Below is a list of funding levels in the Omnibus Appropriations for several programs that are most important to building permanent supportive housing and ending homelessness. We encourage advocates to thank their Members of Congress who helped to make these funding levels possible.
- McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants: Successful advocacy for Dear Colleague letters in both the House and Senate helped to contribute to a $91 million increase over Fiscal Year 2008 (FY 08) for McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants. This largest and most important program dedicated to ending homelessness will be funded at $1.677 billion. $10 million of these funds are set aside for demonstration programs in selected urban and rural sites to prevent homelessness among veterans.
- SAMHSA Homeless Services: Long a priority for CSH and many of our partners, successful advocacy also contributed to a wonderful $22 million increase for SAMHSA’s competitive homeless services grants. These programs will be funded at $75 million in FY 09, which is an increase of 33 percent. CSH is also pleased the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) received an increase of $6.4 million to bring total PATH funding to $59.7 million in FY 09.
- Section 8 Vouchers, Including VASH and FUP Vouchers: :The Appropriations bill provides $16.8 billion for Section 8 Vouchers, including a set-aside of $75 million for 10,000 new HUD-VASH vouchers to combine housing with services for homeless veterans. The Section 8 Voucher program on the whole is receiving, $341 million more than in 2008, and the VASH vouchers will be new vouchers in addition to the 10,000 vouchers that were released last year. (Continued funding for those VASH vouchers is also included in this bill.) CSH is also pleased $20 million was included for Family Unification Program vouchers, which help families who may have been separated due to housing instability to rent safe and affordable housing.
- Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA): The HOPWA program was funded with $310 million, a $10 million increase over the FY 08 funding level.
- Second Chance Act: CSH strongly advocated both for enactment of the Second Chance Act, as well as funding for these new re-entry programs. We are grateful to have worked with our partners to secure an initial investment of $25 million for Second Chance Act programs.
- Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA): The Omnibus Appropriations Act includes $10 million for MIOTCRA, which is a substantial $3.5 million increase over last year’s funding level.
- Community Development Block Grants (CDBG): The Community Development Fund received $3.9 billion in the Omnibus, of which $3.64 billion is for formula distribution to States and Localities. This is an increase of $34.2 million over the previous year.