As House and Senate Debate HUD Funding Bills, Programs Serving the Most Vulnerable are on the Line
Both the House and Senate are currently debating the HUD Appropriations Bill (known as T-HUD) for Fiscal Year 2014. As we previously reported, the base Senate bill funds HUD programs at significantly higher levels than the House bill. For this reason CSH supports the Senate bill, and opposes the House bill in its current form. (See the Campaign for Housing and Community Development letter that CSH signed).
We are also monitoring several amendments on both bills.
At this point we urge advocates to contact your Representative and Senators and urge them to support provisions that preserve funding for affordable housing, especially for those who are the most vulnerable, with special needs, or experiencing homelessness. Additionally, we urge advocates to speak with Senate staff only about the following amendments:
- Oppose Coburn Amendment #1754: This amendment would prohibit McKinney-Vento grantees from using federal funding sources for their required match. For supportive housing in particular, CSH has worked for many years to make federal health care programs functional payers of services in supportive housing. These sources include Medicaid, SAMHSA, Ryan White, Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment, and PATH grants. Some communities use VA funds, or other HUD funds (such as CDBG) to cover their match requirement. We encourage grantees and providers who utilize Medicaid/HHS funding as their match to contact us and contact your Senator immediately with the details of your program, and explain why this amendment would be so harmful to your work to end homelessness.
- Oppose Coburn Amendment #1753: This amendment would remove the extension of authorization of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homeless Assistance from 2015 to 2020 (meaning that USICH would sunset in 2015). The USICH has been a key partner in ending homelessness, and has excelled at breaking down silos across government agencies. CSH believes that USICH improves efficiency in government by eliminating duplicated efforts, and helps government work better to empower communities to end homelessness.
- Oppose the Flake amendment #1768: This amendment would cut the HOME program by $50 million dollars. HOME funding, which can be used as a very flexible source of money, has been devastated in the past two years. CSH estimates that more than 75% of supportive housing that we’ve worked to create contains HOME funding. Urge your Senator to vote against this amendment.
Finally, please urge your Senators to support final passage of the FY 2014 Senate T-HUD spending bill (S.1243), and urge your Representative to oppose passage of the FY 2014 House T-HUD bill (H.R. 2610).
If you do not already have the contact information for your Representative and Senators’ housing policy staff person, you can call the Capitol switchboard (202-224-3121) to ask to be transferred to their offices. Once you reach the office ask to speak with the housing policy staff person covering the T-HUD bill.
If you need additional assistance please contact CSH’s Field Mobilizer, Steve Clayton.