Increased Funding for McKInney-Vento Homeelssness Grants Would Allow NJ to Make Significant Progress Towards Ending Homelessness
The National Alliance to End Homelessness (the Alliance) has an aggressive plan for its work with the U.S. Congress through the end of the year. U.S. Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-R-11) and U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez (NJ-D) are key targets in New Jersey.
You can help increase funding for the McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance Grant Program by taking a minute today to sign letters to Senators Booker and Menendez and, if you live in the 11th district, Representative Frelinghuysen.
The letter asks our elected officials in Washington to support a $217 million increase to $2.6 billion in FY 18 funding for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program would house approximately 40,000 more people than last year nationally.
The Alliance’s priority is the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Homeless Assistance account, which includes funding for the Continuum of Care and for Emergency Solutions Grants.
To date, in bills based on very low levels of overall spending, the House Committee has kept funding the same as last year, and the Senate has produced a bill with a modest increase.
Unfortunately, these funding levels are insufficient – the too low funding levels keep the programs at their current capacity, but don’t consider the increased need for assistance.
Recent data shows more people become homeless every day, due to rising rents and increasing evictions. HUD’s Homeless Assistance account, which funds our highly effective crisis response system, needs expanded capacity to meet this expanded demand.
Fortunately, there’s a good chance that Congress will make a new budget deal, making more money available overall for HUD and other programs. The need for more homelessness funding, as well as more funding for other programs at HUD and elsewhere, is helping drive that effort forward.
We expect a final decision on funding levels for Fiscal Year 2018 to be made around mid-December. It will be important to act earlier than that, as House and Senate offices are already making decisions about which problems with the current House and Senate bills they will try to fix.