Remind Your Congress Members That
Voucher and Homelessness Assistance Funding is Critical
On May 13, 2015, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) Appropriations Subcommittee marked up its THUD Appropriations bill in the Full House Appropriations Subcommittee. The bill passed out of the committee on a bi-partisan vote.
A few housing amendments were offered.
- Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) offered an amendment that would provide funding for 37,000 Special Purpose Vouchers, including vouchers targeted at helping homeless families, veterans regardless of discharge status, Family Unification Program (FUP) vouchers and victims of domestic violence.
- While the amendment failed, Rep. Diaz-Balart (R-FL) said he would work with her as the bill moves to the House floor. The House Report contains language that asks that HUD work with Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) to enable them to target vouchers upon turn over to these populations.
- Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) offered an amendment that would increase funding for the HOME program and eliminate the language in the bill that would shift funding from the National Housing Trust Fund to the HOME program. This amendment failed.
The legislation includes a total of $42 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, an increase of $1 billion above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $3 billion below the request.
- Section 8 and Public Housing – Included in the bill is $26.8 billion for Public and Indian Housing. This is an increase of $353 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $2 billion below the requested level. This funding will continue assistance to all families and individuals currently served by this program.
- Other housing programs within the bill are funded at $11.3 billion – an increase of $947 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level.
- The bulk of this increase is needed to provide a full year of funding on all project-based rental assistance contracts and continue assistance to all those currently served by these programs.
- In addition, the bill provides a program level of $461 million for Housing for the Elderly, $41 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level, and
- $152 million for Housing for Persons with Disabilities, an increase of $17 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level.
- Community Planning and Development – The bill contains $6.4 billion for Community Planning and Development programs – $85.6 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level.
- The Community Development Block Grant formula program is funded at $3 billion – the same as last year’s level.
- The HOME Investment Partnerships Program is also funded at the fiscal year 2015 level of $900 million.
- Homeless Assistance Grants are funded at $2.2 billion, an increase of $50 million over the fiscal year 2015 enacted level – which will enable the renewal of all projects meeting performance standards.
Now is the time to reach out to your member to tell him or her about the critical importance of housing programs, including the Housing Choice Voucher and McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance Programs and how increased funding will enable communities to meet their local goals of ending homelessness. Please urge your member to increase funding for vouchers and homelessness assistance on the House floor.
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Click here for the House Report.