On May 7, 2014 the House Appropriations Subcommittee on released its fiscal year (FY) 2015 funding bill for programs under its jurisdiction, including all programs within HUD. The bill cuts funding for homelessness assistance and affordable housing to the bones.
Please call your Representative today and tell him that HUD’s McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Grants, the Housing Choice Voucher program and other affordable housing programs need more money!
More specifically, the legislation:
Includes $2.105 billion for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants, the same amount as last year and $300 below the level proposed by the Administration. Simply put, this funding level is unacceptable. Due to expiring multi-year grants and increased renewal demand, a $2.105 billion funding level would result in funding cuts to Continuums of Care. Communities would be required to once again make the difficult tiering/prioritization decisions they made for the FY 2013 NOFA. Flat funding for McKinney would mean a step back in our efforts to prevent and end homelessness in America.
Likely provides too little money to renew all of the Housing Choice Vouchers that low-income families will use this year. The bill’s $328 million funding increase to renew existing vouchers would only cover the cost of new vouchers that Congress funded in 2014 for homeless veterans and families that recently lost other housing assistance. It wouldn’t be enough to continue all vouchers funded in 2014 unless local housing agencies freeze the dollar value of their vouchers despite rising rents in many markets, forcing cash-strapped residents to pay even more to remain in their homes. Moreover, the bill locks in place the loss of at least 40,000 housing vouchers that were cut last year due to sequestration and not funded this year.
Here’s What You Can Do:
Call your Representatives’ offices TODAY! Ask to speak to the person who handles housing issues. You can click here for a list of phone numbers and email addresses for the housing staffers in the DC offices.
Ask them to urge their boss to provide increases for homeless assistance, the Housing Choice Voucher program and other affordable housing programs in the final FY 2015 funding legislation. Tell them that the negative impact flat funding would have on your community’s programs.
Click here for more background on what is wrong with the funding bill.