Congress is continuing to work on funding for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program for FY 2011. As you may remember, the House recommended funding McKinney-Vento programs at $2.2 billion – an 18 percent increase over FY 2010! The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended a 10 percent increase to $2.055 billion.
There is TREMENDOUS pressure on Congress to cut overall spending this year. As a result, there will be a LOT of pressure to REDUCE the proposed increases to McKinney-Vento programs. However, we need a large increase this year to help us implement the HEARTH Act, which changes the way McKinney-Vento funds are allocated.
To make sure communities can better implement the HEARTH Act, we MUST get Congress to provide McKinney-Vento programs with the $2.2 billion recommended by the House, instead of the lower Senate recommendation of $2.055 billion. Please see below for more details on what you can do and the latest news on appropriations legislation.
Homes for Families is asking those who want to see an end to family homelessness to call their US Representatives and Senators and say “Please fund McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance Grants Programs at $2.2 billion.”
To find your members in Congress go to www.wheredoivotema.com and look for “US Senator” and “Congressional.”
In September, Congress passed a “continuing resolution” (CR) to act as a stopgap funding bill to temporarily fund federal programs at the same level as in FY 2010. Staff members of the HUD Appropriations Committees in the House and Senate are meeting RIGHT NOW to draft a final compromise bill and the funding level for McKinney-Vento programs in FY 2011.
Rather than passing separate appropriations bills for HHS, HUD, and other departments, Congress is likely to pass a SINGLE piece of appropriations legislation (known as an “omnibus bill”) to fund all federal discretionary spending programs at once. This may happen during a “lame-duck” session in November or December after the election, or it may be pushed back to early 2011 and the new Congress. Either way, though, Congress is ALREADY working on the final omnibus bill. It’s important to ask our senators and representatives to let the HUD Appropriations Committee know that McKinney-Vento funding is a priority, no matter how much pressure there is to cut overall spending.