On Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. ET, the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) will host a webinar on the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget proposal. The budget reflects the Administration’s funding priorities for the upcoming fiscal year and is meant to provide information and recommendations to Congress as it moves through the federal appropriations process.
The budget proposal is expected to be released on Monday, February 14.
The webinar will provide an overview of the federal budget process and an analysis of the Administration’s proposed funding levels for low-income housing and targeted homelessness programs.
Speakers will provide a rundown of the President’s FY 2012 budget requests, along with information on this year’s opportunities to advocate for increases to critical housing and homelessness assistance programs. The overall budget and policy outlook for the year will also be discussed.
Although there are limited details on what President Obama will propose in the budget, in his State of the Union speech he called for extending the freeze on domestic spending for five years. In addition, as we reported on January 13, 2011 – HUD Funding Threatened – perhaps the most notable request from the president to the agencies is that their FY 2012 budget requests be at least five percent less than the discretionary total provided for each agency in the FY 2011 President’s Budget Request. Obama’s FY 2011 request imposed the initial three year freeze in non-security discretionary spending; the five percent cut asked for by the administration is below that level.
The OMB Budget guidance memorandum requires departments to “identify the programs and subprograms that have the lowest impact on [each] agency’s mission and constitute at least five percent of [its] discretionary budget.”
According to the Federal Times, “the remainder of cuts ordered by former OMB director Orszag — approximately $22 billion — will come from a 5 percent cut in discretionary spending at non-security agencies. Departments that would be hardest hit are Health and Human Services ($4.1 billion), Transportation ($4.0 billion), Education ($2.5 billion), Housing and Urban Development ($2.1 billion) and Justice ($1.4 billion).”
With depressed wages, stagnant unemployment, unrelenting housing cost burden, and the lagging pace of the economic recovery this is not the time to be making dramatic cuts in federal spending that directly impacts the lives of the most vulnerable. Balancing the budget at this time could bring about increases in homelessness and a heightened risk of homelessness for more and more Americans.
We strongly encourage you to participate in NAEH’s February 15th webinar.