Policy Priorities

Each year, the Alliance develops a set of core policy priorities to guide our work. These priorities were updated in February 2015.

Federal Policy Priorities
February 2015

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.


Provide $2.480 billion for the Homeless Assistance Grants program within HUD in FY 2016 to:

  • Cover the cost of renewing and expanding investments for permanent supportive housing — a proven, cost-efficient solution to chronic homelessness;
    • Including creating 25,500 new units of permanent supportive housing (PSH) to allow communities to end chronic homelessness by the end of 2017;
  • Continue investments in the cost-efficient interventions of homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing
    • Including through providing at least $250 million for the Emergency Solutions Grant; and
    • Providing funding for 15,000 new rapid re-housing interventions though the Continuum of Care
  • 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 $1.6 billion in FY 2016 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;
    • $321 million from VA for the case management portion of the joint HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) voucher program; and
    • $252 million for the Grant and Per Diem program.
  • 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 $21.1 billion for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers in FY 2016
  • Undo the downsizing of the Section 8 program imposed by sequestration by funding 67,000 new vouchers to house the most vulnerable people, including approximately:
    • 22,500 new rental vouchers for people experiencing homelessness or domestic violence.
    • 5,000 new vouchers for victims of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
    • 2,500 new vouchers for the Family Unification Program.
  • 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 increase funding for 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 2016 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;
  • Extend mandatory funding for Community Health Centers and Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) programs;
  • Protect reforms under the Affordable Care Act including the expansion of Medicaid in states opting to expand;
  • Expand funding in FY 2016 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.


  • 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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