The Department of Housing & Urban Development’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants may get an increase for the first time in nearly 20 years.
Those of us working to prevent and end homelessness were heartened by last week’s announcement that the U.S. Senate is proposing the largest one-year increase to the Department of Housing & Urban Development’s (HUD) McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants in nearly 20 years.
Specifically, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $2.15 billion for HUD’s McKinney-Vento programs in 2013, which―although $80 million short of the President Obama’s budget request―represents an increase of $245 million over 2012. This figure includes $286 million for the Emergency Solutions Grant program.
The fact that the Senate proposed this increase despite the budget-slashing mood on Capitol Hill is a great testament to all the hard work and advocacy done by groups and individuals across the country. Funders Together to End Homelessness was pleased to have a part in these efforts by contacting Members of Congress by mail, email, and through in-person visits on the Hill.
Our message was clear: We believe that that federal government is on the right track with its focus on data-driven, outcomes-based initiatives that seek to end―not just manage―homelessness. In fact, funders across the country have helped support efforts around prevention, rapid re-housing, and permanent supportive housing—all of which are laid out in the federal HEARTH Act and which expand the emphasis of Homeless Assistance Grants on proven, cost-effective solutions.
Funders Together to End Homelessness strongly endorses and is committed to supporting the efforts of the federal government to prevent and end homelessness as outlined in the HEARTH Act, but we know that continued funding is crucial. Our members, who themselves have collectively granted hundreds of millions of dollars toward ending homelessness, look forward to continuing to work in communities across the country on solutions that have proven to be both effective and efficient.
As this legislation moves forward―next to the House of Representatives― Funders Together to End Homelessness calls on Members of Congress to further strengthen their commitment by funding the full amount of $2.231 billion as proposed by President Obama. This would allow us to make additional progress on implementation of the HEARTH Act―and toward truly ending homelessness in America.