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Housing and Services for Homeless Persons Demonstration - FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions

HUD's FT2011 Budget Request to Address Homelessness

What is HUD's primary goal with the funds it is requesting in the 2011 budget to address homelessness?

A: HUD's 2011 budget requests related to confronting homelessness are based on four goals:

  • To ensure that existing HUD targeted programs are sufficiently funded to meet existing commitments.
  • To begin funding all elements of the new HEARTH Act.
  • To increase and improve interagency collaboration as a means of more efficiently and effectively preventing and ending homelessness
  • To engage HUD mainstream programs (e.g., Housing Choice Vouchers) in confronting homelessness. HUD is committed to using its full array of programmatic tools, not just its targeted homelessness assistance programs, to address homelessness.

Q: What is HUD requesting in its 2011 budget to assist homeless persons and those at risk of homelessness?

A: HUD is seeking a $190 million increase over its 2010 budget allocation for its targeted Homeless Assistance Grants which fund the Department's ‚ÄúContinuum of Care (CoC)‚Ä? programs. The increase will fully fund renewal projects and provide the resources necessary to begin implementation of the new HEARTH Act which will be rolled out in 2011. In addition, the budget request $85 million to fund 10,000 Housing Choice Vouchers for chronically homeless individuals and for homeless and near homeless families.

Q: How will the $190 million be allocated to the various CoC programs?

A: $107 million will be used to fund permanent supportive housing for both individuals and families and should create at least 9,500 new units of supportive housing. An additional $200 million will be allocated to the ESG program, which will also help provide an undetermined amount to assist with CoC administrative costs as required by the HEARTH Act, and for the new rural program.

Q: Who will benefit from HUD's budget request for $85 million for Housing Choice Vouchers to address homelessness?

A: The vouchers are going to be dedicated to two homeless subpopulations. Approximately 4,000 vouchers will be targeted to chronically homeless persons in an effort to build on the successful efforts to bring an end to chronic homelessness that have been undertaken in recent years. Approximately 6,000 vouchers will be targeted to homeless and near homeless families to address this problem which has been exacerbated by recent economic conditions.

Q: How will the vouchers for chronically homeless persons be allocated?

A: The voucher effort represents an historic partnership among HUD and the Department of Health and Human Services. Although the details of the initiative are still being developed, it is anticipated that the vouchers will be allocated through a competitive process designed to incentivize communities to integrate mainstream housing and service resources. The vouchers targeted to chronically homeless persons will be linked with HHS mainstream programs including Medicaid and other HHS health resources (e.g., mental health and substance abuse treatment funding from SAMHSA).

Q: How are the vouchers for homeless families going to be allocated?

A: Although the details of the initiative are still being developed, it is anticipated that the vouchers targeted to homeless families will be allocated through a competition which encourages cooperation between HUD, HHS and the Department of Education (DoED) programs. Winning PHAs will have to show how families accessing the new vouchers will also be connected to: (1) HHS-funded income supports such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and (2) Department of Education programs for homeless school-age children. The DoEd will also assist PHAs identify homeless families for the demonstration through their school-based homeless education liaisons.

Q: Will the other departments participating in the voucher effort be bringing new resources to the table?

A: Yes. HHS is seeking $16 million in 2011 for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration SAMHSA for this effort. In addition to new resources, both HHS and the Department of Education have committed to working with their state and local partners to incent participation, and provide implementation guidance.

Q: Will the voucher initiatives be evaluated?

A: Yes, there is an evaluation component built into these efforts. The participating agencies feel strongly that this initiative should be seen as a mechanism for learning: (1) more about what works to end homelessness for the affected sub-populations, and (2) how mainstream programs (as opposed to programs specifically targeted to homeless populations) can be effectively used to address homelessness, and (3) how interagency efforts can be effectively and efficiently crafted to result in positive outcomes for homeless individuals and families.

Q: Will the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness be engaged in this endeavor?

A: Yes. HUD, HHS and DoEd are all significantly involved in USICH efforts to build better collaboration across federal agencies to address homelessness. As USICH rolls out it strategy to confront homelessness for the Obama Administration, this initiative will provide early lessons in building strong and effective collaborations across agencies to confront homelessness.