Federal Funding for Homelessness Programs

Congress should invest in proven solutions to homelessness by providing at least $3 billion for Homeless Assistance in FY 2020. This represents a $364 million increase over the FY 19 level, and would end homelessness for 70,000 additional households.

Homelessness affects more than half a million Americans on any given night. HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program is at the core of federal efforts to end this crisis.

Consider the results: Since 2007, homelessness has decreased by 15 percent. Meanwhile, communities and even states across the country have announced that they have ended veteran and chronic homelessness. That progress is only possible through bipartisan Congressional investments in this program.

Each year, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awards Homeless Assistance Grants to communities that administer housing and services at the local level. Specifically, the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program and the Continuum of Care (CoC) program fund the cornerstones of each community’s homeless system. The ESG grant funds street outreach, homelessness prevention and diversion, emergency shelter, and rapid re-housing. The CoC program funds permanent supportive housing, rapid re-housing, transitional housing, coordinated entry, and pilots like the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program.

Because HUD prioritizes evidence-based programs and practices as part of the grants program, homeless assistance systems across the country have improved their ability to quickly respond to housing crises, get people back into housing, and connect them with community-based services.

Current Status

HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program received $2.636 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2019. “Dear College” sign-on letters have already circulated in the House and Senate, attracting support for an increase to $3 billion from 171 House Members and 39 Senators.

The Appropriations Committees in the House and Senate are beginning to put their bills together, while waiting for an agreement between the two chambers on overall spending limits for FY 2020.

Fiscal Year 2019 Federal Homeless Programs Budget Chart (in Millions)

The Alliance publishes a detailed breakdown of the current FY 2019 proposed funding levels. Last updated November 8, 2018.

View Table
HUD Programs Enacted FY 2018 House Proposed FY 2019 Senate Proposed FY 2019 Enacted FY 2019
Homeless Assistance Grants 2,513 2,571 2,612 2,636
Rapid Re-Housing to Target Unsheltered Homelessness n/a 40 n/a n/a
Rapid Re-Housing for Youth Demonstrations 80 0 +80 +80
Rapid Re-Housing for Survivors of Domestic Violence 50 50 40 50
United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) 3.60 3.60 3.60 3.60
HUD-VA Supportive Housing Program Vouchers 715 755 755 755
Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (Section 8 Vouchers) 22,015 20,100 22,800 22,598
Project-Based Rental Assistance 11,515 11,350 11,700 11,747
Community Development Block Grant Program 3,300 3,370 3,300 3,365
HHS Programs Enacted FY 2018 House Proposed FY 2019 Senate Proposed FY 2019 Enacted FY 2019
Health Care for the Homeless 130* 130* 130* 136*
Runaway and Homeless Youth Act 127 121 127 127
Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) 65 65 65 65
SAMHSA Homeless Programs 69 69 69 69
VA Programs Enacted FY 2018 House Proposed FY 2019 Senate Proposed FY 2019 Enacted FY 2019
Veterans Homelessness Programs 1,748 1,774 1,889 1,819
Supportive Services for Veteran Families 340 340 450 380
Grant and Per Diem Program 257 257 257 257
Other Programs Enacted FY 2018 House Proposed FY 2019 Senate Proposed FY 2019 Enacted FY 2019
Education for Homeless Children and Youth (ED) 85 ••• 94 93.5
Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (Dept. of Labor) 50 50 50 50

*Amount reflects only discretionary spending for this program. Health Care for the Homeless clinics also receive mandatory funding, and the total FY 2018 enacted and FY 2019 proposed is 440.

Targeted funding within the grant programs indicated in italics.

For HUD and ED Accounts, “•••” indicates that the bill has not yet passed — not that the accounts have been eliminated.