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McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants
|HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program represents the primary source of federal funding for programs serving people experiencing homelessness. In 2009, the HEARTH Act made significant improvements to this program, though securing funding for implementation is still ongoing.|
In the President's Budget Proposal, the Administration proposed funding McKinney-Vento programs at $2.381 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2014 - a nearly 19 percent increase over the final FY 2013 level. This would include $346 million for the Emergency Solutions Grant, enough funding to cover the renewal demand, and some funding for new CoC projects.
On June 27, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) bill to provide funding for programs within the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development for FY 2014, which would have provided $2.26 billion for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program. This would have included $336 million for ESG programs and covered all renewals, but probably would not have provided any funding for new projects. The same day, the House Appropriations Committee approved similar legislation to provide $2.088 billion for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program, which would have included at least $200 million for ESG programs and covered all FY 2013 renewals, but would not have provided enough funding to return to FY 2012 levels prior to sequestration.
Unfortunately, due in large part to poor timing, the FY 2014 HUD funding legislation did not pass through either full chamber of Congress prior to the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2013. Due to disagreements around whether modifications to the ACA should be tied to a budget agreement, 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. Therefore, the government partially shut down at midnight on September 30 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 need to address 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, and the conference committee chairs have signaled that in order to increase the likelihood of coming to an agreement they are now striving toward a relatively modest goal, which would likely involve financing a partial easing of both FY 2014 and FY 2015 sequestration cuts by raising revenue through increasing various federal fees and making cuts to some federal benefits. It remains unclear whether any more controversial deficit reduction strategies, such as closing loopholes in the tax code or making cuts to entitlement programs, will ultimately be included in the agreement.
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 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 (including the one that funds the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program) 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. In the case that the conference committee fails to reach an agreement, plans are underway in the House to introduce a full-year FY 2014 continuing resolution (CR), or stopgap funding measure, at the relatively low $967 billion topline spending level outlined in the initial House FY 2014 Budget Resolution. The $967 billion level of spending would result in dramatic cuts to many HUD programs.
HUD released the interim Continuum of Care (CoC) rule on July 14, 2012. The interim rule went into effect on August 30, and the public comment period closed on November 16, 2012. For further information on the interim rule, please click here. For further information on the Emergency Solutions Grant interim rule released in December, please click here.
About McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants
To get involved in advocacy efforts to secure funding for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants for FY 2014, please click here!