President Obama Proposes Historic New Investments to End Homelessness
March 04, 2014
Opening Doors is Working:
A Statement from HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan
Chair, United States Interagency Council on Homelessness
As Chair of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, I’m pleased to announce that President Obama's Fiscal Year 2015 Budget clearly demonstrates the commitment of this Administration to achieve the goals of Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. In a time of difficult budget choices, this Administration continues to make smart investments in proven solutions. Opening Doors is working, and this budget provides historic new investments in programs that prevent and end homelessness. Overall, the President's Budget requests $5.69 billion in homelessness programs across all Federal agencies, an increase of 12 percent over FY 2014 enacted levels.
Since the launch of Opening Doors in 2010, with President Obama’s leadership and strong partnerships with States and communities, we’ve reduced family homelessness by eight percent, chronic homelessness by 16 percent, and homelessness among Veterans by an amazing 24 percent. Still, there is much work to be done. The historic new investments proposed in President Obama’s FY 2015 budget would create an even greater opportunity to act together with urgency and focus on what works.
In this budget, the President continues his unwavering commitment to our nation’s Veterans. With additional investments in the HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program, we could ensure that 10,000 Veterans with disabilities will move from homelessness to stable housing. By increasing the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program to $500 million we will make certain that the families who have sacrificed so much for this country will have a safe and stable place to call home. The decreases we have seen in Veteran homelessness are evidence that when Congress works together in a bipartisan manner to fully fund programs that work, we see significant results. If this bipartisanship continues, we will end Veteran homelessness as we know it.
The President’s FY 2015 Budget request includes more than $2.4 billion for HUD Homeless Assistance Grants,$301 million more than in the FY 2014 budget, which will serve a record number of individuals, youth, and families experiencing or at-risk of homelessness through a wide variety of proven solutions like rapid re-housing, permanent supportive housing, and Housing First. We have an incredible opportunity to help vulnerable individuals with disabilities no longer experience chronic homelessness, as well as to continue on our path of ending family and youth homelessness by 2020.
With Opening Doors, we have made solving homelessness the responsibility of the entire Federal government in partnership with state and local community providers. Together, we are changing the trajectory of homelessness and making a real difference in people’s lives. Thank you for your partnership. We hope you will join us in the responsibility of putting these historic new investments to work in your community and achieve the goals of Opening Doors.
Secretary Shaun Donovan
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Chair, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness
USICH Details Homeless Programs Requested in the President's FY 2015 Budget
President Obama's Fiscal Year 2015 Budget clearly demonstrates the high priority this Administration has for achieving to the goals of Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. This year’s budget proposal includes more than $5.69 billion for targeted homeless assistance funding, a 12 percent increase over Fiscal Year 2014 appropriations.
USICH has developed this fact sheet to serve as an overview of the targeted homeless assistance programs across the Federal government.
“The President’s Budget includes historic investments to prevent and end homelessness,” said incoming USICH Executive Director Laura Zeilinger. “Together, we have proven that investing in data-driven, evidence-based solutions to homelessness works on a national scale.”
President Obama's Fiscal Year 2015 Budget request reflects a core tenet of Opening Doors, that to end homelessness, we must invest in what works: evidence-based solutions like Housing First, permanent supportive housing, and rapid re-housing.
Opening Doors calls for the strategic targeting of resources and effective implementation focused on outcomes. The budget request was constructed through a careful analysis of the specific number of housing units needed to achieve an end to Veterans homelessness in 2015, chronic homelessness in 2016, and to achieve an end to family homelessness in 2020, taking into account policy actions by Federal agencies to ensure that existing resources being deployed as efficiently as possible. The President’s FY 2015 Budget Proposal is the fourth budget developed by USICH member agencies since the launch of Opening Doors and includes historic investments, such as:
Unwavering commitment to ending homelessness among Veterans and their families in 2015. The Budget contains $1.64 billion for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs that prevent or end homelessness among Veterans. This includes an increase of 17.8 percent, or $248 million, over the 2014 level, continuing VA’s steady progress toward ending homelessness among Veterans and their families in 2015. Specifically, $500 million is proposed for VA Supportive Services for Veteran Families program-built on best practices developed across the country. For HUD-VASH program, $321 million for VA case management and $75 million proposed HUD funding for 10,000 additional vouchers.
Historic and strategic investments to implement the HEARTH Act. The budget provides $2.4 billion for Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Homeless Assistance Grants, $301 million above the 2014 enacted level. This funding supports new permanent supportive housing units and maintains more than 330,000 HUD-funded beds, which assist persons who experience homelessness nationwide. These resources enable the Administration to achieve the goal of ending chronic homelessness in 2016 through the creation of 37,000 new permanent supportive housing units, while sustaining and advancing progress in ending homelessness among families and youth. The Administration is working with communities to create coordinated entry systems, and retool existing local programs and policies to create more effective and efficient crisis response systems, while gathering further evidence of which interventions are most effective for specific sub-populations.