What Does the FY14 Budget Mean for Supportive Housing?

Both chambers of Congress recently passed and President Obama signed the appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2014 which will keep the government funded through September of this year.  The table below highlights a few of the key programs for supportive housing.

Federal Funding Program FY13 Enacted
(not including sequestration cuts)
FY14 Final Percent increase
Section 8 -Tenant-Based Rental Assistance $18.940 $19.177 1.2%
Section 8 - Administrative costs $1.375 $1.500 8.3%
Section 8 - Project-Based Rental Assistance $9.340 $9.917 5.8%
Community Development Block Grants (CBDG) $2.948 $3.030 2.7%
McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance Grants $2.033 $2.105 3.4%
HOME $.948 $1000 5.2%
SAMHSA Homelessness Grants $.75 $.75 0%
Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) $.75 $.75 0%
*All $$ amounts are in billions

The FY14 budget reflects many increases, replacing some (but certainly not all) of the devastating cuts under sequestration. While this is a step forward from the sequestration levels of funding last year, funding levels must be further increased to create more supportive housing.

Based on our understanding, the funding levels for Section 8 will enable roughly half the vouchers lost through sequestration to be restored, and the increase in administrative costs for housing authorities will provide some relief, but not full relief from the administrative burdens that have hindered housing authorities’ efforts to partner in creating supportive housing opportunities.

On the McKinney-Vento side, CSH believes the funding level will allow for full funding of existing renewals, but is not enough to replace losses from the last NOFA. The final bill also provides important appropriations language that will enable nonprofits to continue to administer rental assistance programs with FY12-FY14 funds; and CSH will continue to work with our partners on a permanent fix.

Additional Appropriations Successes
In addition to key housing and homeless programs, we are happy to report that the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) saw a 36% increase over the FY13 funding level of $44.8 million with a funding amount in FY14 of $70 million. CSH is currently utilizing SIF investments to help Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washtenaw County, MI and Connecticut demonstrate supportive housing as an effective intervention for high users of the health care system. This SIF increase also includes a clause allowing up to 20% of the funding to be made available for performance-based awards for Pay for Success projects. On a related note, we are proud that Congress included an appropriation of up to $5 million under the Department of Justice’s Second Chance Act Offender Re-Entry Program, to be used for a Pay for Success program which uses the Permanent Supportive Housing Model.

Thank You and the Year Ahead
Thank you so much for continuing to be an active and essential part of our shared advocacy goals. It is because you respond to calls and emails and let your voice be heard that together we have been able to achieve a great deal for the programs and people that we care so much about. In the year ahead there will be a number of critical issues including Section 8, Pay for Success efforts and strategic partnerships with justice and child welfare issues. Stay tuned to your inbox for our Policy Priorities for the upcoming year!

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