Historic Funding Levels for Homelessness Programs in President’s FY12 Budget
Building on the watershed year in efforts to prevent and end homelessness, President Obama today released his Fiscal Year 2012 (FY 2012) Budget proposal that includes a significant funding commitment for Opening Doors. The President's Budget includes $4.8 billion for targeted homeless assistance funding, a 23.4% increase over the previously enacted Fiscal Year 2010 Budget and a 13.3% increase over the President's Fiscal Year 2011 Budget proposal. As President Obama said last year, "Now more than ever, we have a responsibility to tackle national challenges like homelessness in the most cost-effective ways possible."
Highlights of the FY12 Budget:
- To support implementation of the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act signed into law in 2009 by President Obama, the FY 2012 budget proposes a nearly $580 million increase in homeless assistance funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) compared to FY 2010 to continue the work begun under the Recovery Act-funded Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, increase investment in evidence-based models (such as Housing First), and support local planning and coordination efforts. These investments will create long-term savings in the costs of addressing homelessness while reducing the number of people who become homeless. The FY 2012 Budget includes $2.37 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants, up from $1.865 billion in FY2010 and $2.055 billion in FY2011.
- As part of Opening Doors' goal to prevent and end Veterans homelessness by 2015, the President's Budget proposes additional vouchers for HUD-VASH (a program jointly administered by HUD and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at a cost of $75 million. The HUD-VASH program combines tenant-based voucher assistance with case management and clinical services tailored to Veterans and their families. Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) that have been awarded HUD-VASH vouchers develop critical partnerships with VA Medical Centers to help homeless Veterans find and maintain permanent supportive housing.
- In addition to the HUD-VASH vouchers, the President's Budget underscores the Administration's commitment to ending Veterans homelessness by investing $939 million to continue the expansion of VA services for homeless and at-risk veterans (increasing targeted homeless assistance funding for Veterans by 75 percent).
- HUD and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will combine 7,500 Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers in combination with $16 million in HHS funding to serve individuals and families experiencing chronic homelessness. Health Care for the Homeless programs would also receive an $87 million increase over FY 2010 levels to $258 million.
- The Budget also invests in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Prevention Efforts by including $154 million for behavioral health supportive services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness with mental and substance abuse disorders to transition into permanent supportive housing.