Late last night, congressional leaders released the details of its final fiscal year (FY) 2011 funding bill. The legislation included a total of about $40 billion in cuts compared to FY 2010.
Here’s the good news: despite these cuts, the budget includes funding for a number of key programs related to affordable housing and homelessness, including:
- $1.905 billion for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program, a $40 million increase over FY 2010;
- $50 million for new HUD – VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program vouchers to house an estimated 7,690 additional homeless veterans;
- No funding for Housing and Services for Homeless Persons Demonstration vouchers;
- $116 million for Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs, equal to the FY 2010 level;
- $18.4 billion for Section 8 Tenant-Based Rental Assistance, enough to fund all existing vouchers; and
- $3.3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), a $650 million decrease from FY 2010.
The full text of the legislation is available here.
The House is expected to vote on the legislation tomorrow and the Senate will likely vote on the bill on Thursday. It’s expected to pass both houses be signed by President Obama.
We at the Alliance are grateful and excited that, amid all the talk of cuts cuts cuts, Congress recognized the importance of homeless assistance programs. Although these funding levels won’t be enough to adequately implement the HEARTH Act or meet the needs of all the people who require help, this increase in McKinney-Vento funding and the HUD-VASH grants is a testament to the congressional understanding that homeless assistance is imperative.
And finally, we’re grateful for YOUR hard work this year. Without our advocacy team educating Members of Congress about the important these programs, no such increases would’ve made it through the contentious budget process – we’re sure of that! We’re counting on you to keep up the hard work as we begin working on [very shortly!] the FY 2012 appropriations process.
To find out more about the budget and our advocacy team, please visit our website.
Photo courtesy of Ramberg Media Images.