As Monarch reported earlier this week, last week, the House of Representatives passed the fiscal year (FY) 2013 HUD Appropriations Act and approved the amendment to increase funding for Continuum of Care (CoC) programs by $5 million in the FY 2013 HUD Appropriations Act.
This resulted in a total of just over $2 billion for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants that, unfortunately, is not sufficient enough to maintain the current level of funding assistance for the homeless.
The House and Senate have both released their funding bills but it is still unclear when they will work out a final, compromise bill, though it is expected to be after the election.
Even though the $2 billion is a funding increase, it is in fact, really a decrease. The House bill includes $2.005 billion for HUD’s McKinney-Vento programs. While this is $104 million above the FY 2012 level, it would actually mean less money for homeless assistance programs to spend. Due to the cost of expiring multiyear contracts, this level would no be enough to maintain existing ESG activities and renew all CoC projects. This increase in funding level would actually mean a cut in the level of assistance provided to people experiencing homelessness.
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill providing $2.146 billion for HUD’s McKinney-Vento programs, which should be sufficient to maintain the existing level of assistance for people experiencing homelessness – although it is lower than the $2.231 billion requested by the Administration. The legislation has not yet passed the full Senate.
When the House and Senate eventually meet to draft a final bill, advocates will be pushing for additional funding for HUD’s McKinney-Vento programs to be a top priority for Congress.