reversing or lessening the non-defense, discretionary cuts mandated under the Budget Control Act of 2011 would protect these key programs that prevent and end homelessness.

  • Click here for sample sequestration talking points (see "Recommendation" at the bottom).