Budget Outlook Uncertain for 2013
Now is the time to organize
On July 17, 2012, an expert housing policy and advocacy panel updated attendees at the National Alliance to End Homelessness’ annual conference in Washington, DC on the federal budgets impact on ending homelessness.
- Steve Berg, National Alliance to End Homelessness, Washington, DC (Speaker/Moderator)
- Linda Couch, National Low Income Housing Coalition, Washington, DC
- Meaghan McCarthy, Senate Transportation – HUD Appropriations Subcommittee, Washington, DC
- Douglas Rice, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, Washington, DC
Some bad news was that the impact of the January 2012 8.4% reduction in across the board cuts will include:
- A loss in funding for Section 8 vouchers for 185,000 families; and
- A possible cut to homeless assistance of $180 million which would leave funding just $65 million above the 2012 funding level.
But there was also good news. This year, there is full funding for ending homelessness for veterans. Said Steve Berg, “We are looking at a time in a few years when it will be very hard to find a homeless vet.”
Given the difficult federal budget situation including the issues around sequestration, advocates were encouraged to:
- Think about the bigger picture;
- Talk to members of Congress about what progress is needed to end homelessness and educate them about what programs are working to end homelessness;
- Make sure members know that McKinney programs are helping very needy people, that the programs work and that ending homelessness is a priority that everyone in both parties should agree on; and
- Get involved in the Alliance’s site visit campaign when members are back in the districts in August and for long weekends throughout the campaign season.