Now is the Time to Ensure That
Does Not Become Our New Reality
It has become easy over the past few years to ignore our repeated cry for help to join the effort to let our congressional delegation know how critical it is to increase funding for McKinney Vento programs. Year after year, we ask you to fight for increased funding and warn that critical cuts to the programs you rely on to house the homeless in your community are imminent. Yet, not much changes and still, new funding comes into the state and we make steady progress at ending homelessness.
And this year, the message does not seem much different except that this year we are fighting for a piece of an ever shrinking pie which means that if McKinney Vento is not adequately funded, this could be the year that we see Continuum of Care funded programs actually face being defunded. This could literally mean that providers will have to make very tough decisions, scramble for alternative funding and sadly and ultimately, turn people out back into homelessness. And New Jersey communities would also lose the opportunity to apply for funding for new projects or further HEARTH implementations.
We know how to end homelessness in New Jersey and Monarch Housing is proud to be your partner in this effort. For example,
- We learned in March of this year that communities working with Monarch accounted for 16 of the 19 counties receiving funds for new projects and that those counties secured $10 million in new funds; and
- New Jersey’s total 2011 award was 7.2% higher than the total 2010 award of $38,417,591, which had been New Jersey’s most successful year to date.
What would it mean if the dollar amounts and percentages told a much different picture next year? What would it mean to your community if no new funding for permanent housing came in to your area next year? What would it mean to the homeless individuals and families who you serve? If New Jersey counties had received no new funding last year, that would have left 393 individuals and families experiencing homelessness living in shelters or on the streets. And what if we had to add to that number by telling people living in transitional and permanent housing that they no longer had a place to live?
On June 5, 2012, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (T-HUD) approved its funding bill for fiscal year (FY) 2013.
The legislation includes $2 billion for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants. While this is nearly $100 million above the FY 2012 level, the Alliance estimates that it would not be sufficient to fund all Continuum of Care (CoC) renewals and maintain the existing level of Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) activities.
As a result, the Alliance estimates that more than 25,000 people across the country would be homeless instead of housed under this legislation.
So, will this be the year when you join our efforts? Click here for a contact list for our congressional delegation, make a call to the housing staffer of your representative and:
- Express your appreciation that House’s FY 2013 HUD Appropriations Act includes strong funding levels for HUD-VASH and other key affordable housing programs but;
- Explain that you were EXTREMELY disappointed to see that the legislation would make more than 25,000 additional people homeless instead of housed; and
- Urge the representative to contact leaders of the HUD Appropriations Committee to express his/her support for providing the Administration’s requested funding level of $2.231 billion for HUD’s McKinney-Vento programs.