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Alliance Legislative Report (updated on November 16)

Impact

This is the Alliance's summary of the issues it is following most closely.

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Appropriations 0: Chart of FY21 Funding for Selected Homelessness and Housing Programs (in millions)

U.S. Senate bill: The legislation has not been formally introduced, so no bill number has been assigned. — FY21 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Bill

U.S. House bill: H.R. 7616 — FY21 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Bill

Impact

This is the Chart for FY21 funding for pelected homelessness and housing programs. The House has marked up the FY21 appropriations bills for Transportation-HUD, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Labor-HHS-Education. Nevertheless, some program funding levels may not be available until the bill in question is conferenced. Senate funding measures were revealed in mid-November, but they have not yet been assigned numbers and marked up.

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Appropriations 1. Funding for Homeless Assistance Grants, FY2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill

U.S. Senate bill: A bill number will not be assigned until the funding measure has been introduced. — FY2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill

U.S. House bill: H.R. 7616 — FY2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill

Impact

The Alliance urges Congress to provide at least $3.4 billion in funding for Homeless Assistance Grants (HAG), which are used by Continuums of Care (CoCs) across the nation to pay for critical elements in the fight against homelessness, including outreach, shelter, and housing. The House FY21 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill would provide $3.415 billion in funding for HAG in FY21, and the Senate's mark for its version of the funding measure would proide $2.951 billion in funding. The Alliance will urge Congress to include the House's higher appropriations in the conference report.

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Appropriations 2. Preservation of Housing First, FY2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill

U.S. Senate bill: A bill number will not be assigned until the funding measure has been introduced. — FY2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill

U.S. House bill: H.R. 7616 — FY2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill

Impact

The Alliance urges Congress to include language in the FY2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill to protect Housing First, as it did in the FY2020 THUD Appropriations Bill. Housing First, which was adopted as federal policy during the George W. Bush Administration, emphasizes the quick provision of permanent housing to people experiencing homelessness, thus ending their homelessness and serving as a platform from which they can improve their quality of life. Both the House and Senate versions of the FY21 THUD Appropriations Bill include strong language which upholds the importance of Housing First.

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Appropriations 3. Housing Choice Vouchers, FY2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill

U.S. Senate bill: A bill number will not be assigned until the funding measure has been introduced. — FY2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill

U.S. House bill: H.R. 7616 — FY2021 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill

Impact

The Alliance urges Congress to provide at least $25.9 billion in funding for Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV), the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. The House FY21 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill includes $25.8 billion for HCV, and the Senate's mark for its version of the funding measure would provide $25.5 billion. The Alliance will urge Congress to include the House's higher appropriation in the conference report.

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Basic Assistance for Students in College (BASIC) Act (S. 2225, H.R. 4968)

U.S. Senate bill: S. 2225, introduced by Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) — Basic Assistance for Students in College (BASIC) Act

U.S. House bill: H.R. 4968, sponsored by Representative Norma Torres (D-CA-35) — Basic Assistance for Students in College (BASIC) Act

Impact

The Basic Assistance for Students in College (BASIC) Act (S. 2225, H.R. 4968) would reduce college student homelessness by providing free or subsidized housing arrangements and access to other services. No action has been taken on the Alliance-endorsed legislation.

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Cancelling the 2020 Continuum of Care Notice of Funding Availability

Impact

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) should work the Congressional lawmakers to cancel the 2020 Continuum of Care (CoC) Notice of Funding Availability (NoFA) so that CoCs, providers, and HUD staff can focus on safely sheltering and expeditiously housing folks experiencing homelessness during the unprecedented public heath crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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COVID-19, CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, P.L. 116-136

Impact

The CARES Act (P.L. 116-136), which became law on March 27, was the third package of new funding and new authorities enacted in order to stimulate the economy and help Americans stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to grassroots efforts to educate lawmakers, the CARES Act included $4 billion in new Emergency Solutions Grants funding to help the homelessness system. The Alliance has provided guidance on how to best use the new money and new authorities as well as identify what additional resources must be provided in the next stimulus package.

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COVID-19, HEROES 1.0 Stimulus Package

U.S. House bill: H.R. 6800 — The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act

Impact

NOTE: This effort stalled out. Please see COVID-19, New Stimulus Package. The HEROES Act (H.R. 6800) would create a $100 billion rental assistance fund, provide almost $12 billion in new Emergency Solutions Grants funding, establish $1 billion in new emergency housing vouchers. However, the Senate strongly opposed this legislation, forcing the House to scale it back later in the year. The Alliance urges lawmakers to include the House's provisions for homelessness funding, housing vouchers, and rental assistance in the final version of the next stimulus package.

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COVID-19, HEROES 1.0 Stimulus Package: Emergency Solutions Grants

U.S. Senate bill: S. 3856, introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) — The Public Health Emergency Shelter Act

U.S. House bill: H.R. 6724, introduced by Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-7) — The Public Health Emergency Shelter Act

Impact

NOTE: This effort stalled out. Please see COVID-19, New Stimulus Package. The Public Health Emergency Shelter Act (H.R. 6724, S. 3856) would authorize $11.5 billion for Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) to address the immediate health consequences of the pandemic for folks experiencing homelessness. The bill is not intended to move on its own; rather, the bill is a show of support for the inclusion of additional ESG funding in the next stimulus package. House Democratic leaders included this legislation in the HEROES Act (H.R. 6800), their proposal for the next stimulus package. The Alliance is trying to generate House and Senate cosponsors to make it more likely that the ESG spending provision is not dropped in conference. However, the Senate has strongly opposed the HEROES Act.

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