Unless an agreement is reached before March 1st, significant budget cuts will be enacted through sequestration. This will result in dramatic and potentially long-lasting damage to the programs we hold dear and provide much needed housing and services to the most vulnerable among us. As it stands now programs such a McKinney-Vento, HOME and CBDG among many other programs would be subject to a 5.2% cut this year, with deeper cuts in subsequent years. How profound could these cuts be?
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, here are the estimated cuts to homelessness programs:
|Name of Program||Estimated cut FY 2013|
|Public Housing||$304 million|
|Community Development Block Grant (CBDG)||$153 million|
|McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants||$99 million|
|Native American Housing Grants||$34 million|
|Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)||$16 million|
Aditionally, according to the same estimates as above 113,414 people could lose their Housing Choice vouchers. And according to testimony from the U.S. Deparment of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan, over 100,000 people who are housed through McKinney-Vento funding could lost it.
While the national numbers paint a troubling picture, state by state numbers are just as alarming. For example:
- Public Housing cuts are not based strictly on population; both Alabama and California stand to lose approximately in $10 million in Section 8 resources.
- California is estimated to lose over $18 million in CBDG money.
- Pennsylvania is estimated to lose over $5 million in McKinney-Vento funding.
- Texas is estimated to lose over $3.5 million in HOME funding.
- Wisconsin is estimated to lose almost $2 million in Native American Housing Grants
- Florida is estimated to lose over $2 million in HOPWA funding.
Sequestration does not focus on just one part of the country or one particular kind of state. This is a budgetary crisis on a national level, for more info on state by state cuts please click here and here.
What can you do?
- Contact your legislators to urge for there to be a compromised, balanced approach to solve this crisis. Don’t know who your legislators are? Go to www.Senate.Gov and www.House.Gov to find them. Use CSH's sample letter to send to Congress.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to help ensure the legislator knows how important the issue is to you and others in the community. Please find a sample letter to the editor (Hyperlink will go here once approved).
- It is important to note that even if sequestration goes through as scheduled on 3/1 it is imperative to keep the calls and letters coming laying out the negative effects of sequestration in hopes that it will be modified at a later date.
Additionally, please find a resource guide we created dealing with sequestration and other budgetary threats to our programs here.