Archive for July 30th, 2010

30th July
written by Catherine An

House Approves $2.2 Billion for McKinney-Vento, $75 Million for VASH

Last night, the House approved H.R. 5850, the fiscal year (FY) 2011 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (T-HUD) Appropriations Bill. The bill includes a number of provisions to help people experiencing homelessness.

Although a proposed amendment to the bill would have eliminated funding for the HUD – Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program, the amendment was eventually withdrawn. As a result of YOUR help in making phone calls to your representatives, the final bill includes $75 million for HUD-VASH.

In addition to funding for HUD-VASH, the legislation includes:

  • $2.2 billion for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants (an 18 percent increase over FY 2010);
  • $17.080 billion for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance renewals (a $740.8 million increase over FY 2010), including:
  • $85 million for 10,000 housing vouchers for the Housing and Services for Homeless Persons Demonstration;
  • $350 million for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program (a $15 million increase over FY 2010);
  • $4.829 billion for the Public Housing Operating Fund (a $54 million increase over FY 2010); and
  • $2.5 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund (no change from FY 2010).

The House approved $2.2 billion in funding for McKinney-Vento programs due to all of YOUR hard work. Although we need $2.4 billion to fully implement the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act, we need to let our representatives know how appreciative we are to them for providing an 18 percent increase for McKinney-Vento programs.

Check the House Appropriations Committee website for more information on H.R. 5850.

Again – none of this could’ve happened without YOU. Our federal representatives need to hear what you think so they can do their job of representing our interests and priorities. So thanks for all your hard work!

Up next? The Senate – stay tuned!

30th July
written by Marisa Seitz

As the end date for possible extension of the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund draws ever nearer, we hear more and more pleas for Congress to pass funds for this important program that has done so much in helping end and prevent homelessness.

Related: The Wall Street Journal talked this week about the federal poverty level, an important measurement that helps us understand more about how many people could be at risk for homelessness. We’re pleased to see that notable news organizations and important thinkers are paying attention to the state of poverty and vulnerability of so many Americans.

Especially because it seems like the problem is prevalent: a startling statistic came out of Indiana this week. According to AP writer Ken Kusmer the number of homeless students has increased 26 percent in the state since 2006-07. We saw a string of similar stories in the year – is this a resurgence of that trend?

Which doesn’t mean there’s isn’t help to be had. The Pittsburg Post-Gazette wrote this week about how HPRP funds are being used prevent evictions in Westmoreland County, PA, and the Sequim Gazette wrote about great homeless assistance work in Clallam County – work that was highlighted at the Alliance’s national conference in July as one of five high-performing counties in preventing and ending homelessness. Great work!

And finally – the big news – the danger posed on the House T-HUD spending bill – we called it H.R. 5850 yesterday, has passed. The members withdrew their Amendment so the bill will go through as intended. An advocacy alert is going out shortly (to receive it, sign up) and details will follow today on this blog.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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