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2013 Policy Priorities

CSH will advocate for strong federal investment in programs that create supportive housing and increase resources and access to mainstream housing and services programs.  Our policy priorities aim to make existing programs - including housing, health care, employment, veterans, child welfare and criminal justice – work better for people with major barriers to housing stability.  We will work to improve programs where supportive housing plays a role in reducing the cost of frequent and inappropriate use of public systems by vulnerable populations.  Download a copy of our 2013 Policy Priorities

PROTECT THE MOST VULNERABLE IN BUDGET AND SEQUESTRATION NEGOTIATIONS
Congress should:
Protect federal investments in supportive housing to ensure vulnerable Americans have access to housing and support services.

IMPROVE THE SECTION 8 PROGRAM TO BETTER SERVE HOMELESS AND SPECIAL NEEDS POPULATIONS
Congress should:
Authorize HUD to allow PHAs to conduct competitions for Section 8 vouchers to be sponsor-based to increase the capacity and ability to serve special needs populations.

Provide sufficient funding to renew all existing Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers.

Enact Section 8 Reform legislation to improve the program and increase PHA flexibility to project-base rental assistance for special needs populations.

Provide $1.968 billion for PHA Section 8 administrative fees to improve PHAs’ ability to work with special needs populations.

INCREASE INVESTMENTS IN SUPPORTIVE HOUSING FOR THE MOST VULNERABLE FAMILIES
The Administration should:
Provide $10 million for HHS’ Administration for Children and Families’ CAPTA Program targeting services and housing to highly vulnerable, homeless families with open child welfare cases.

Provide $3 million for HHS’ Administration for Children and Families’ CAPTA Program targeting services and housing to highly vulnerable, homeless youth and young parents.

PROTECT HOUSING TAX CREDIT PROGRAMS
Congress should:
Ensure the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) are fully preserved through any tax reform process.

Adopt the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission recommendation to increase LIHTC allocations by 50 percent.

Permanently fix Low Income Housing Tax Credits at 9% and tax-exempt bond credits at 4%.

Amend the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program to provide a credit boost of 15% for supportive housing serving homeless populations.

EXPAND OPPORTUNITIES FOR VULNERABLE POPULATIONS INVOLVED IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
Congress should:
Reauthorize the Second Chance Act with an increased emphasis on coordinating housing and services, and fund it at the Administration’s request of $119 million.

Enact the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act to reauthorize the Mentally Ill Offenders and Crime Reduction Act with a new demonstration program focused on high-utilizers of public systems.

The Administration should:
Encourage states to suspend rather than terminate Medicaid, SSI and other federal benefit eligibility for people while in jails and prisons and expedite re-enrollment upon release.

In addition, encourage states to ensure people maintain benefits while they are in pre-adjudication status.

Through the Federal Re-entry Task Force, continue issuing letters from Cabinet Secretaries that highlight the principles of the Second Chance Act, debunk myths, and reduce barriers to housing and services for people exiting the criminal justice system with histories of homelessness.

PROMOTE PAY FOR SUCCESS INITIATIVES TO CREATE SUPPORTIVE HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES
Congress should:
Authorize and appropriate funding for a Pay for Success initiative included in the Department of Justice budget that directs $10 million towards permanent supportive housing.

The Administration should:
Develop and issue Requests for Proposals that incorporate key elements of Pay for Success.

PROMOTE IMPLEMENTATION OF OLMSTEAD AND FURTHER THE INTEGRATION MANDATE

The Administration should:
Issue guidance, regulations and statements through HUD, HHS, and DOJ that ensure consumer choice is paramount, provides direction to states and localities to vastly expand supportive housing opportunities in the community for people inappropriately institutionalized (or at risk of institutionalization), and that recognizes multiple models of supportive housing may meet the integration mandate.

PRESERVE SAMHSA FUNDING FOR SERVICES IN SUPPORTIVE HOUSING
Congress should:
Provide $100 million for SAMHSA’s Homeless Services Grant Programs coordinated between its Center for Mental Health Services and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

Allocate full funding of $75 million for the PATH program.

PRESERVE THE MCKINNEY-VENTO HOMELESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AND SUPPORT HEARTH ACT IMPLEMENTATION
Congress should:
Fund HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program at the President’s request of $2.381 billion to renew all existing contracts and provide funding to create $40 million worth of new supportive housing.

The Administration should:
Issue a final rule for the Continuum of Care program that emphasizes a competitive process that rewards higher performing programs, further affirms voluntary participation in supportive services, allows for a Continuum-wide match, and clarifies the quality of the tenant’s housing experience as a key indicator of compliance with the integration mandate.

IMPROVE AND EXPAND PROGRAMS CONNECTING HOUSING WITH HEALTH SERVICES
Congress should:
Fund the federal Departments of Health and Human Services and Housing and Urban Development to improve their partnership by:

Funding Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities at no less than $165 million.

Providing $3.8 billion in total programmatic funding for Community Health Centers, which would include $331 million for Health Care for the Homeless.

The Administration should:
Issue Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance to states on how Medicaid and Medicare can be used to finance services in supportive housing.

State and Local government should:
Ensure that 1115, Home and Community Based Services, and other state waivers and state plan amendments expand Medicaid eligibility and benefit packages to improve health care financing and service delivery for supportive housing residents.

Ensure that connections to supportive housing are included as states and health care agencies develop new health care service delivery and financing models such as health homes, expanding Medicaid managed care or developing Accountable Care Organizations.

Foster partnerships between state Medicaid agencies and housing finance agencies to better connect housing and services through the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Act (Section 811).

END HOMELESSNESS AMONG OLDER ADULTS AND SENIORS
Congress and the Administration should:
Create a $50 million demonstration program to create housing connected to Medicare, Medicaid and other health services for older adults and seniors experiencing homelessness and with complex health needs.

END HOMELESSNESS AMONG VETERANS
Congress should:
Appropriate $75 million for 10,000 new HUD-VASH vouchers Fiscal Year 2014.

The Administration should:
Complete development of and release a VA housing appropriateness tool to ensure homeless veterans are matched to the federal program(s) that best meet their needs, with HUD-VASH resources reserved for those homeless veterans with the highest housing and service needs.

INCREASE FUNDING FOR MAINSTREAM HOUSING RESOURCES THAT BENEFIT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING
Congress should:
Restore funding for the HOME program to at least $1.6 billion.

Capitalize the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) and authorize an approach for annual funding.

PRESERVE THE NATIVE AMERICAN HOUSING BLOCK GRANT
Congress should:
Provide no less than level funding of $650 million for the Native American Housing Block Grant in FY 14.

PRESERVE THE SOCIAL INNOVATION FUND
Congress should:
Fund the Corporation for National and Community Service’s (CNCS) Social Innovation Fund at the Administration’s request of $49 million.

INVEST IN THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS (CDFI) FUND
Congress should:
Provide no less than $225 million for the Treasury Department’s CDFI Fund in Fiscal Year 2014.

PROMOTE HOMELESS PERSONS’ ACCESS TO SSI/SSDI
The Administration should
:
Ensure all states are implementing the SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery Initiative (SOAR), all those exiting institutions – particularly jails and prisons – and eligible for SSI/SSDI have access to benefits immediately upon release, and that medical professionals with experience serving homeless populations are viewed as acceptable medical professionals for benefit applications.

 

Download a copy of our 2013 Policy Priorities

 

 

 

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