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FY 2014 Veterans Campaign
|Thank you for your interest in joining our campaign for funding for dedicated homeless assistance programs within the Department of Veterans Affairs. This page will provide you with all the information you need to take action to help secure the necessary resources for the programs like HUD-VASH, GDP, and SSVF in FY 2014. Read on for the latest alerts, updates, and ways you can get connected with the Alliance to take action!|
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has made a strong commitment to ending veterans homelessness by 2015. With the proper investment in the right programs, we know we can achieve this goal. Work with us in 2013 to help secure a funding increase to dedicated homelessness assistance programs within VA in fiscal year (FY) 2014 to help us meet VA's goal and serve those who have served our country.
The Alliance recently launched the Never Another Homeless Veteran campaign, which represents a two-year effort by the Alliance and our partners to build leverage and public support to end veteran homelessness in the United States. The effort is founded on the belief that ending veteran homelessness in the United States is an achievable goal if we are vocal about our support for the cause and act strategically in terms of how we target our resources and coordinate our interventions.
As part of the campaign, we are looking to get 10,000 pledges to end veteran homelessness. We ask that anyone who supports the mission of ending veteran homelessness in America signs this statement in order to speak out and help us demonstrate strong public support for ensuring that every veteran who has served our country has a safe and stable place to call home. We are also asking folks to circulate the statement to colleagues, family members, friends and anyone else who believes that veterans should never have to experience homelessness; this will help us reach our goal of getting 10,000 people to support the statement. After signing, you will receive updates from our Never Another Homeless Veteran campaign as to future action steps you can take to ensure that there is never another homeless veteran.
In conjunction with the Never Another Homeless Veteran campaign, the Alliance’s FY 2014 Veterans Campaign is continuing to focus on securing a funding increase to the set of dedicated homeless assistance programs within VA that are critical to ending homelessness among veterans, including the Grant and Per Diem program, the joint-Department of Housing and Urban Development - VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program, and the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. For more information on veterans homelessness and its solutions, please click here.
Many programs within in the Department of Veterans Affairs received increases in their final FY 2013 spending levels (through anomalies, or spending exceptions). These final spending levels include: $75 million for approximately 10,000 new joint Department of Housing and Urban Development – Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers for chronically homeless veterans, with $245 million for case management services from VA; $300 million for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program; and $235 million for the Grant and Per Diem transitional housing program. It is important to note that these programs are also exempt from sequestration, the automatic across-the-board cuts to discretionary programs, which is a huge victory for veterans.
After FY 2013 appropriations were finalized, the Alliance launched our FY 2014 Veterans Campaign. The President released his FY 2014 Budget Proposal on April 10, in which he proposed increases for many programs within the Department of Veterans Affairs, including $278 million for case management services from VA for veterans housed using HUD-VASH vouchers and $250 million for the Grant and Per Diem transitional housing program. He also proposed $300 million for SSVF, equivalent to the final FY 2013 funding level.
On June 4, the full House approved legislation to provide funding levels for the HUD-VASH case management services, SSVF, and Grant and Per Diem programs equivalent to those proposed by the President in his FY 2014 Budget Proposal. On June 20, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved legislation to provide the same funding levels for these programs proposed by the President in his budget proposal and passed by the full House; however, the VA funding legislation unfortunately did not pass through the Senate prior to the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2013.
Congress was also unable to reach a deal on a continuing resolution (CR), or stopgap funding measure that would have temporarily funded the government at post-sequestration FY 2013 levels until an agreement was reached, as they have done in recent years. This impasse was largely due to disagreements around whether modifications to the ACA should be tied to a budget agreement. As a result of this logjam, the government partially shut down at midnight on September 30th until, with the added pressure of a looming deadline to raise the debt ceiling, Congress was able to pass a deal on October 16 that reopened the government.
This fiscal package included measures to fund the government until January 15 at post-sequestration FY 2013 levels and delay the date on which the nation will reach the debt ceiling to February 7. The package also set December 13 as the date by which lawmakers are expected to complete their conference report on an FY 2014 Budget Resolution, which will provide an outline for how federal funding will be spent. To do so, both chambers selected conferees to join a conference committee to reach a compromise between the different funding levels included in earlier House and Senate FY 2014 Budget Resolutions. Negotiations have thus far involved various strategies to reduce the nation's deficit, with Democrats pushing for the repeal of sequestration while closing loopholes in the tax code on order to finance this. It is unclear whether Republican members of the conference committee will be open to closing any of the tax loopholes, since this would constitute raising taxes.
There is currently pressure by House and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairs Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) for the conference committee to agree to a topline spending number by December 2 at the latest, in advance of the technical December 13 deadline. Expediting the process in this way would allow appropriators to conclude the long-delayed work on FY 2014 spending bills sooner, with the goal of having an omnibus bill prepared in time to meet the set January 15 deadline to prevent another federal government shutdown.
The Alliance recommends providing $1.4 billion in FY 2014 for VA’s targeted homeless veteran programs, including $300 million for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.
There are a variety of ways you can connect with us to learn more about Homeless Veterans Programs programs and how and when you can get involved: