A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

FTEH Policy Priorities

We believe philanthropy has a voice in addressing homelessness and advancing solutions to prevent and end it with Congress and Presidential administration. As Funders Together to End Homelessness prepares to work with this administration, together with our national partners we are focused on continuing to make preventing and ending homelessness a bi-partisan priority. To accomplish this, we are focused on the following: 

This page will serve as a collection of information that will continually be updated with new reports, fact sheets, websites, and other resources that support these priority areas. 

1. Housing stability is an issue that affects education, health, and work force development. We believe in expanding the supply of housing, including affordable housing, and strengthen connections of these efforts with others to foster better health, economic mobility, and educational achievement.

  • Government funding for programs that affect housing stability is critical as philanthropy cannot do it alone.

  • In late March 2018, a budget was passed for FY18 and includes many highlights for the work to end homelessness. Here are some key takeaways from the most recent budget (via the National Alliance to End Homelessness):
    • $4.4 billion increase to the ten largest HUD accounts which is the largest one-year increase in the last 20 years.
    • $130 million increase to HUD Homeless Assistance grants which is estimated to move an additional 20,000-25,000 people into housing.
    • Section 8 renewals are fully funded for both project-based Section 8 and vouchers. In addition, there are funds for new "incremental" vouchers: $40 million for HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) for veterans with disabilities experiencing homelessness, $20 million for the Family Unification Program (FUP), and ~$385 million for 811 vouchers for individuals with disabilities.
    • $800 million increase to Public Housing
    • $400 million increase to HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME)
    • $300 million increase to Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
    • 12.5% increase in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC)
    • Read remarks by Steve Berg, National Alliance to End Homelessness, and Sarah Mickelson, National Low Income Housing Coalition, about the FY18 budget and what it means for communities around the country. 

  • On May 15, the House Appropriations Subcommittee released its draft FY19 spending bill. The draft bill includes:
    • Maintaining the 10% increase in HUD funding from the FY18 budget with additional increases for FY19.
    • An increase in homeless assistance programs funding from $2.513 billion to $2.546 billion.
    • The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) funded at $3.6 million.
    • Public housing capital repairs and operating funds level with FY18 dollars at $2.75 billion and $4.55 billion, respectively.
    • Funding for the Family Self-Sufficiency program remaining level at $75 million.
    • No funding for Family Unification vouchers.Project-Based Rental Assistance facing a $168 million decrease from FY18, lowering funding to $11.347 billion.
    • $22.48 billion for tenant-based rental assistance.
    • Level funding for both Veterans Affairs Support Housing (VASH) at $40 million.
    • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) level-funded at $3.365 billion and the HOME Investments Partnership program funding decreased to $1.2 billion.
    • Read our May Federal Budget Update for a look at some of the budget decisions that impact housing and homelessness, an update on the THUD FY19 Budget proposal, and what philanthropy can do to push for continued and increased funding in housing and homelessness.

  • Funders Together has created a Priorities for the New Congress and Administration messaging guide. This document reflects 2017-2018 messaging but is in the process of being updated with FY19 language. However, it can still be used to understand how we plan to lift up philanthropy's voice, role, and influence. It can also be used as a messaging guide for your own advocacy efforts. Download the Word document here for easy editing. Check back soon as we will be updating this as we learn more.


National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) Budget Chart

NLIHC: Advocates and Congressional Champions Secure Increased Funding for Affordable Housing in 2018

NLIHC CEO, Diane Yentel's Twitter Thread on Omnibus Budget

National Alliance to End Homelessness VP of Programs and Policy, Steve Berg's Twitter Thread on Omnibus Budget

MANY: The Conclusion of Federal Funding in FY18

CSH: Policy Alert

True Colors Fund: Here's What the 2018 Federal Budget Means for Homeless Youth

National Alliance to End Homelessness Policy Priorities

National Low Income Housing Coalition: Opportunities To End Homelessness and Housing Poverty In A Trump Administration 


2. Early intervention that stops the cycle of homelessness and poverty is critical for youth and young adults.

  • As a founding member of A Way Home America we believe the following transition priorities will be critical to systems change needed to provide a more stable future to our youth. The A Way Home America Transition Plan identifies actions and strategies necessary to prevent and end youth and young adult homelessness. The Transition Plan is intended to inform the next Presidential Administration, federal appointees, and members of congress on our collective goals to end youth and young adult homelessness.

3. Strengthening the connections between employment services and homelessness services to both prevent homelessness and ensure that exits from homelessness are permanent, stable, and successful.


Integrating Rapid Re-Housing & Employment: Program & Policy Recommendations for Enhancing Rapid Re-Housing


4. An accurate census count is essential to our efforts to prevent and end homelessness and the fair dispersal of funding for people and areas that need it most.


Funders Together 2020 Census resource page

As a funder, how can you take action?

If you are a public foundation or United Way and can engage in direct lobbying, here are some action steps you can take:

  1. Sign up for the National Alliance to End Homelessness’s Advocacy Updates and take action by contacting public officials. Feel free to use the Priorities for the New Congress and Administration Messaging Guide for language around public-private partnerships and modify it to fit your foundation’s message.
  2. You can also participate in non-lobbying advocacy efforts. See examples below.

If you are unable to partake in direct lobbying efforts, here are some advocacy efforts you can participate in:

  1. Consider facilitating conversations between your grantees and public officials. Use your convening power to host a philanthropy-led bipartisan town hall where grantees can talk about their work and philanthropy can feature the nature of its investment and how philanthropic dollars can’t be expected to “fill the gap”.
  2. Write targeted op-eds in key communities. Philanthropy’s voice is important when talking about public-private partnerships. Highlighting work being done in key areas can have a ripple effect and educate community members and public officials alike. If you are interested, contact Funders Together and we can identify these key communities and assist with your op-ed strategy.
  3. Fund small emergency advocacy grants. Consider asking grantees about how a small emergency advocacy grant could be used to help with their efforts around strategy, communications, or grassroots engagement.  

Learn more about the "Cans" and "Cannots" of being a funder involved in advocacy and lobbying efforts and get more ideas of action steps you can take through our "Advocacy - A Funder's Role" webinar

Additional Resources

Funders Together Statement on Confirmation of Dr. Ben Carson as Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development

Trump picks Pam Patenaude to serve as HUD deputy secretary

White House to Nominate HUD Deputy Secretary, Assistant Secretary for CPD

National Alliance to End Homelessness: Ready for the New Congress - 8 Things They Might Do With Big Impacts on Homelessness

National Alliance to End Homelessness: Administrations Budget Blueprint - What It Means For Homelessness

Grantmakers Income Security Taskforce 2016 Post-Election Policy Briefing Resources

Post-Election FAQs for the National Health Care for the Homeless Coalition Community

Bolder Advocacy: Philanthropy Advocacy Playbook

Bolder Advocacy: Transition Team Advocacy

If you have any questions regarding our transition priorities, or have a resource to share, please feel free to contact Amanda Andere at [email protected].


We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

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