Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and HUD (T-HUD) unveiled its proposed funding for HUD in Fiscal Year 2013. Responding to a clear need in communities and strong advocacy, the Subcommittee provided strong support for many programs that are used to create supportive housing and prevent or end homelessness.
The Subcommittee passed the proposal by a vote of 15-1. View the Subcommittee’s report.
- The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program is proposed to be funded at $2.15 billion. The increase of $245 million above last year’s level will help more fully implement the HEARTH Act, allow communities to continue to build new supportive housing, and more strongly support rapid re-housing programs within the Emergency Solutions Grant program.
- $75 million for a new round of 10,000 HUD-VA supportive housing vouchers (HUD-VASH) for homeless veterans is proposed. Earlier this year a HUD report indicated that Congress’ support for VASH and other programs benefiting homeless veterans led to a 12% drop in veterans’ homelessness in just one year. We are grateful for the Subcommittee’s continued support for the VASH program.
- Overall Section 8 tenant-based rental assistance was increased by $482 million and we are pleased to see a significant increase in administrative fees paid to Public Housing Authorities. PHAs are important partners in ending homelessness but they need to be properly funded to support more innovative programs to address special needs populations.
- The Subcommittee also proposed a small increase to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program – total funding of $3.1 billion, which if $152 million above FY12.
Unfortunately the Subcommittee did not reverse course in underfunding the HOME program. One billion dollars is proposed for HOME, the same as in FY12 and an extremely deep cut from previous funding levels. CSH estimates HOME funds are used in approximately 80% of supportive housing projects and is particularly important as a gap-filler as permanent financing sources are being assembled.
Still, CSH applauds the Subcommittee’s allocations for programs that help create supportive housing and end homelessness, especially given the tough budgetary times. We invite you to express appreciation to Subcommittee members and urge other Senators to support the proposal and increases to homeless programs whenever possible.