USICH Releases 2016 Budget Fact Sheet on Homelessness Assistance
The President's 2016 Budget Calls for Investments in What Works to End Homelessness
February 5, 2015
A message from USICH Interim Executive Director Matthew Doherty
This week, President Obama put forward a 2016 Budget that again demonstrates his Administration's deep commitment to ending homelessness. As Interim Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, I am pleased to share that this Budget calls for the investments needed to end chronic homelessness in 2017, make significant progress toward ending homelessness among families, children and youth in 2020, and sustain efforts to end Veteran homelessness in 2015. In his Budget, the President calls for nearly $5.5 billion in targeted homelessness assistance. In addition to targeted homelessness assistance, the Budget also includes key investments to mainstream programs needed to end homelessness, such as 67,000 new Housing Choice Vouchers to support low-income households, including families experiencing homelessness; survivors of domestic and dating violence; families with children in foster care; youth aging out of foster care; and Veterans experiencing homelessness, regardless of their discharge status.
With the launch of Opening Doors in 2010, the President set ambitious goals to end homelessness across the Nation, and since then we have made significant progress. Overall homelessness is down 10 percent since 2010, including a 25 percent reduction in unsheltered homelessness. Family homelessness is down 15 percent. Chronic homelessness is down 21 percent, and Veteran homelessness is down 33 percent nationwide. Our progress is the result of the hard work of community partners, unprecedented collaboration at all levels of government and across sectors, and a commitment by this Administration to invest in what works to end homelessness--evidence-based solutions like Housing First, permanent supportive housing, affordable housing, and rapid re-housing.
The Budget demonstrates an unwavering commitment to our Nation's Veterans and their families, ensuring continued investments to effectively end Veteran homelessness. New Orleans, Louisiana became the first major city in the U.S. to achieve this goal, one year ahead of the national goal, and other cities have already hit important milestones toward this goal including Salt Lake City, Utah and Phoenix, Arizona, which have ended chronic homelessness among Veterans. Over 440 mayors, governors, and local leaders have committed to ending Veteran homelessness in their communities through the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness. With continued focus from Federal, State, and local partners, the goal to end Veteran homelessness by the end of 2015 is in reach. Strategic investments include $300 million to help end and prevent homelessness for Veterans and their families through the Supportive Services for Veterans Families rapid re-housing and homelessness prevention program and $374 million in case management and clinical services to support 94,966 Veterans nationwide through the HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program.
The Budget calls for the investments needed to end chronic homelessness in 2017. As part of an overall investment of $2.5 billion in HUD's Continuum of Care (CoC) and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Programs, the Budget calls for the resources to create 25,500 new units of permanent supportive housing--the proven, cost-effective solution to chronic homelessness. Shortfalls in the most recent budget passed by Congress have forced us to move the national goal to end chronic homelessness from 2015 to 2017. The President's 2016 Budget would bring the nation's inventory of permanent supportive housing to a scale needed to achieve an end to chronic homelessness in 2017. Meanwhile, there are communities-such as those participating in Community Solution's Zero: 2016 campaign--who can and should continue to work toward achieving this goal ahead of this new timeline. This Administration is committed to working with every community to end chronic homelessness as quickly as possible.
The Budget makes continued investments to end homelessness among families, children and youth. As part of the $2.5 billion investment in HUD's Continuum of Care and Emergency Solutions Grant Programs--an increase of $345 million over current levels--the Budget calls for new rapid re-housing capacity to prevent and end homelessness for 15,000 families with children. In addition, the Budget calls for more than $177 million in tenant-based rental assistance for families, for Veterans regardless of discharge status, and for tribal families experiencing homelessness. The Budget invests $20 million for new Family Unification Program (FUP) vouchers to serve youth and families and calls for increases to the Runaway and Homeless Youth program and to Head Start. The Budget also calls for more than $37 million for vouchers for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking who require an emergency transfer from their current assisted housing.
With Opening Doors, we have made clear that ending homelessness is the shared responsibility of the entire Federal government working in partnership with states and local communities. Together, we have proven that homelessness is a problem we can solve by investing in proven solutions and working together toward common goal. Together, we are ending homelessness. Thank you for your partnership. We hope you will join us in the responsibility of putting these new investments to work in your community and achieve the goals of Opening Doors.
The President's 2016 Budget is the fifth budget developed by USICH member agencies since the launch of Opening Doors and includes strategic investments in what is working to end homelessness. Download our 2016 Budget fact sheet, an overview of the homeless assistance programs across the federal government.