The House and Senate are making decisions right now that will have a critical impact on funding for homelessness assistance programs. In order to prevent projected increases in homelessness, we need to increase federal funding for essential programs like the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants. That is why we teamed up with the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) to sponsor a National Call-In Week happening now.
First, some background information:
With the passage of the debt ceiling bill, Congress began work in earnest on fiscal year (FY) 2012 spending. Currently, the House and Senate are in the process of making final decisions on key programs such as McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants. These final decisions are happening in conjunction with ongoing concerted efforts to cut spending and reduce the federal deficit. While homelessness programs have been fortunate enough to not have been cut, proposals so far have been to simply flat fund many of these programs, including the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants. While we are grateful that these programs are unlikely to be cut, flat funding is simply not enough. As our recent report indicates, increasing federal funding is the only viable way to prevent an increase in homelessness.
The House and Senate Appropriations Committees will be working over the coming weeks to come to an agreement on funding levels for HUD and other programs before final legislation is passed. If the final legislation includes flat funding for McKinney-Vento Grants, there won’t be enough resources to effectively support the many Americans who are among the rising numbers of those experiencing homelessness.
What You Can Do
Contact your Members of Congress this week and urge them to give as much funding as possible to HUD, including an increase to HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants. The goal of our call-in week is to convince Members of Congress to provide as much funding for HUD as possible in the short time that is left before they make final funding decisions.
It’s important that Members of Congress, especially those on the Appropriations Committees, request moving enough additional money into the FY 2012 HUD funding bill to provide for an increase in homelessness funding, and the more of their constituents that they hear from, the more likely they are to act.
For more information, or if you have questions, email Kate Seif at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some Helpful Resources: