December 2015 NCHV eNewsletter

NCHV eNewsletter
December 2015
NCHV Releases Veterans Access to Housing Summit Wrap-Up Report
Includes recommendations to increase housing access taken from attendee and expert panelist feedback
In October 2015, NCHV held The Drive to December: Veterans Access to Housing Summit, a training event gathering stakeholders from around the country to address their local challenges in housing homeless veterans. The event, presented in partnership with Citi and The Home Depot Foundation, was titled "The Drive to December," was held to address the urgency of our efforts to meet the goal of ending veteran homelessness in every community by creating functional zero systems.
We challenged community organizations to build upon the foundation set in previous years while bulldozing through the barriers that remain in the Drive to December. An exclusive group of 230 leaders in the affordable housing and homeless services community converged for two days of intensive training and facilitated trouble-shooting to identify new opportunities to maximize affordable housing for homeless and low-income veterans.
This Summit provided these organizations with unprecedented access to a faculty of experts on affordable housing development, access, and stability. These experts came from HUD, VA, DOL, and USICH, from NCHV’s partners in philanthropy and across financial institutions, from NCHV’s training and technical assistance partners, and from peer agencies across the country that have made real change in their communities and in the lives of veterans.

NCHV has developed a wrap-up report to share an overview of the event, comments from attendees and panel experts, and recommendations going forward. Click to view The Drive to December: NCHV Veterans Access to Housing Summit Wrap-Up Report. 
Support NCHV When You Shop this Holiday Season
Through AmazonSmile, Amazon donates a portion of your purchases to NCHV
As you do your holiday or everyday shopping on Amazon, don't forget to take part in AmazonSmile! Through AmazonSmile, Amazon donates a small percentage of every purchase to NCHV if you have selected us as your charity of choice. 
For more information and to select NCHV as your charity of choice when shopping on Amazon, click here
Mike Michaud Sworn in as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans’ Employment and Training
 Former U.S. Representative continues legacy of service to veterans
On Dec. 9, 2015, former U.S. Representative Mike Michaud was sworn in as the new Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training. President Obama nominated Michaud for the position in July and the Senate confirmed his nomination on Nov. 19. The Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training oversees the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, which provides career service and preparation to America's veterans, service members, and their spouses - including homeless veterans through the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program
Read Assistant Secretary Michaud's reaction to his new position in his post on the DOL blog here.
Hill Watch: Appropriations Down to the Wire
Congress sets final versions of appropriations bill
Following several short-term continuing resolutions, Congress appears close to a final deal on this fiscal year’s funding levels. The now-public version of the bill has yet to be approved by either house of Congress, but the agreement was hammered out in large part by the leadership of both parties on either side of the Capitol. Passage on the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2015” (H.R. 2029) is expected before Christmas. While the majority of the text is finalized, there may be room for small changes if the House and Senate allow floor amendments; it remains to be seen if this will be the case.
The HUD-VASH program has received an increase of $60 million above its current funding level. This will pay for about 8,000 housing vouchers from the Department of Housing and Urban Development side. There have been no commensurate increases on the Department of Veteran Affairs side, leaving these vouchers without supportive services dollars in the immediate future.
The Department of Labor’s HVRP program received a flat funding of $38.109 million. This will allow the program to continue serving communities at the same level as previous years.
The picture at the Department of Veterans Affairs is more complicated. Due in part to a focus on Hepatitis C treatment and prosthetics funding, the top line budget numbers are lower than anticipated, leaving the funding level for the Grant and Per Diem program an item of some doubt. NCHV continues to push for the full authorized level of spending for the GPD program, but we may see a decrease in that program’s spending by as much as $49 million. NCHV will keep you updated as that picture clarifies.
In any case, the funding for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program will see a flat funding level of $300 million for next year. This is also below the level called for by NCHV, but does not constitute a cut.  
NCHV continues to work on every available front to protect homeless veteran services across the country. We will also continue to update you as the process continues.
Health Care Option Overview for Veterans
Guidance on how to comply with Affordable Care Act guidelines from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Health care coverage options for military veterans

If a veteran is enrolled in TRICARE or VA health care, they are considered covered under the Affordable Care Act. No changes are necessary.

If a veteran doesn't have VA or other health coverage, they can use the Marketplace to enroll in a plan.

Veterans programs that meet coverage requirements

If enrolled in (or a beneficiary of) any of the programs listed below, a veteran is considered to have minimum essential coverage under the health care law. This means they don't need to get additional coverage.

If a veteran is not enrolled for VA health care, they can visit the VA health care website where they can see if they qualify for VA coverage.

For more important information on veterans and the Affordable Care Act, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website.
For veterans who don’t have VA coverage
For a veteran who isn’t enrolled in VA benefits or other veterans health coverage, coverage is available through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Depending on household size and income, a veteran may be able to get lower costs on monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs on private insurance. They may qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Veterans who have no health coverage may have to pay a fee.

For dependents who aren't covered

Veterans enrolled in (or are a beneficiary of) a VA health care program may have dependents who aren’t eligible for a VA health care program. They can get coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace (refer to options above).
Like others, if they don't have health insurance coverage, they may have to pay a fee.

Important: TRICARE's young adult coverage rules are different from the Affordable Care Act’s version. TRICARE's young adult coverage option is different from the Affordable Care Act's under-26 rules. Eligibility ages, benefits, and other details differ.
NCHV Seeking Nominations for Board of Directors

The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans is seeking additional nominations for potential NCHV Board of Directors candidates. The Board is seeking candidates with fund and donor development experience and/or expertise in healthcare or families/children. The Board is seeking ethnic diversity (to include Latino/Hispanic, Asian, and Native American candidates) and geographic diversity (to include the southern states). Interested candidates can contact NCHV Executive Director Baylee Crone at bcrone@nchv.org for additional information about submitting an application for consideration.
Funding Opportunities
The Chatlos Foundation makes grants to secular organizations who work in the areas of vocational training, child welfare, prison alternatives, concerns for the aged and disabled, and families in crisis. Initial grants are always under $10,000, and historically grants in the above areas have been made in denominations ranging from $2,000 to $5,000. The Foundation is based in Florida, but makes grants nationally and globally. To find out more, and begin the (open and rolling) application process, click here.
The Greenlee Family Foundation accepts letters of inquiry on a rolling basis, for consideration of proposals on a quarterly timetable. The Foundation has a funding focus on “individual self-sufficiency” for programs serving residents of Denver, Boulder, and Broomfield in Colorado. If you are interested in applying for a grant from the Foundation, click here to learn more and begin drafting your letter of inquiry.

Advocacy Update: Congress Passes FY 2016 Omnibus Bill 




Advocacy Update
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Congress Passes FY 2016 Omnibus Bill
On Friday, December 18 Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the fiscal year (FY) 2016 omnibus spending bill that funds all discretionary federal operations, including homeless assistance and affordable housing programs, through the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2016.

The bill provides $2.250 billion for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program, a $115 million or 5.4 percent increase over FY 2015 funding, but $230 million less than the Obama administration's requested amount.  Here are some highlights from the omnibus bill:

 
  • The $2.250 billion the bill provides for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants is allocated as follows:
    • At least $1.918 billion  for Continuum of Care (CoC) and Rural Housing Stability Assistance programs;
      • This will allow communities to retain existing capacity, and the Alliance’s analysis estimates that approximately $27 million will go toward funding new CoC projects.
    • At least $250 million for Emergency Solution Grants (ESG), which is the same as FY 2015 funding;
    • $38 million for homeless youth initiatives:
      • $33 million for demonstration projects in ten communities that show how a comprehensive approach to serving homeless youth aged 24 and under can dramatically reduce youth homelessness
      • $5 million for technical assistance for youth homelessness; and
    • $7 million for the national homeless data analysis project.
  • The bill provides $60 million for approximately 8,000 new HUD-VASH vouchers;
  • PATH program funds were level funded at $65 million, despite both chambers proposing cuts to the program in their initial bills; and
  • Runaway and Homeless Youth Act received $101.98 million, which is a $4.98 million increase over FY 2015.
For all of the advocacy actions taken this year, thank you! The Alliance could not have secured these funding increases that will end homelessness for thousands of Americans without your efforts. Now is a great time to reach out to your Senators and Representatives to thank them for providing funding that helps end homelessness.

About Us

The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to solving the problem of homelessness and preventing its continued growth.

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