The House of Representatives’ Transportation-HUD (T-HUD) Appropriations Subcommittee will consider its Fiscal Year 2014 bill on June 19th at 10am. The Committee recently released a draft of its bill. Advocates are urged to reach out to members of both the T-HUD Subcommittee and the full Appropriations Committee urging the highest possible funding level for those HUD programs that are most important to you.
Overall the Subcommittee proposes cuts of $5 billion (15%) to HUD’s programs compared to last year’s enacted levels. Despite the Subcommittee’s welcomed support (see below) for HUD-VASH and its increase for McKinney-Vento (however insufficient it may be), the remainder of the bill woefully underfunds many important HUD programs. The Subcommittee has proposed drastic and harmful reductions to the HOME and CDBG programs, both of which contribute significantly to the creation of supportive housing. HOPWA, the Section 811 program for people with disabilities, and public housing programs also received significant cuts. The result of this underfunding is certain to drive additional demand for homeless programs as highly vulnerable families are unable to access mainstream resources.
Advocates for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program have once again demonstrated effective education of policymakers as the Subcommittee recommends a funding level of $2.088 billion for the program – an increase of $55 million over the FY 13 legislation, and an increase of $159 million after factoring in the across-the-board cuts mandated by sequestration (though the $2.088 would still be subject to sequestration cuts before it is distributed unless Congress overturns the policy). Nevertheless, this funding level is still far below the President’s request of $2.381 billion and is insufficient to meet the need of providers. In addition, the Subcommittee recommends $200 million for the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program, which is the same funding level as Fiscal Year 2013. The Subcommittee bill again provides $75 million for approximately 10,000 new HUD-VASH vouchers for homeless veterans. Further analysis of these funding levels will be forthcoming.