Policy Priorities

Each year, the Alliance develops a set of core policy priorities to guide our work. These priorities were updated in March 2014.

Federal Policy Priorities
March 2014

To expand successful efforts to prevent and end homelessness in communities across the country, the Alliance is devoted to working with the Administration, Congress, and our local, state, and national partners to improve federal policies that will prevent and end homelessness.

       Top Policy Priorities for Work with Congress

Provide $2.405 billion for the Homeless Assistance Grants program within HUD in FY 2015 to:

  • Cover the cost of renewing and expanding investments for permanent supportive housing and rapid re-housing—proven, cost-efficient solutions to homelessness;
    • Including funds necessary to allow communities to end chronic homelessness by the end of 2016;
  • Continue investments in the cost-efficient interventions of homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing through the Emergency Solutions Grants program;
    • Including the expanded funds for the Emergency Solutions Grant; and
  • Further implement the bipartisan HEARTH Act of 2009, which reauthorized these programs and increased their focus on performance-driven decisions, systems coordination, and proven solutions. 

Fund Department of Veteran Affairs homeless assistance programs at the level necessary to house every homeless veteran by the end of 2015 and empower a system that ensures that there is never another homeless veteran:

  • Provide $75 million for  new HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers in FY 2015 to house an estimated 10,000 additional chronically homeless veterans;
  • Provide $1.6 billion in FY 2015 to support VA’s efforts to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015, including $500 million for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program; and
  • Protect and increase funding for the Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program (HVRP) within DOL to ensure that veterans experiencing homelessness have access to needed training and employment services.

Increase HUD’s ability to serve and stably house low-income individuals:

  • Provide $20 billion for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers in FY 2015 and enact Section 8 voucher reform legislation;              
    • Undo the downsizing of the Section 8 program imposed by sequestration and work to house the most vulnerable people;
  • Protect key HUD programs that help families and individuals to access affordable housing; and
  • Increase access to permanent, affordable housing for extremely low-income individuals and families by modernizing the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) and using savings to capitalize and fund the National Housing Trust Fund.

Increase the capacity of Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs through reauthorization and funding to:

  • Expand the use of innovative and evidence-based family intervention models to support family reunification;
  • Build on existing investments in programs serving runaway and homeless youth;
  • Improve crisis response and early intervention approaches;
  • Expand the reach and availability of transitional living programs to provide more youth with a stable housing foundation to act as a basis for achieving economic independence; and
  • Expand data and research on the nature and extent of homelessness among unaccompanied youth, to improve outcomes for these vulnerable young people.

Increase the availability of services linked to housing for people experiencing homelessness:

  • Protect funding in FY 2015 for the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program, and for services in supportive housing within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) administered by HHS;
  • Expand the federal investment in Community Health Centers and Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) programs;
  • Expand funding in FY 2015 for the Department of Justice (DOJ) Second Chance Act grant programs to prevent homelessness for people leaving corrections facilities; and
  • Protect the Violence Against Women Act programs within DOJ and include a stronger focus on connecting survivors of domestic violence with permanent housing resources.

Further implement the bipartisan HEARTH Act of 2009, which reauthorized these programs and increased their focus on performance-driven decisions, systems coordination, and proven solutions.Provide $2.381 billion for the Homeless Assistance Grants program within HUD in FY 2014 to:

  • Continue investments in the cost-efficient interventions of homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing through the Emergency Solutions Grants program, including the expanded funds for the Emergency Solutions Grant and the high-need urban community initiative;
  • Further implement the bipartisan HEARTH Act of 2009, which reauthorized these programs and increased their focus on performance-driven decisions, systems coordination, and proven solutions; and
  • Cover the cost of renewing and expanding investments for permanent supportive housing and rapid re-housing: proven, cost-efficient solutions to homelessness.

Increase the capacity of the federal government to prevent and end homelessness among veterans:

  • Provide $1.4 billion in FY 2014 to support VA’s efforts to end veteran homelessness by 2015, including $300 million for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program;
  • Provide $75 million for new HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers in FY 2014 to house an estimated 11,000 additional chronically homeless veterans; and
  • Protect and increase funding for the Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program (HVRP) within Department of Labor to ensure that veterans experiencing homelessness have access to needed training and employment services.

Increase HUD’s ability to serve and stably house low-income individuals:

  • Provide $20 billion for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers in FY 2014 and pass and enact Section 8 voucher reform legislation;
  • Protect key HUD programs that help families and individuals to access affordable housing; and
  • Increase access to permanent, affordable housing for extremely low-income individuals and families by modernizing the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) and using savings to capitalize and fund the National Housing Trust Fund.

Increase the capacity of Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs through reauthorization and funding to:

  • Expand the use of innovative and evidence-based family intervention models to support family reunification;
  • Build on existing investments in programs serving runaway and homeless youth;
  • Improve crisis response and early intervention approaches;
  • Expand the reach and availability of transitional living programs to provide more youth with a stable housing foundation to act as a basis for achieving economic independence; and
  • Expand data and research on the nature and extent of homelessness among unaccompanied youth, to improve outcomes for these vulnerable young people.

Increase the availability of services linked to housing for people experiencing homelessness:

  • Protect funding in FY 2014 for the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program, and for services in supportive housing within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) administered by HHS;
  • Expand the federal investment in Community Health Centers and Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) programs;
  • Expand funding in FY 2014 for the Department of Justice (DOJ) Second Chance Act grant programs to prevent homelessness for people leaving corrections facilities; and
  • Protect the Violence Against Women Act programs within DOJ to include a stronger focus on connecting survivors of domestic violence with permanent housing resources.

 

Top Policy Priorities for Work with the Administration

• Implement the HEARTH Act, which reauthorizes HUD’s Homeless Assistance Grants program;
• Improve knowledge about youth homelessness and its solutions;
• Administer federal health care provisions to aggressively support programs for low-income at-risk populations;
• Dramatically expand VA’s work at the local level to end homelessness among veterans;
• Enhance the ability of the TANF program to prevent and end homelessness for low-income families and unaccompanied youth; and
• Improve the ability of the child welfare system to prevent homelessness.

 

 

 

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