At a time of unprecedented need in New York, the House’s proposed HUD budget is nearly half a billion dollars short of the amount of funding needed to keep the current programs whole, let alone providing additional funding to address the crushing need. Flat funding of Tenant Based Housing Choice Vouchers will actually put more than 14,000 New Yorkers at risk of homelessness and flat funding of McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Grants will result in an effective 8% cut making the most vulnerable seniors, veterans and disabled people homeless again.
In 2016, there were 86,000 homeless individuals and families in New York State, while homelessness in New York City has risen by 44% percent over the last five years. Three of HUD’s most effective programs for preventing and addressing homelessness are at risk through the House’s proposed budget.
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McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants: Widely regarded as HUD’s most effective program, McKinney-Vento is slated for flat funding under the House proposal. Because of rising rents, flat-funding actually results in an 8% cut to the program, putting some 1,400 of the most vulnerable seniors, veterans and disabled New Yorkers at risk of becoming homeless again. This program must be funded at $2.6 billion.
HOME Investment Partnership: HOME funding in NYS is a vital component in creating housing for the lowest-income New Yorkers. Each HOME dollar leverages an additional $4 in private and state funding toward the creation of housing for at-risk individuals and families. The House proposal cuts this vital program by 11%. This program must be funded at $1 billion.
Housing Choice Vouchers: This essential rental assistance program includes funding for the highly successful Veterans Administration Supportive Housing program which has helped reduce chronic veteran homelessness by 75%. Overall, the House proposal flat funds this program, a functional cut that will put 14,000 New Yorkers at risk of homelessness. To keep the program whole, the program needs to be funded at $21.8 billion.
Project Based Rental Assistance: The Network appreciates that the House funding level appears to be adequate to fund all existing units.
HUD 202 and HOPWA: The Network supports LeadingAge’s call for increased funding for senior housing (HUD 202) at $573 million. Additionally, we support the National AIDS Housing Coalition ask of $385 million for housing for persons living with HIV/AIDS.
Pass legislation to improve Low Income Housing Tax Credits - Both the Cantwell-Hatch Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017 (S. 548) and its companion, the Tiberi-Neal Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R. 1661) make major improvements to LIHTC. The senate version is preferable, as it increases the available tax credits by 50%. Both bills make needed improvements that will allow disabled students to continue their education while living in LIHTC funded supportive housing.
To find out more about how to support the ACTION campaign to address our nation’s severe shortage of affordable rental housing by protecting, expanding and strengthening the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, click here.
Protect the National Housing Trust Fund - The first new housing program in a generation, NHTF specifically focuses on building housing for extremely low income renters (0-30% AMI). Initial funding began to flow to the states last year, with New York receiving $7 million. A small percentage of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac business funds this program as a dedicated source, outside the budget process. Increasing the percentage of new business that the GSE’s contribute and adding infrastructure funding for housing are two recommended ways to grow this program.
Sign on here to protect and expand the National Housing Trust Fund.
Reauthorize and Fund the US Interagency Council on Homelessness - President George W. Bush created the USICH to comprehensively address homelessness by bringing together 19 federal agencies to collaborate. We support the Collins-Reed bill (S743) that removes the sun setting of the Council on Oct. 1, 2017. The USICH was instrumental in creating Opening Doors, the Federal Response to Homelessness. The Council also provides a wealth of information on best practices for local homeless interventions. The Council requires a $3.6 million annual appropriation.