Advocacy is one of our many guiding principles. As such, we affirm that direct services to the homeless will include advocacy, and that the work of the Washtenaw Housing Alliance will include changing institutional policies and practices, training of professionals, policy and legislative change, educating funders, and raising hell when necessary.
Local Advocacy Opportunities
Washtenaw County Platt Road - Washtenaw County received 6 development proposals for the Platt Road site. Each proposal can be viewed here: http://www.plattroad.org/platt-road-proposals. A review by County staff will be completed soon and the Board of Commissioners is expected to discuss proposals in April/May 2017. Stay tuned for further updates!
State Advocacy Opportunities
Opportunity to increase funding at the state level – Governor’s proposed budget for FY18 includes increased funding for programs that work with people experiencing homelessness:
- A $3.7 million increase for DHHHS Emergency Shelter Program (ESP); shelter reimbursement would go from $12 a day to $16 a day
- Increase of $150 million for Department of Education for students who are identified as “at-risk”.
If you support the emergency shelter increase:
If you support the at-risk student
If you support both budget items:
Federal Advocacy Opportunities
President Trump is expected to send Congress a high-level budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018 tomorrow. An overview of early drafts by the Washington Post shows that the Trump administration is considering cutting HUD's budget by as much as $7 billion (or 14% from FY16 funded levels), and other non-defense discretionary (NDD) program funding, to help pay for a $54 billion increase in defense spending. Programs that would face drastic cuts include: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnership (HOME), funding for public housing authorities, and direct rental assistance payments — including Section 8 Housing and housing vouchers for homeless veterans (cut by at least $300 million, to $19.3 billion), housing for the elderly — known as the Section 202 program (cut by $42 million, nearly 10 percent), and Section 811 housing for people with disabilities (cut by $29 million, nearly 20 percent). While not specifically mentioned in the Washington Post article, other HUD programs – such as homeless assistance programs – should be considered at-risk as well.
Link to Washington Post article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-administration-considers-6-billion-cut-to-hud-budget/2017/03/08/1757e8e8-03ab-11e7-b1e9-a05d3c21f7cf_story.html?tid=sm_fb&utm_term=.b042c0e2109b
- National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC): Advocacy Webinar Mon, Mar 20, 2017 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM EDT (Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/712995188908614659)
- National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH): http://cqrcengage.com/naeh/funding
- Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness (MCAH): www.mihomeless.org