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President’s 2011 Budget Proposal Boosts Affordable Housing and Homelessness Assistance
National Alliance to End Homelessness
Press Releases | February 1, 2010February 1, 2010
Contact: Catherine An
President's 2011 Budget Proposal Boosts Affordable Housing and Homelessness Assistance
Challenges remain to fully implement the vision of ending homelessness
Washington, DC – Washington, DC – Today, President Obama unveiled his Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 budget request. The budget has significant provisions that address the needs of poor and vulnerable people struggling to maintain housing and stability in this uncertain economic climate. Despite the good news for many homeless programs, much work remains to be done to provide solutions to those who have been homeless over time, as well as those made newly homeless by the poor economy.
Overall, the president proposed a ten percent increase to homeless assistance programs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). While the increase is significant, even more will be needed to implement the Department’s new Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act without cutting core services.
Notable among the budget items is a proposed $85 million collaborative housing and services initiative at HUD. The initiative requires HUD, the US Department of Health and Human Service (HHS), and the US Department of Education (DOE) to work together, breaking down the divisions between government agencies and creating incentives for them to pool their resources to meet the needs of homeless families and individuals. The collaboration of these agencies will ensure that vulnerable Americans will have access to a wide breadth of programs that address income, housing, disability, and education – providing a comprehensive panel of assistance that can prevent homelessness before it happens.
Also noteworthy among the budget priorities is a reiteration of the Administration’s intention to end homelessness among veterans. Though the president has proposed a 50 percent increase for the VA’s homeless assistance programs and the VA has publicly announced its goal of reducing the number of homeless veterans from 131,000 to 59,000 by July 2012, a plan for the use of these funds was not provided.
Other homeless-related programs at HHS, DOE, and the Department of Labor were level-funded or received small increases. Additionally, there were no new programs to address the issue of homelessness among youth – an underserved but growing population.
"This is an extraordinarily difficult budget year – probably the first of many,” said Nan Roman, President of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. “We are, therefore, extremely grateful that President Obama has demonstrated his commitment to stay the course on homelessness. New resources, and an innovative new program, will help us make progress and incentivize federal agencies to work together to solve the problem. We are encouraged, and will continue to make the case for more and better efforts to end homelessness, including an increased focus on preventing homelessness through greater attention to the housing needs of millions of low income and vulnerable Americans.”