Over the next couple of weeks, the new Congress will be preparing FY 2011 funding bills. The federal fiscal year began in October, but the federal budget for the current year is still not complete. Although a concrete, official proposal has not yet been created, House leaders have called for cutting funding to most federal programs back to FY 2008 levels – a plan that the National Alliance to End Homelessness estimates would result in over 200,000 additional people homeless who would otherwise be housed under the most recent official FY 2011 congressional proposals.
FY 2008 level funding would be DISASTROUS for several of the key programs we care about – most notably, McKinney-Vento. The FY 2008 level for McKinney-Vento of $1.586 billion would not even cover the estimated $1.75 billion for simply renewing existing projects in FY 2011 (CoC renewals + ESG) – let alone have any money left over for new CoC projects, the expanded ESG program to provide prevention and rapid re-housing assistance and begin to replace HPRP, or other HEARTH implementation efforts.
In order to prevent these drastic cuts in a time of increasing need due to the recession, we MUST act NOW. Right now, efforts should focus primarily on the House; we’ll work on the Senate in the coming weeks.
- Contact the housing staff member in your Representative’s DC office RIGHT AWAY. Go to www.wheredoivotema.com to find your federal Rep. Look for the person in the category “Congressional.”
- Email or fax the staff member a letter asking his/her boss to support the funding levels below. Use the attached sample letter and/or talking points as a guide. Personalize as much as possible. Explain how important these programs are for your community’s work to end homelessness.
- $2.2 billion for HUD’s McKinney-Vento program;
- 10,000 vouchers through the proposed “Housing and Services for Homeless Persons Demonstration;” and
You can find a letter template here.
- Ask colleagues, friends, and others to also send letters to their Representative(s).
- Let Jeff know by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) who you contacted and what kind of response you received.
Please note that we have put together a website for FY 2011 advocacy in the new Congress: http://www.endhomelessness.org/content/article/detail/3671.