Thanks to a tremendous amount of work by advocates in New Jersey and across the country, the Senate is proposing the largest one-year increase to HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants in nearly 20 years.
Yesterday afternoon, the Senate HUD Appropriations Subcommittee released its proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2013 funding for HUD programs, including McKinney-Vento. The legislation would include $2.15 billion for HUD’s McKinney-Vento programs – a $245 million increase. This funding level would include $286 million for the Emergency Solutions Grant program.
And there is even more good news! The Subcommittee also approved $75 million for approximately 10,000 new HUD-VASH vouchers in FY 2013. This is the same amount requested by the President in his Budget Proposal released in mid-February. In her opening statement, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) noted that ending veteran homelessness was a priority for her and the Subcommittee. With the additional vouchers, there will be a total of almost 57,000 vouchers allocated, which brings us closer to ending chronic homelessness among veterans.
Click here for a summary of the Subcommittee funding bill.
Advocates sent hundreds of letters and made dozens and dozens of phone call and the Senate heard us! Their commitment to prioritizing efforts to prevent and end homelessness speaks volumes about the value they place on the work we all do every day to address the problem.
However, this is just one step in a long process before final legislation is produced and sent to President Obama for his signature. With the President’s requested funding level of $2.231 billion, we would be able to make even further progress on HEARTH implementation.
Please continue to work with Monarch Housing Associates and the National Alliance to End Homelessness (the Alliance) to contact your senators and let them know how happy you were to see this increase and their commitment to the issue. Tell them that you hope they’ll work throughout the rest of the appropriations process to provide the full amount requested by the President – $2.231 billion.
Here’s What You Can Do:
Contact the housing staffers in your Senators’ Washington, DC offices. Click here for contact list that includes the names of and phone numbers and email addresses of their housing staffers.
Explain how thrilled you were to see the $245 million increase for HUD’s McKinney-Vento programs in the FY 2013 HUD Appropriations Act and how important these programs are to your community. Ask that the senator work throughout the remainder of the appropriations process to provide the full $330 million increase requested by the President. Click here for talking points.