An action alert from the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Please read and act!
White House Releases Sequestration Report
Sequestration, or the automatic, across-the-board cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011, will directly result in thousands upon thousands of people losing their housing assistance, leading to increases in homelessness and a further burden on an already badly strained system.
As homeless service providers, stakeholders, and advocates, WE MUST ACT NOW to avert sequestration! When Congress returns from the November elections for the so-called Lame Duck session, they will be focusing almost exclusively on sequestration and plans to alter or reverse it.
The defense industry has been actively advocating against cuts to defense spending, and Congress has listened. We must make sure that Members of Congress also know the importance of fully-funding HUD programs to their constituents.
Here’s what you can do:
- Let your Members of Congress know you want affordable housing and homelessness programs protected from these cuts.Use these talking points to assist you.
- Take advantage of the upcoming congressional recess (tentatively beginning this weekend through the elections) to:
- Invite your Member on a site visit;
- Meet with your Member while he/she is at home in the district;
- Call your Members’ Washington, DC office and let them know sequestration should not happen on the backs of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness; and/or
- Place an Op-Ed or Letter to the Editor in your local paper letting your Member of Congress know what your community thinks of cuts to HUD programs.
There are many ways you can get involved – the key thing is to TAKE ACTION. Staff at the Alliance are available to assist you in reaching out to your Members’ offices. Please don’t hesitate to contact us!
Last Friday, September 14, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the congressionally-mandated report on the effects of sequestration on all discretionary programs in the federal budget.
Prior to the report, the Alliance had estimated that many programs would experience an 8.4 percent cut on January 2. The report, however, reduced that estimate to 8.2 percent. The following is a list of key affordable housing and homelessness programs within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the cuts that those accounts will receive, should sequestration remain in its current form:
- McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants will receive a cut of $156 million, resulting in approximately 145,000 people who are homeless rather than housed;
- The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program (Tenant-Based Rental Assistance) will receive a cut of $1.53 billion, resulting in approximately 186,000 people losing their rental assistance;
- The one exception in HUD is vouchers that are part of the joint HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program for homeless veterans – these are exempt from sequestration.
- The Project-Based Rental Assistance program will receive a $772 million cut, resulting in approximately 90,000 households losing housing within several years; and
- The HOME program will receive an $82 billion cut, resulting in approximately 4,500 households that would not receive new or rehabilitated rental and ownership housing.
Right now, it is up to all of us to ensure that we continue to work toward a future where homelessness is a thing of the past. Let Congress know NOW that these cuts are simply unacceptable.