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Senate Committee Flat Funds McKinney
Recommends Homeless Demonstration Funding

US CapitalLast week, as we reported, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its fiscal year (FY) 2012 funding bill for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) which like the House HUD Appropriations Subcommittee recommended providing funding of $75 million for new HUD-VASH vouchers but did not provide an increase in funding for HUD’s McKinney-Vento program.

These federal reductions, especially when coupled with shrinking state and local budgets, will further swell the number of people experiencing and at risk of homelessness – making it all the more necessary to provide additional resources to HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program.

The Senate did recommended funding a demonstration project to improve coordination among housing and services resources. The Committee’s draft legislation would provide $5 million within HUD for payments to public housing authorities (PHAs) that partner with state and local agencies providing TANF, Medicaid, or other services through HHS, as well as Department of Education homeless liaisons, to provide housing and key support services to homeless and at-risk households.

In addition, $14.6 million would be available within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to be coordinated with HUD. These resources would aim to provide services in permanent supportive housing to chronically homeless people.

Monarch Housing Associates along with the National Alliance to End Homelessness needs your help advocating for increasing the McKinney-Vento funding level. We appreciate the increase in the funding for new HUD-VASH vouchers and the homeless demonstration, but the flat funding for HUD’s McKinney-Vento program is insufficient to meet the needs of the increasing number of people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless here in New Jersey and across the United States.

What Can You Do?

  • Call the Washington, DC offices of your Members of Congress. Ask to speak to the person who handles housing issues. Use our search engine to find who represents you with your zip code.
  • Mention how glad you were to see that both the House and Senate recommended funding for new HUD-VASH vouchers, but explain that the funding level for the McKinney-Vento program is insufficient to meet the needs in your community.
  • Request that the housing staff person ask his/her boss to contact Appropriations Committee leaders to request moving enough additional money into the FY 2012 HUD funding bill to pay for an increase in homelessness funding.

Let us and the National Alliance know which offices you contacted by emailing Kate Seif.