Current Advocacy Opportunities
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
Sign Up to attend WHA's Advocacy Training and learn how to speak about issues surrounding housing and homelessness in a public forum. Workshop leaders include representatives from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Avalon Housing, and the CivCity Initiative.
- Take the Fair Housing Center's Welcome in My Backyard ("WIMBY") Pledge to let local policymakers and the public know that you value living in an open, inclusive, and diverse community and that you welcome all people from all walks of life into your neighborhood.
State Advocacy Opportunities
Consider supporting the following state-level funding increases, as part of the Governor’s proposed budget for FY 2018, to programs that support 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”.
Federal Advocacy Opportunities
The proposed federal budget for FY 2018 was released at the end of May and it includes deep cuts to many safety net programs that help low-income families across the country access food, healthcare, housing, and more. Learn more about the federal budget cuts here.
Overall, the President is requesting $7.4 billion in cuts to HUD, a 15% reduction from 2017 funding levels. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), the budget would "increase homelessness and hardship in every state" by raising rents for nearly 4 million low-income households currently receive federal assistance, cutting funding for public housing and Homeless Assistance Grants, and eliminating various programs that provide flexible funding to poor urban and rural communities.
According to CBPP, in the State of Michigan alone, an estimated 125,200 low-income households - including 90,300 children - would be impacted by the rent increases, placing them in jeopardy of losing their homes if they are unable to pay.
Take Action TODAY to Oppose Federal Budget Cuts to HUD, by:
- Signing and Sharing this Letter to Congress on behalf of yourself and/or the organization you represent asking Congress to pass a fair 2018 budget that protects the policies and programs people rely on;
Joining the Hands Off Campaign, a national campaign dedicated to preventing cuts to basic living programs such as affordable housing, Medicaid, disability, benefits, nutrition assistance, and environmental protections;
Calling and emailing members of Congress asking them to reject the President’s budget cuts and increase funding for McKinney-Vento;
Urging Congress to increase funding for affordable housing by lifting spending caps for affordable housing, community development, and transportation programs receive the highest allocation of discretionary funds possible; and
Asking Congress to protect and expand the National Housing Trust Fund that helps build and preserve housing that is affordable for people with the lowest incomes.
Other Advocacy Resources:
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