Newsfeed Category: Federal

NYS Receives $196 Million in HUD Continuum of Care Awards


On December 20, 2016, HUD announced the 2016 Continuum of Care (CoC) awards, both renewals and new awards. This returns the program to a regular grant cycle that allows projects that need to be renewed annually to have confidence that they will be funded before the calendar turns.  

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A Letter to Our Members from Executive Director Laura Mascuch on the Post-Election Landscape


Here at the Network, we remain very concerned by the uncertainty surrounding housing and homelessness policy in the aftermath of the presidential election. The records and proposals of President-Elect Donald Trump along with the Congressional leadership poses numerous risks and challenges to the public private cooperation that has allowed our supportive housing stock to flourish in New York State. This supportive housing has stabilized tens of thousands of homeless people’s lives and restored their ability to live with dignity. We, like so many of you, are anxious about the future.

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Senators Schumer and Cantwell Urge Congress to Expand Low-Income Housing Tax Credit


Senator Maria Cantwell, the Network's Laura Mascuch, Senator Charles Schumer at The Door.

On April 22nd, Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) gathered together with the supportive housing community, government officials and advocates to urge Congress to expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) using The Door’s and Phipps Houses’ East 9th Street residence as a backdrop.

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Big News and Bittersweet Goodbyes at NLIHC Forum


Julian Castro, Secretary of HUD; Diane Yentel, CEO of NLIHC; Sheila Crowley, former CEO of NLIHC.

After seventeen years of leadership, National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) CEO Sheila Crowley stepped down at this year’s NLIHC Forum in early April.  More than 200 people including tenants , senators, and HUD Secretary Julian Castro joined together to bid farewell and honor Ms. Crowley’s enormous contributions to the affordable housing movement, crowned by the creation and funding of the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF). 

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Disparate Impact: Supreme Court Decision Fights Housing Discrimination


We asked one of the state’s pre-eminent lawyers working on housing discrimination issues as they affect people with disabilities to weigh in on what the recent Supreme Court decision might mean for supportive housing providers. Thank you, Mr. Schonfeld for sharing your thoughts with our community.

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Few Gains for Supportive Housing in FY 2015 Federal Budget—and Trouble Looming in FY 2016


The FY 2015 budget passed by Congress December 12th is not positive for supportive housing: most of the programs that our community depends on are either flat-funded or cut. Even programs that received a small increase – like the McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Grants Program – will experience functional cuts as a result of increased program rents and first time renewals.  Similarly, the increase to the HUD 811 program is projected to only fund the current portfolio.  The only real increase is a new allocation of $75 million for the VASH vouchers for veterans.

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NYC Continuum of Care Honored in Washington D.C.


Left to right: Adam Wawrynek, Craig Retchless, Nicole Branca, Brian Bardell, Julie Irwin, Alyson Zikmund, Benjamin Chervat accepting the honor.

Yesterday, at their 2014 Awards Ceremony, the National Alliance to End Homelessness put the spotlight on two communities, New York City and New Orleans, as leaders in the fight to end veteran homelessness in America. In the last three years, communities across the country, led by New York City and New Orleans, have cut their numbers of veterans experiencing homelessness by more than 50 percent.      

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National Low Income Housing Coalition Holds Annual Conference


The Network was proud to participate in the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC)’s annual conference in Washington, DC last month. The event included a keynote address from US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan, who praised the coalition’s 40-year history of fighting for affordable housing. He recalled that in his earlier days at HUD, under then-Secretary Andrew Cuomo, he frequently saw Coalition founder Cushing Dolbeare have lunch with his boss. “Cushing was my hero’s hero,” the Secretary related.

We were honored to participate this year as both workshop presenters and New York State captains for the advocacy day held after the conference.

Network Executive Director Ted Houghton presented on a panel on the Affordable Care Act, in which he highlighted New York’s Medicaid Redesign efforts. The panel also featured Christine Campbell of Housing Works, the organization behind the Housing Is Healthcare campaign, and Peggy Bailey, CSH’s expert on healthcare. The Network’s Steve Piasecki appeared on several panels to discuss another federal campaign, United for Homes. In a conversation led by Coalition Executive Director Sheila Crowley, Mr. Piasecki shared the challenges and successes of gaining support for United for Homes in New York. Mr. Piasecki also had the privilege of introducing Mark Johnston of HUD for the annual “Ask HUD” session.

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Alert: Call Congress Today to Support HUD Programs


With an Executive Budget proposed by President Obama earlier this month, our attention has now turned to the House and Senate budgets for the 2015 fiscal year. Several “Dear Colleague” letters are now in circulation to support funding increases for key programs that impact the supportive housing world. We urge you to call your elected officials and call on them to sign on in support. For a rundown of key programs within the US Department Housing and Urban Development (HUD), see below.

McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance

Rep. Gwen Moore is leading a sign-on letter for her colleagues in the House of Representatives in support of the President’s request of $2.405 billion in funding for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants in FY 2015. The deadline for representatives to join the letter is April 4. Members of the House can sign on to the letter by contacting Sean Gard of Rep. Moore’s office.

Similarly, Sen. Jack Reed is circulating a sign-on letter in the Senate in support of funding for McKinney programs in FY 2015. The deadline for senators to sign on to the letter is April 1. Members of the Senate can join by contacting James Ahn in Senator Reed’s office.

Housing Choice Vouchers

New York Rep. Jerold Nadler’s Dear Colleague letter supports increased funding for Housing Choice Vouchers. In order to restore all lost Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) due to sequestration, HUD needs an additional $320 million above the President’s budget request. The deadline for the letter is March 31. The contact in Rep. Nadler’s office is Melissa Connolly.

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Pres. Obama Releases Executive Budget


President Obama released his budget for the 2015 fiscal year yesterday, and it includes a 2.6% total increase for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The budget, if passed, would begin to undo the damage caused to HUD programs by sequestration.

A key highlight from this budget is a 14% increase to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grant program. This increase would bring the program to over $2.4 billion, allowing it to fund all grant renewals and some new projects. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan recently acknowledged that the difficult budgets of the past two years have prevented HUD from achieving its goal of ending chronic homelessness by 2015, but he has renewed the commitment to achieve that goal by the end of 2016.

Rental assistance programs also fair well in the executive budget. New vouchers for veterans, seniors and people with disabilities are included, along with full funding for the Section 8 programs. Proposed funding for Project Based Section 8 vouchers would see a decrease, but this is due a welcomed move to fund the program on a calendar year basis. As a result, next year the program would require a substantial lift to annualize this change. Stabilizing this fund will do much to improve investor confidence in Project Based-funded supportive housing.

See the below table for a breakdown of the key HUD programs in the executive budget:

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