President’s budget proposes funding increases to fight homelessness

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 12, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — The Administration’s fiscal year (FY) 2015Budget Proposal, released On Tuesday, March 4, proposes, among other things, significant new resources for homelessness programs, including a $200 million increase for a program that serves homeless veterans and their families. If Congress enacts these budget requests, communities will get the resources they will need to meet the goals of ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015, and ending chronic homelessness by the end of 2016.

Here is a quick rundown of what we should be able to accomplish with these funding increases and the tough work communities around the country will have to undertake.

Ending veterans homelessness – Homeless veterans are the population for whom the progress toward ending homelessness is the most advanced. Still, two big tasks remain: First, we need to find every homeless veteran and get them into housing. Second we must establish a system that will prevent veterans from becoming homeless in the first place.

In most communities, Congress has already made the resources available through the HUD-VASH and SSVF programs, as well as older VA homeless assistance programs, to accomplish the first task. Under the president’s proposed FY 2015 budget, another round of 10,000 HUD-VASH vouchers and a significant $200 million increase in SSVF would ensure that every community has the funds to accomplish both.

Ending Chronic homelessness – This budget appears, for the first time, to propose an increase in funding that would be sufficient to end chronic homelessness as well, but only if communities make certain commitments. At the moment, the exact number of new rent subsidies for permanent supportive housing that this budget would fund is unclear, and will remain so until HUD releases its “congressional budget justifications” sometime in the next couple weeks.

By Steve Berg

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