There’s good news today on the federal level for completing Fiscal Year 2017. Congress was able to reach a bipartisan budget deal. That agreement will fund the government through the final five months of FY 2017. Legislators will start voting on it today; and, it’s expected that voting will be completed by Friday. The deal they struck is the result of intense negotiation between Congress and the Trump Administration.
This budget is nowhere near perfect, but at least the bipartisan nature of the bill means we have a bit to celebrate. That is to say, the legislation averts the damage that early budget requests would have inflicted on our nation. The bill, HR 244, protects many important budget priorities, but it falls short on others. Fortunately, some legislators fought hard to protect human needs spending.
Funding for housing: FY 2017–Better than expected!
The budget bill provides $2.383 billion for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program, representing a $133 million increase in all. This includes:
- $40 million for rapid re-housing or other critical activities to assist communities that lost significant capacity after January 1, 2016.
- $43 million for homeless youth demonstration projects.
- $12 million for the national homeless data analysis project.
Housing programs received more than last year, but still less than the requested amount. Most housing programs received a slight increase in funding. This funding will be crucial because housing units increase with market costs each year.
Another budget soon
On May 15, Congress will begin deliberating the next budget, for Fiscal Year 2018. We must continue to prioritize funding for housing as critical human needs spending. Stand fast to resist additional spending on unnecessary budget items. Your advocacy efforts will apply pressure to make that happen. Thank you for your calls, your emails, and your efforts to ensure that our most vulnerable will have a safe place to live.
We must ensure that our Members of Congress know our priorities for FY 2018! Email your Representative now [link to Network]. Use the information on our advocacy page to contact your representative and senators.