On June 16th, the Network and Homeless Services United spearheaded the annual National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) Advocacy Day for New York State. Over 50 supportive housing providers, homeless service providers and people with lived experience shared the Network’s platform in seventeen virtual meetings. The platform includes support for $3.5 billion in McKinney-Vento funding for the Continuums of Care and for 200,000 new Housing Choice Vouchers, both of which are the Biden administration’s budget priorities. The House plans on marking up the HUD budget on July 12th.
Joseph’s House and Shelter’s Executive Director Kevin O’Connor participated in the Lobby Day and spoke to the need to expand McKinney-Vento. He explained, “We saw 11% more clients last year than the prior year and a 40% increase in street homelessness. The need is there.”
Meetings stressed the message “housing is infrastructure,” advocating for the HoUSed campaign’s priorities of $45 billion in capital funding for the National Housing Trust Fund and universal rental assistance and called for these priorities to be included in any infrastructure bills. Support for these bold solutions to homelessness seemed strong within the New York delegation.
“In New York State, we have 91,000 people experiencing homelessness, disproportionately people of color. Only one in four people are getting rental assistance in this country. We need it for everyone,” said Network Executive Director Laura Mascuch.
In several meetings we also gained support for the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act. This bill would increase the available amount of 9% credits, lower the percentage of bond cap required in a project from 50% to 25% and make other technical improvements to LIHTC.
A big thank you to NAEH for leading this national campaign and providing the platform to facilitate the day, and also a shout out to Sydney Johnson, the Network’s new intern from Princeton University, who jumped in to work on logistics, documents and planning to ensure our success.
The effort to achieve these goals continues and if you would like to be included in our advocacy efforts, please email Steve Piasecki at firstname.lastname@example.org.