We wanted to share this summary of the funding that was approved in the FY 2008 Budget for permanent, affordable and supportive housing for the homeless. The list was prepared by Sarah Kahn of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. This is a significant accomplishment in a budget year that appeared at one time to be a disaster in the making. this is a a solid foundation that should make it possible in 2008 to make significant strides toward ending homelessness in New Jersey!
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is funded at $37.6 billion, an increase of $1.4 billion over last year’s level and $2 billion more than the President’s request.
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants are funded at $1.586 billion, including $25 million for a rapid housing initiative for homeless families. This is a $144 million, or 10 percent, increase over current funding.
The bill appropriates $135 million for new Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers: approximately 8,000 vouchers for homeless veterans through the HUD- Veterans Affairs Supported Housing program; 4,000 vouchers targeted to non-elderly, people with a disability; and 2,800 vouchers for the Family Unification Program. These are the first new vouchers appropriated since 2002.
The Project Based Rental Assistance Program is funded at $6.139 billion – a $406 million increase over current funding.
The bill includes $300 million for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with Aids program – a $14 million increase over last year’s level.
Public Housing received a $647 million increase and is funded at $12.878 billion.
Unfortunately, the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG formula grants) program received a lower funding level than in the earlier conference agreement. The program is funded at $3.593 billion which is $118 million less than the fiscal year 2007 level.
The appropriation for the Department of Health and Human Services includes an additional $9 million for the Grants for the Benefit of Homeless Individuals (GBHI) program, a 20 PERCENT INCREASE over last year; and a $10.5 million increase for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program. (Note: these numbers reflects a 1.7 percent across-the-board cut of the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill.)