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HUD’s Homeless Assistance Grants: Current Need
Federal Policy Brief | March 10, 2013
The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants programs are the largest single source of federal funding for communities’ systems to combat homelessness. But over the past three years, increases in this account have not been sufficient to allow communities to make substantial progress on their work to end homelessness in the face of economic difficulties. For fiscal year (FY) 2014, Congress must invest the increased funding to get back on track to get the job done.
In FY 2013, McKinney-Vento was one of only two HUD accounts that received any increased funding, once the across-the-board cuts of “sequestration” were taken into account. Due to accounting issues related to expiring multi-year grants, however, the increase was insufficient to fund all existing programs at their FY 2012 level. The result will be more people homeless instead of housed and simply put, communities need Congress to turn this around. These programs are worth investing in:
Now that sequestration and some of the larger battles around overall discretionary spending have quieted, it is time to return focus to the details and invest the small amount of money necessary to make the plan to end homelessness a reality.
Congress must work throughout the FY 2014 appropriations process to provide $2.381 billion for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants, the amount requested by the President in his Budget Proposal, to ensure that we continue our progress in working toward the goals of preventing and ending homelessness in America.