Menendez, Booker Support McKinney-Vento and HUD-VASH

Ask HUD Appropriations
Subcommittee for Robust Funding

Senator MenendezU.S. Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez have signed on to Sen. Jack Reed’s (D-RI) “Dear Colleague” letter supporting robust funding for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants, as well as the HUD-Veterans Administration Supportive Housing (VASH) program, in fiscal year (FY) 2015.

Sen. Booker also signed on to Sen. Patrick Leahy’s “Dear Colleague” letter supporting funding the HOME (Investment Partnerships) Program with $1.2 Billion for FY 2015.

Both letters were sent to the leaders of the HUD Appropriations Subcommittee.

Senator Cory BookerWe appreciate the continued support of New Jersey’s U.S. Senators. Their leadership is critical to the important work being down to end homelessness in New Jersey!

The letter on McKinney-Vento said:

Homelessness persists as one of our nation’s most pressing social problems and has grown more challenging in the wake of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Based on the 2013 Supplemental Annual Homeless Assessment Report, which HUD released in November 2013, on any given night, 610,042 people are homeless in America. Among these people, 92,593 are chronically homeless individuals and 222,197 are persons in families. Now, more than ever, robust funding for Homeless Assistance Programs must be a priority so we can ensure that all individuals and families who are facing homelessness have a safe place to stay.

As we continue to recover from the economic downturn, it is imperative that the nation not lose ground in the struggle against homelessness, especially among Americans who have lost jobs through no fault of their own, those homeowners and families that are struggling due to the ongoing foreclosure crisis, and our veterans. Unfortunately, veterans, including those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, continue to be at a high risk of homelessness due to their elevated incidence of mental and physical injuries. As such, we also encourage the Subcommittee to provide robust funding for HUD’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program. It is imperative that we do all that we can to ensure that those who have served our country honorably do not then find themselves homeless.

The HOME letter highlighted the many benefits of the program:

HOME resources are used effectively and responsibly and continue to provide much needed funds to local communities for tenant-based rental assistance, rehabilitation of affordable rental and ownership housing, and construction of affordable housing. Additionally, the HOME program provides down-payment assistance to help creditworthy families become homeowners, and housing vouchers to low income families and those on the brink of homelessness. HOME funds often assist seniors, persons with disabilities and the homeless in ways, which directly respond to local priorities and needs.

Click here to see a list of signers of the McKinney Letter.

Click here to read the full McKinney letter.

Click here to read and view the signers of the HOME letter.