The bill, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, was negotiated by Rep. Rogers and Sen. Mikulski working within the $1.012 trillion discretionary spending cap and guidelines set by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) in the Bipartisan Budget Act of December 2013. The bill repeals the Murray-Ryan provision to cut cost of living adjustments for disabled military retirees and survivors.
The omnibus appropriations bill is expected to pass through the House and Senate and be signed into law by this Saturday’s deadline.
The McKinney-Vento program received $2.105 billion, which represents a nine (9%) or $176 million INCREASE for the program over the post-sequester FY 2013 amount of $1.929 billion. This funding level includes at least $250 million for ESG, which will allow communities to recoup some of their ESG losses from 2013 and expand their rapid re-housing and prevention work. By our and NAEH’s estimates, this funding level will include enough funding to cover all FY 2013 CoC renewals – but no more. This level will NOT allow us to regain lost funding from the FY 2013 NOFA (on which many of you are currently working), but only hold even. If there is any money left over from covering CoC renewals, it will go toward ESG. Essentially this means that there will be absolutely no extra funding available in the FY 2014 NOFA for CoCs, other than the cost of renewals. There will, however, be additional funds for ESG.
In addition, the omnibus funding bill includes language allowing nonprofits to administer rental assistance with FY 2012 – FY 2014 funds.
The legislation of course includes funding for numerous other federal programs impacting homeless and at-risk people, including:
$19.1 billion for HUD’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, also known as tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA), representing a $1.412 billion increase over FY 2013 levels;
Including $75 million for new joint Department of Housing and Urban Development – Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers;
$4.4 billion for HUD’s Public Housing Operating Fund, representing a $346 million increase over FY 2013 levels;
$114.141 million for Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), representing a $4.141 million increase over FY 2013 levels;
$64.794 million for the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program within HHS, representing a $2.794 million increase over FY 2013 levels;
$74.562 million for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) homeless services programs within HHS, representing an $8.562 million increase over FY 2013 levels;
$38.109 million for the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) within the Department of Labor, representing a $2.109 million increase over FY 2013 levels; and
$1.39 billion for programs within the Department of Veterans Affairs specifically targeted to eliminate homelessness among veterans, representing a $38 million increase over FY 2013 levels;
Including $278 million for the case management portion of the HUD-VASH vouchers.
Please note that the FY 2013 funding levels referenced above indicate post-sequestration levels.
Once the omnibus bill has been approved in both chambers, Congress is expected to depart for recess for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. Congress is expected to reconvene on Monday, January 27.