National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Details of Proposed FY 2010 Funding Levels for Housing Programs
July 23, 2009
The FY 2010 Transportation-HUD Appropriations bill (HR 3288) proposes $350 million for the HUD Section 811 program, a $100 million increase above the current FY 2009 level of $250 million. This is the largest proposed increase for Section 811 in over a decade. Section 811 funds grants to non-profit agencies to develop or rehabilitate properties as supportive housing targeted to non-elderly people with disabilities (including serious mental illness). Non-profits compete for funding that includes a capital advance grant to acquire or rehab a property, along with project-based rent subsidies (PRACs) in order to make rents affordable for tenants.
The increase for 811 proposed for FY 2010 represents a tremendous opportunity to increase the number of new units developed by the program. In addition, HR 3288 includes funding to renew existing rent subsidies associated with Section 811. This includes an estimated $49 million for renewal and amendment of project-based rent subsidies (PRACs) and $87 million for renewal of 811 tenant-based rent subsidies. This would allow as much as $215 million to be made available for development of new units – an unprecedented increase. NAMI is extremely grateful to Transportation-HUD Subcommittee Chairman John Olver (D-MA) for his leadership in making this increase to the Section 811 program possible.
McKinney-Vento Homeless Programs
HR 3288 includes $1.85 billion in funding for homeless programs under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. This is a $173 million increase over the current level of $1.677 billion and a $56 million increase over the President’s request.
HUD’s Homeless Assistance Grants fund a variety of programs and activities. In FY 2008, $160 million was distributed to communities for the Emergency Shelter Grants program, and a similar amount was allocated in FY 2009. Most of the remaining funds are distributed through the "Continuum of Care" process. Under this process, homelessness providers in a specific geographic area work together to describe their assistance, identify their needs, and rank the projects that they want funded. HUD ranks the applications and provides funding based on the quality of the application, the performance of the local homeless assistance system, the need for homeless assistance, and the local rankings of individual programs. Funding can be used for permanent and supportive housing, transitional housing, and services.
HR 3288 includes an additional $75 million in funding for new rental vouchers for homeless veterans – many of whom have a severe mental illness and a co-occurring substance abuse disorder. This assistance would be made available through a joint HUD-VA program that combines housing assistance from HUD with medical and psychiatric care and other supportive services from the VA. It is expected that this $75 million total could support as many 10,000 additional units of supportive housing for homeless veterans.
HR 3288 also includes: