House Cuts HUD McKinney Programs - IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED -

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Fri, 30 Jul 1999 22:51:00 -0700 (PDT)


[bounced] FWD via Sonny Covington:

House Cuts HUD McKinney Programs, May Attach Block Grant Bill - IMMEDIATE
ACTION
NEEDED

BACKGROUND: Last night the VA-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee voted to cut $5
million from last year's total allocation for HUD McKinney Homeless Assistance
programs in Fiscal Year 2000. The President's budget requested $1.02
billion for
homeless assistance; last year's allocation was $975 million; the Subcommittee
voted for $970 million for FY 2000.
The budget bill does not include a provision requiring a 30% set-aside for
permanent housing or a 25% matching requirement for supportive services.
Instead
it defers to H.R. 1073, Rick Lazio's and Barney Frank's proposed legislation to
block-grant McKinney funds:


"Finally, in deference to the Banking Committee which is working on bipartisan
legislation to reauthorize Homeless programs, the Committee has not included in
the bill, language creating a 30% set-aside for permanent supportive housing or
requiring a 25% match requirement for supportive services. The Committee
reserves the right, however, to revisit these issues at Conference, and
hopes to
work with the Banking Committee in moving this very important legislation."

We read this language to suggest either that H.R. 1073 will go to the House
as a
separate authorization bill and then be attached to the appropriations bill (in
order to insure passage since the Senate is not proposing such legislation), or
that it will be attached to the appropriations bill before it reaches the House
floor. Either way, it is likely that it will pass and McKinney funds will be
block-granted in Fiscal Year 2000, UNLESS WE STOP IT.

The HUD budget overall is also facing dramatic cuts: the Subcommittee voted for
a total HUD budget which is $2.0 billion less than requested by the President.

STATUS: While it seems that there will be more discussion regarding the funding
level for Section 8 vouchers, the budget passed by the Subcommittee is
insufficient to fund all renewals. The request for creation of new vouchers for
Welfare to Work and homeless individuals and families was rejected outright.

ACTION: Please immediately call or write to your Representative and your two
Senators to urge them to fully fund the HUD budget and reject the peer pressure
to attach H.R. 1073 to the appropriations bill, which we disagree with
procedurally and substantively since it threatens to reverse the progress the
Continuum of Care process has made and could well divert homeless funds
elsewhere (See Proposal to Block Grant HUD McKinney Funds below).

Tell your Members of Congress that there is no excuse to turn our backs on the
nation's homeless and low-income people in a time of economic prosperity. A
sample letter is provided. The cuts in the budget were fueled by outdated
budget
restrictions and concern for cutting taxes, not a finding that there is less
need for housing than last year. Despite the nation's budget surplus, millions
of Americans desperately need housing and supportive services that should be
available from HUD. Please contact your Congresspeople as soon as possible and
encourage others to do so as well.

All Members of Congress may be reached through the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at
202-224-3121.

END FORWARD