Congress is in its final push to complete annual spending legislation for Fiscal Year 2022. It’s the perfect time for people who are concerned about homelessness to let Members of Congress know how important the key programs are at HUD. We’re asking you to help by emailing your Representatives and Senators, using the simple tools on our website.
At the Alliance’s conference last week, one thing that came through loud and clear is that for homelessness and affordable housing, people around the country know what to do. We have models – designed by listening carefully to people who are homeless – that get good results, improve people’s lives, and make communities better – but the public investments haven’t been sufficient to bring them to scale. The annual spending bills are how we can take a step forward.
This gets done when people in Congress – both Senators and Representatives – hear from their constituents, and particularly constituents who understand how these programs work at the local level. If you’ve read this far into this blog post, that’s probably you!
The President’s budget proposal for FY22 included substantial increases for Homeless Assistance Grants (which mostly funds the Continuum of Care program) and Tenant-Based Rental Assistance, which funds Housing Choice Vouchers. We know that just about every community is putting these programs to excellent use, and could use more funding. The important message to get across to Congress is to illustrate to them what’s most needed in your community.
The Alliance has drafted a sample letter you can use that explains some of these details. You can help by fleshing it out with local details, and sending it along to your House and Senate Members. If you want to do more than that, like setting up meetings with those officials, encouraging local leaders to be involved, or organizing broader coalitions, please be in touch! Please reach out to Jerry Jones, National Field Director (firstname.lastname@example.org) or John Threlkeld, Senior Congressional Affairs Manager (email@example.com) if you are interested.
The public wants homelessness addressed, improved, ended. As Congress finishes these spending bills, it’s a key moment to do that.