- March 2013
- November 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- March 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- October 2010
- August 2010
- January 2010
- September 2009
- July 2009
- May 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
Monthly Archives: May 2009
To balance the budget, the legislature has compromised on a fair budget solution of increased revenue and budget cuts. The governor plans to balance the budged through line item vetos and unallotments. If cuts are made, our community will suffer. Tell the governor not to balance the budget on the backs of the poor and vulnerable. Harmful cuts to the safety net are irresponsible. Continue reading
TODAY’S ACTION: Call Congress this week to urge them to OPPOSE the HEARTH Act as it is currently written.
The message: URGE Members of Congress to reject the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act, or the HEARTH Act (S. 808, H.R. 1877) as it has been introduced. Ask them to reauthorize HUD McKinney-Vento (HMV) programs in a manner that allows all homeless people to be eligible for housing/services and ensures maximum flexibility to communities in their use of these federal funds.
Whom to Call:
First District Tim Walz: 202-225-2472
Second District John Kline: 202-225-2271
Third District Eric Paulson: 202-225-2871
Fourth District Betty McCollum: 202-225-6631
Fifth District Keith Ellison: 202-225-4755
Sixth District Michele Bachmann: 202-225-2331
Seventh District Collin Peterson: 202-225-2165
Eighth District James Oberstar: 202-225-6211
Amy Klobuchar: 202-224-3244
· We can do better than Senator Reed’s bill. This bill fails to make needed improvements that were contained within the House version of the Hearth Act last year.
· Take the time needed to get it right. It will be better to pass a quality bill later than to pass a substandard bill now.
More about the Hearth Act and McKinney-Vento Programs:
· Among the concerns that National Coalition for the Homeless has with the HMV bills and amendments being actively considered are:
· Ineligible People – The definition of “homeless individual” for purposes of eligibility for HUD programs (and other programs that use HUD’s definition) fails to include some living situations understood to be homeless, meaning that people in those situations will, with rare exception, remain ineligible for HUD-funded homeless assistance.
· Weakens Community Decision-Making – The bills fail to assign a role to homeless people or service providers as formal decision-makers in a geographic area’s collaborative application for funding.
· Restrictions on Eligible Activities – The bills would put into the force of law restrictions on a community’s use of funds that exist now only as administrative practice …and adds some new restrictions. This will further reduce geographic areas’ flexibility to respond to homelessness the way it makes most sense.
· Privacy Concerns – The bills authorize a data collection and reporting system on clients of HMV-funded projects, but do not ensure client privacy and safety of their data.
· HMV reauthorization bills currently before Congress—the HEARTH Act and CPEHA—contain provisions that would adversely affect homeless persons’ access to housing and services and fail to assure the privacy of their personal identifying information. The bills also limit community flexibility in the use of HMV funds.
· HUD McKinney-Vento (HMV) programs, first established in 1987, have saved lives and helped hundreds of thousands of Americans to regain stability and return to permanent housing.
· HUD McKinney-Vento (HMV) programs have not been reauthorized since 1992. Reauthorization is overdue to reflect changes in program design that have taken place administratively over the past 15 years.
Background: The Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, enacted in 1987, was the first—and remains the only—major federal statutory response to homelessness. The Act originally consisted of fifteen programs providing a range of supports to homeless people, including emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent housing, job training, primary health care, and education. The Act has since been renamed the “McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.”
Title IV of the McKinney-Vento Act authorizes emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent housing, and supportive services programs and assigns those to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Title IV established a set of competitive grant programs to which public agencies and nonprofit organizations were directly eligible. However in 1995, HUD redesigned the Title IV programs into a “Continuum of Care” process whereby appropriated funds were made available on a competitive basis to geographic areas, with responsibility granted to the geographic area to recommend the array of housing and service projects to be funded.
HUD McKinney-Vento programs make funds available to service providers in urban, suburban, and rural communities across the nation. In 2008, Congress appropriated over $1.5 billion for HMV programs. Studies have suggested that HUD McKinney-Vento programs have helped hundreds of thousands of Americans to regain stability.
In the 110th Congress, the House and the Senate were able to resolve differences between Committee-passed versions of their HUD McKinney-Vento reauthorization bills. The new compromise bill passed the House on October 2, 2008, by a vote of 355-61, but its companion bill in the Senate did not come to a vote by the full chamber.
On April 2, 2009, identical HUD McKinney-Vento reauthorization bills were reintroduced in both the House and the Senate. The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009, H.R. 1877, was introduced in the House by Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI). In the Senate, a companion bill was introduced by Senator Jack Reed (D-WI). The bills are nearly identical to the House-passed legislation from the 110th Congress.
The bills have been referred to the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, respectively.
For further information on the public policy recommendations of the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH), contact the NCH public policy staff at email@example.com or 202.462.4822, or visit www.nationalhomeless.org.