ADVOCACY OPPORTUNITY: Call Your Members this Week!

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ADVOCACY OPPORTUNITY: Call Your Members this Week!
The Balanced Budget Act (BBA), a two year budget agreement that raises overall budget caps by $80 billion over the next two fiscal years, passed through both chambers of Congress last week and was signed into law Monday, November 2. This presents the biggest opportunity we have to get Congress to do something about homelessness since the HEARTH Act passed six years ago!

We are hosting a call-in week THIS WEEK! From November 2-November 6  we are counting on homeless advocates to call your Congressional offices to discuss the importance of fully funding housing and homelessness programs in the final FY 2016 bill. The Alliance, in partnership with CSH, have provided talking points about the three most important priorities to be included in the final FY 2016 bill to make a difference for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Here’s What You Can Do:

1. Call your members of Congress THIS WEEK by dialing the Congressional switchboard at 877-210-5351.
a. When you reach your Members’ offices, ask to speak to the staff person who handles housing issues.

2. Deliver this message: “Please ask your boss to contact leadership of the full Appropriations Committee and T-HUD subcommittee and communicate that we need to take advantage of the opportunity created by the budget deal to address the homelessness crisis and get back on track to end homelessness. Congress can do this through prioritizing 3 key HUD programs by:

  • Providing $2.480 billion for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program, including $40 million for homeless youth initiatives.
  • Providing $18.05 billion to renew all Housing Choice Vouchers in use at the end of 2015 and $470 million to restore the remaining 60,000 vouchers lost due to sequestration.
  • Not raiding the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) to fund other programs.”
** You can use these talking points.

3) Spread the word about these National Call In Days to your colleagues and community partners!

4) Let us know which offices you called and what the responses were!

More Information:
The Balanced Budget Act (BBA) raises sequestration caps by $80 billion over the next two years. For the upcoming fiscal year, FY 2016, it provides $33 billion more for non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs than would have been available if the sequester caps had not been lifted. The deal raises the caps by only $23 billion more for FY 2017, meaning THIS YEAR, not next, is our best shot at securing funding increases. Appropriators will now determine new allocations for the 12 Appropriations Subcommittees of both the House and Senate. It is critical that they hear the above 3 strong reasons that the T-HUD Subcommittees need a large allocation to make an impact on ending homelessness, and that additional funds NEED to be diverted to these programs. Congress has until December 11, when the current continuing resolution (CR) runs out, to pass a final FY 2016 omnibus spending bill, but things are moving very quickly.

This is our chance to make progress on ending homelessness, and to finally put the resources on the table to end chronic homelessness! We need to get a strong, unified message out about what Congress needs to do to ensure the message permeates and ending homelessness rises to the top of appropriators’ priority lists. 
Access the talking points