The Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF), which includes the National Alliance to End Homelessness is sponsoring a National Call-In Week happening from next Monday, October 3 to Friday, October 7. The Campaign is calling on their partners to call Members of Congress to ask for as much funding as possible for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), including an INCREASE to HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants.
The House and Senate have both released their fiscal year (FY) 2012 funding bills in recent weeks, which include proposed funding levels for HUD’s low-income housing and homelessness programs. Their proposals included almost no additional funding for low-income housing and homelessness programs and flat funding for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants.
The House and Senate Appropriations Committees are now expected to work in conference over the coming weeks to reconcile differences in the two bills and come to an agreement on compromise funding levels for HUD and other programs before final legislation is passed. This could be the last chance for advocates to reach out to their Members and impact the final funding levels for FY 2012.
The call-in week aims to convince Members of Congress to provide as much funding for HUD as possible.We urge you to call all your Members of Congress next week and ask them to provide as much funding for HUD as possible so that McKinney-Vento programs receive a much-needed increase.
What You Can Do:
Congressional office phone numbers can be found by calling the congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121.
- Call the Washington, DC offices of your Members of Congress. Ask to speak to the person who handles housing issues.
- Explain the importance of increasing HUD funding for McKinney-Vento programs using these talking points as a guide.
- Request that the housing staff person ask his/her boss to contact Appropriations Committee leaders to request moving enough additional money into the FY 2012 HUD funding bill to pay for an increase in homelessness funding.
- Ask others to be a part of this national effort! Reach out to colleagues, friends, family, and networks and ask them to take a moment to call their Members on this important issue. Customize this sample action alert and use it to mobilize others.
- Let the Alliance know which offices you contacted by emailing Kate Seif at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Both the House and Senate have passed most of their appropriations bills, and they are working right now to finalize compromise funding levels for key programs. Since Congress is unable to complete this process by the end of the fiscal year tomorrow, September 30, they passed a stopgap funding measure earlier this week to fund the government until November 18, but it is widely expected that Congress will complete this process before then.
Congress has expressed a bipartisan commitment to ensuring that deficit reduction efforts do not happen on the backs of the most vulnerable Americans, but many affordable housing programs have nonetheless seen dramatic cuts. As a recent report from the Alliance indicates, increasing federal spending is the only way to stem the tide of increased homelessness. Flat funding these key programs is simply not enough.
The CHCDF is a coalition of national organizations concerned with ensuring that HUD receives the resources necessary to sustain important federal housing and community development programs. All member organizations are mobilizing their partners and field around this extremely important issue next week. If we can successfully get hundreds, and even thousands, of people to call in to their Members’ offices, we can make a HUGE impact on the final decision appropriators will make about funding levels for key programs impacting low-income housing and homelessness programs. This is a hugely important effort, but it can only be successful with your help.