Urge Senate THUD Leadership To Protect and Expand S +C Vouchers
Please join Monarch Housing Associates in signing a letter urging Senate THUD Appropriation Chair Patty Murray and Ranking Member Susan Collins to increase funding for the Homelessness Assistance Grants in the FY2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations in the bill that they are currently crafting.
The House Appropriations Committee approved a spending bill for HUD that would flat fund Homelessness Assistance Grant programs, making it more difficult for communities and housing providers to maintain their existing programs and not allow them to serve additional homeless individuals and families.
The deadline to sign the letter in support of Shelter + Care and homeless assistance grants is noon on Thursday May 30th. You can click here to sign on your organization.
The letter states:
The undersigned organizations are developers, housing providers and lenders that for decades have created and maintained permanent supportive housing through the use of the Shelter Plus Care (S+C) Rental Assistance Program. When Congress wrote and passed HEARTH Act in 2009, it provided a powerful tool to local homeless planning organizations, known as Continuum of Care, to stimulate supportive housing development: long-term rental assistance contracts with a fifteen year commitment. Owners of S+C properties were able to convert their initial contracts to 15-year terms, subject to annual appropriations.
Housing providers have used these rental assistance contracts to leverage private investment through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) to build or rehabilitate a property to provide homes for people with disabilities who are experiencing homelessness. Up to three years ago, these contracts were renewed annually. Now, while HUD prioritizes these programs highly, budget cuts have imposed uncertainty on the program that the 15-year term was meant to fix. We are concerned that the House bill is insufficient to renew all existing Homeless Assistance Grants, and that more homeless housing units will be lost.
Communities across the country are committed to ending chronic homelessness. If the existing properties are lost, it will be difficult to continue to reduce chronic homelessness and those relying on the properties will be forced into emergency shelters or other temporary and precarious housing situations. We fully appreciate and understand the difficult budgetary decisions you must make to craft a well-balanced bill that protects the most vulnerable populations. We hope that your bill will reject the House funding level for the Homelessness Assistance programs and increase funding in order to fully renew all existing Shelter Plus Care contracts and create additional units to help communities continue to work towards ending chronic homelessness.
The only way to ensure that we can continue to end homelessness in NJ, we need a Senate bill will reject the House funding level for the Homelessness Assistance programs and increase funding in order to fully renew all existing Shelter Plus Care contracts and create additional units to help communities continue to work towards ending chronic homelessness.