Homeless Assistance Grants, FY22 Funding

U.S. Senate bill: A bill number will not be assigned until the funding measure has been introduced. — FY22 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill

Committees:

Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD)

Cosponsors:

(see all cosponsors)

Traditionally, appropriations bills are not cosponsored.  

U.S. House bill: H.R. 4550 — FY22 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill

Committees:

House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD)

Status:

The measure was combined with several other appropriations bills and passed by the House on July 29.

Cosponsors:

(see all cosponsors)

Traditionally, appropriations bills are not cosponsored.  

Impact

The Alliance seeks a substantial increase for Homeless Assistance Grants (HAG) in the FY22 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill, in order to increase the total amount of funding to $3.5 billion, which would be an increase of $500 million.  Such grants are used by Continuums of Care across the nation to pay for critical elements in the fight against homelessness, including outreach, shelter, and housing.  

Homelessness increased by 2.25% in the United States between 2019 and 2020.  Chronic homelessness–people who have lived on the streets for an extended period and who suffer from a mental illness, substance abuse, or physical disability–increased by 14% nationally, over the same period.  Unsheltered homelessness rose by 7% across the nation.  And all of this occurred before the pandemic. 

That’s why the Biden Administration has already asked for a $500 million increase in Homeless Assistance Grants in its FY22 budget request:

“Makes Significant Investments to End Homelessness. To prevent and reduce homelessness, the 2022 discretionary request provides $3.5 billion, an increase of $500 million over the 2021 enacted level, for Homeless Assistance Grants to support more than 100,000 additional households, including survivors of domestic violence and homeless youth. These resources would complement the $5 billion for emergency housing vouchers provided in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which will also assist those who are homeless and at-risk of homelessness.”

The Alliance strongly supports the Administration’s recommendation for a significant increase in homelessness funding.  The HAG’s Continuum of Care and Emergency Solutions Grants programs are successfully used by state and local governments, as well as an extensive network of providers of shelter and housing services in hundreds of American communities, to reduce homelessness.  However, a longstanding, nationwide shortage of affordable housing leaves millions of Americans at risk of homelessness and causes too many families and individuals to fall into homelessness, easily overwhelming the resources available to prevent and reduce homelessness. 

Representatives Gwen Moore (D-WI) and John Katko (R-NY) have sponsored a sign-on letter in which they and their House colleagues to the leaders of the subcommittee that drafts the THUD bill ask that HAG funding be set at not less than $3.5 billion.  Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) will take the lead on a similar Senate letter.  

The House bill would increase HAG funding by $420 million.  The Senate bill will be marked up in September.  

Summary

The Alliance urges Congress to provide at least $3.5 billion in funding for Homeless Assistance Grants (HAG), a $500 million increase from the FY2021 total.  Such grants are used by Continuums of Care across the nation to pay for critical elements in the fight against homelessness, including outreach, shelter, and housing.  The Biden Administration’s preliminary budget recommendation for FY22 asks for $3.5 billion in funding for HAG.

The House bill, which has been passed by the House, would increase HAG funding by $420 million.  The Senate bill will be marked up in September.  

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