Federal Funding Priorities for FY2009 and their impact on Supportive Housing

On March 11, 2008 The Corporation for Supportive Housing hosted an audio conference entitled “The Future of Federal Funding for Permanent Supportive Housing: The President’s Proposed FY 2009 Budget and Supportive Housing Policy Priorities.” The panel of the audio conference presenters included:

Steve Berg, Vice President for Programs and Policy, National Alliance to End Homelessness
Elizabeth Prewitt, Director of Government Relations, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors
Carol Wilkims, Director, Intergovernmental Policy, CSH
Jordan Press, Director, Federal Policy, CSH

The following are excerpts of key items discussed on Tuesday’s audio conference.

McKinney-Vento Funding

McKinney-Vento funds in 2001 produced 11,000 new units of affordable supportive housing while 2007 McKinney-Vento funds only produced 5,500 new units of affordable, supportive housing. As the yearly renewal burden increases, without adequate funding level, fewer dollars will be available for new units.

FY 2009 Federal Budget proposes $50 million increase to $1.636 billion for McKinney Vento funding. While increases in McKinney Vento funding are welcomed, the proposed funding level will be inadequate to fund renewals as well as new projects. Funding at this level would dramatically reduce Continuums’ ability to increase Permanent Housing opportunities in their communities

It is estimated that the McKinney-Vento program will need to be funded at $2 billion dollars in FY 2009 to adequately fund renewal projects and produce 15,000 new units of supportive housing. This level of funding will put the nation back on track for creating 150,000 new units of supportive housing in ten years.

HUD-VASH Program

Details about the new homeless veterans vouchers available in the FY 2008 budget are anticipated to be released late March or early April. Vouchers under the HUD-VASH program are expected to be released quickly with the hope of getting homeless veterans in housing within a few months

The FY 2009 Federal Budget requests an additional $75 million for the HUD-VASH Program creating about 10,000 new units of supportive housing for homeless veterans

SAMHSA Funding

Funding through the SAMHSA Grants for the Benefit of Homeless Individuals & Treatment for Homeless Services programs are key sources of service funding for supportive housing projects.

Funding SAMHSA homeless grants programs at $100 million will allow communities to create supportive housing programs with adequate service provision for each unit created

Advocacy

Contact your Congressman and Senators to request support for increased funding for these key programs which create supportive housing

Key pieces of legislation to advocate for include:

Increased funding for McKinney Vento program
Increased funding for SAMHSA Homeless programs
Reauthorization of the McKinney Vento Bill
Support of the Section 8 Voucher Reform Bill (SEVRA)
Support of the National Housing Trust Fund Bill

To see CSH 2008 Federal Policy Priorities for Supportive Housing click here

To see the National Alliance to End Homelessness’ Rundown of the Administration’s FY 2009 Budget click here

For more information from the Corporation for Supportive Housing website, click here.

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