FY 2017 McKinney Appropriations: Sample Congressional Talking Points

February 3, 2015  |  Publications


FY 2017 “Ask” Pres. FY 2017 Request Senate Committee FY 2017 Level House FY 2017 Level Final FY 2017 Level
$2.487 billion $2.664 billion $2.330 billion $2.487 billion $2.250 billion


FY 2017 “Ask” Pres. FY 2017 Request Senate Committee FY 2017 Level House FY 2017 Level Final FY 2017 Level
$2.487 billion $2.664 billion $2.330 billion $2.487 billion $2.250 billion


The lowest-income Americans are having increasing difficulty affording housing, due to low wages, rising rents, and inadequate overall HUD spending. HUD’s Homeless Assistance has proven to be effective at reducing the number of people homeless. But despite hard-won gains, on any given night there are still over half a million Americans on the streets and in shelters. Counteracting skyrocketing rents and making progress will require a more significant level of funding.

  • Discuss the need in your community for increased federal homelessness resources due to the impacts of the widening gap between incomes for low wage workers and rents. Describe the impact that increased federal spending would have on homeless assistance programs in your community.
  • Describe your community’s experience with indicators of homelessness. Explain that high numbers of people with risk factors may quickly lead to increased homelessness.

These Programs Work

HUD’s McKinney-Vento programs have repeatedly proven effective at preventing and ending homelessness for families, veterans, and individuals. At the urging of the Appropriations Committee, HUD has pushed communities to make their programs more cost-effective. This has had an impact. Coordination is key, and the United States Interagency Council (USICH) helps to ensure that coordination with other federal programs happens. Explain the success of a local McKinney-funded program. Share program outcomes and its impact in your community.

  • Permanent Supportive Housing. Discuss the role of McKinney-funded permanent supportive housing (PSH) in reducing chronic homelessness in your community. Explain the cost-effectiveness of PSH.
  • Rapid Re-Housing. Describe your community’s experience with rapid re-housing, including how it has helped to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of your homeless assistance system in reducing homelessness.

Bipartisan Support

HUD’s McKinney-Vento Programs have a long history of strong, bipartisan support – ending chronic homelessness was first articulated as a goal by the Bush Administration. Now, Congress can enact bipartisan solutions to finally end chronic homelessness. And Congress can help communities make significant progress to end homelessness among families and youth. To make this happen, Congress must increase funding for HUD’s Homeless Assistance account by at least $237 million to $2.487 billion total, as included in the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) bill that passed through the House Appropriations Committee. This will allow us to replicate the success we’ve already seen in communities that are declaring an end to veteran homelessness, where modest Congressional investments have the country on the verge of solving this problem.

I hope you will work with your colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to provide at least $2.487 billion, the amount in the House version of the T-HUD bill, for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants in the final FY 2017 spending bill. This funding level would allow communities to house 40,000 more homeless people than this year, a life-saving response. This funding level and continuing to support USICH’s work to maximize resources would help us make important progress toward ending homelessness for youth, people with disabilities, veterans, and families