This week, the Senate will debate its Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) spending bill, which provides funding for affordable housing and service coordination programs administered by HUD. Overall, the bill provides nearly $1.5 billion in additional spending for affordable housing programs, despite the low spending caps.
Funding for service coordination programs identified in the Senate bill is as follows:
Family Self Sufficiency (FSS): $75 million. This is the same funding appropriated in the past three budget cycles. The bill also affords private owners of multifamily housing to establish their own FSS program for their residents and can use Residual Receipts to fund the FSS Coordinator position. AASC analysis: While the $75 million funding level is on par with past funding, this level of funding does not allow for new FSS programs to be established in additional public housing authorities (PHAs), nor does it allow for existing programs with large caseloads to expand and hire additional coordinators. AASC recommends a funding level of $85 million to allow for modest growth in the FSS program so that more families can acquire skills and assets to move up and out of poverty.
Resident Opportunity for Self-Sufficiency Service Coordinator grants (ROSS): The FY2017 funding level of $35 million is the same level as FY2016 however, this amount is $10 million less than the FY2015 appropriated amount of $45 million. AASC analysis: The $35 million funding level does not allow for new ROSS Service Coordinator grants in additional PHAs, and it is questionable whether this funding level would afford a modest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase for the renewal of existing 3-year ROSS grants. AASC recommends a funding level of $45 million to allow for modest COLA increases and for additional PHAs to acquire a ROSS service coordinator to enable more older adults to live as independently as possible and for more families to move up and out of poverty.
Service Coordinators in Multifamily Housing for the Elderly and Disabled (Sect. 202 Elderly Housing Service Coordinators): The Senate THUD appropriations bill funds this service coordinator program at $75 million – a $2 million DECREASE from FY2016 funding. AASC analysis: Given the fact that many service coordinator grants had to receive funding in partial percentage payments and no grantees received a cost of living increase in FY2015 and FY2016, it is unrealistic to think that this proposed funding level will be sufficient to fully fund existing grants. It is IMPERATIVE that you contact your Senators today to advocate for the return to the $90 million funding level for the service coordinator grant program.
The Senate will consider a number of amendments, including some that will bolster critical housing programs and others that will weaken federal housing law. Please email your Senators TODAY and ask them to protect service coordinator programs. A sample letter/email can be found here. You can find staff contact information for your Senators here.
It is critical that you call or email your Senators today and tomorrow and ask them to increase funding for HUD’s service coordinator grant programs.
Disclaimer: This information was prepared by the American Association of Service Coordinators. It is proprietary, confidential and protected by applicable intellectual property laws.
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