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.
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.
The bad news gets worse: FY 2016 allocations are on track to become disastrous if the planned return to sequestration is not rescinded. Under sequester in 2016 all of the programs listed below face across-the-board cuts of more than 6%.
To respond to this threat, the Network urges all of its member agencies to sign on today to Repeal the Sequester by January 5.
However, there was some very good news from Washington this week: Mel Watt, the Chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Agency lifted the hold on contributions to the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This marks the first dedicated source of funding to build and operate housing for people who earn below 30% of the Area Median Income. The trust fund will be allocated to the states and early estimates put the amount coming to New York State between $20 and $50 million.
This is great news and the Network thanks Chairman Watt for his decision.
The Network continues to support the United for Homes campaign to modernize the mortgage interest deduction and use the savings to fully fund the NHTF. This will result in a ten-fold increase in the NHTF, as much as half a billion annually to New York State.
Sign your organization on to United for Homes.
If you have any questions, please contact our Upstate Coordinator, Stephen Piasecki via email or at 518-465-3233.