From the National Alliance to End Homelessness:
Late last night, congressional leaders released the details of its final fiscal year (FY) 2011 funding bill. The legislation included a total of about $40 billion in cuts compared to FY 2010. Despite these cuts, it includes funding for a number of key programs related to affordable housing and homelessness, including:
- $1.905 billion for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program, a $40 million increase over FY 2010; This includes an extra $225 million for Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG), which is an extra $65 million increase over last year. This increase can go to HPRP like activities.
- $50 million for new HUD – VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program vouchers to house an estimated 7,690 additional homeless veterans;
- No funding for Housing and Services for Homeless Persons Demonstration vouchers;
- $116 million for Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs, equal to the FY 2010 level;
- $18.4 billion for Section 8 Tenant-Based Rental Assistance, enough to fund all existing vouchers; and
- $3.3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), a $650 million decrease from FY 2011
- $4.6 billion for the Public Housing Operating Fund; a $149 million decrease from FY 2010 levels, $2 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund
The Following were not listed by NAEH:
- $500 million less the Women and Infant Children nutrition program for the poor.
- $600 million less for Community Health Centers.
- $340 million more for Head Start, the early education program for children.
The full text of the legislation is available here.
What You Can Do:
- Contact the DC offices of your Senators and Representatives. Ask to speak to the person who handles housing issues. Office phone numbers can be found by dialing the congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121.
- Explain how GLAD you are to know that they are recommending INCREASING funding for McKinney-Vento and HUD-VASH programs. Mention that these funding levels, however, are insufficient to meet the need in your community, and that you hope to see significant increases in FY 2012.
- Let us know who you contacted by emailing Kate Seif at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The House is expected to vote on the legislation tomorrow, and the Senate will likely vote on the bill on Thursday.The legislation is currently expected to pass both chambers and be signed into law by the President.
Because of YOUR hard work this year, Congress is expected to approve an INCREASE in funding for McKinney-Vento programs and HUD-VASH programs. Although these funding levels are insufficient to meet the need, these increases in the face of extremely high budget cuts are a testament to what a GREAT job you have done educating Members of Congress about how important these programs are. However, we have a lot of work to do in the next couple of months as Congress begins to work on FY 2012.