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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.

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