Hill Update: Donovan Supports
Last April 2, 2014, the House and Senate Transportation, Housing, Urban Development and Related Agencies (T-HUD) subcommittees held hearings on the proposed FY 2015 funding for programs under their jurisdictions.
During the hearing, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan outlined the key goals of the proposed FY 2015 HUD budget and responded to subcommittee members’ questions about HUD’s proposal to shift funding for all Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) renewals to a calendar year. At both hearings, members remarked positively on HUD’s progress on homelessness.
Secretary Donovan’s testimony spoke about Preventing and Ending Homelessness:
Nowhere is the relationship between housing and supportive services clearer than in the successful efforts in communities around the country to address homelessness, which have led to a 24 percent reductions in veterans’ homelessness and a 16% reduction in chronic homelessness since 2010. Additionally, this work has yielded a substantial body of research, which demonstrates that providing permanent supportive housing to chronically homeless individuals and families not only ends their homelessness, but also yields substantial cost saving in public health, criminal justice, and other systems. This year’s Budget once again invests in this critical effort, by providing $2.4 billion in Homeless Assistance Grants. This funding level will support competitive programs that annually serve over 800,000 homeless families and individuals, and create 37,000 beds of permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless persons to reach the goal of ending chronic homelessness in 2016. This includes funding for the Emergency Solutions Grants program, which will continue the work of the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program.
Moreover, HUD continues to focus on the unique needs of veterans through both its targeted homeless programs and its mainstream housing programs using successful methods and interventions. Currently, an estimated one out of every six men and women in our nation’s homeless shelters are veterans, and veterans are 50 percent more likely to fall into homelessness compared to other Americans. HUD is committed to providing affordable housing units to this unique homeless population, and has partnered with the Department Veterans Affairs (VA) to develop targeted approaches to serve the homeless veteran populations. Accordingly, this Budget includes $75 million for the HUD-VASH program, which combines tenant-based voucher assistance with case management and clinical services tailored to veterans and their families. This funding will provide 10,000 new vouchers to help veterans move from our streets into permanent supportive housing, in addition to the more than 62,000 already allocated HUD-VASH vouchers provided in previous appropriations and 10,000 to be allocated in 2014, all of which have been critical to the reduction in veterans’ homelessness.
Click here for Secretary Donovan’s Senate hearing testimony.
Click here for Secretary Donovan’s House hearing testimony.