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FY 2016 Federal Budget

On February 2, 2015, President Obama released his FY16 budget request. The Administration has proposed an overall federal budget request that would go above the discretionary spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) by $74 billion (roughly 7%). Below is a brief update on proposals related to housing and health and human services programs impacting people with disabilities and people who experience homelessness.

Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)

HUD proposes a request of $49.3 billion, which is $4 billion above HUD’s enacted FY15 appropriations. The request would reduce homelessness among veterans, families, and chronically homeless people and restore housing vouchers that were lost under sequestration through proposed spending measures that would provide substantial new resources for communities. Highlights of the proposed FY16 budget include:

  • Section 811 for People with Disabilities request for $177 million of which $150 million would be for PRAC renewals and $25 million (roughly 700 units) for new Project Rental Assistance (PRA). The budget proposal also allows HUD to identify residual receipts, collections, recaptures and other unobligated balances to redirect as additional investments in PRA awards.
  • Housing Choice Voucher requests funds to renew existing vouchers and restore 67,000 vouchers lost in the sequester. Of the restored vouchers, $277 million will be to support 37,000 new “Need-Based” vouchers. An additional $235 million to support 30,000 vouchers for families, veterans, and Native Americans experiencing homelessness. PHAs receiving voucher for homeless families will be required to partner with local Continuum of Care to indentify program participants through a coordinated entry process. The 30,000 targeted vouchers are set aside for the following populations:
    • $177.5 million for homeless families, veterans (regardless of discharge status), and tribal families who are experiencing homelessness;
    • $37.5 million for victims of domestic and dating violence; and
    • $20 million for the Family Unification Program (FUP), for families with children in the foster care system and youth aging out of foster care.
  • Homeless assistance program request of $2.48 billion, which includes a $345 million increase in funding for: competitive renewals, new permanent supportive housing for persons experiencing chronic homelessness, and new rapid re-housing assistance for families with children experiencing homelessness. The request includes $250 million for ESG formula grants and includes statutory language allowing nonprofits to administer rental assistance (a permanent amendment to the HEARTH Act).
  • HUD’s FY16 request would also expand the Moving to Work (MTW) demonstration program, now capped at 39 PHAs, to support expansion of the MTW program to implement and test innovative models for improving self-sufficiency, mobility, academic performance and other outcomes for HUD-assisted tenants.

For more information see HUD FY16 Budget Proposal and NLIHC budget summary chart. Additional budget summaries can be found at the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) and  National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD).

Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

SAMHSA’s requested budget is $3.7 billion, which represents a $44.6 million increase from the FY15 enacted budget. Highlights include:

  • Level funding for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant ($1.820 billion), the Mental Health Services Block Grant ($482.5 million, with the continued 5% set-aside for early intervention), Children’s Mental Health Services, and Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) ($65 million).
  • $10 million in combined mental health and substance abuse funding to support states and communities in developing addiction and mental health crisis-response systems.
  • $20 million for a new Primary Care and Addiction Services Integration (PCASI) initiative (building on lessons learned from the Primary Care-Behavioral Health Integration(PBHCI) grants which the budget proposes to decrease by $23 million) to  improve the health of people with substance use disorders through coordinated and integrated primary care services in substance abuse treatment settings.
  • $12 million in new grants to prevent prescription drug/Opioid related deaths through the use of Naloxone.
  • $30 million for Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), a $17 million cut compared to FY15 enacted.
  • Level funding for Mental Health First Aid ($15 million), along with $4 million in new funding to support Mental Health First Aid to Veterans and family members affected by mental illness and addictions.
  • $10 million in new funding for a peer professional workforce development program and a $21.0 million increase for the SAMHSA-HRSA Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Grant Program to expand the behavioral health workforce.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Medicare and Medicaid are mandatorily funded and not included in the Administration’s request for funding. However, the President's budget includes a number of legislative proposals that would improve access to home and community-based services (HCBS):

  • Pilot Comprehensive Long-Term Care State Plan Option: This eight-year pilot program would make comprehensive long-term services and supports available through the Medicaid state plan, rather than through waivers, in participating states. At the end of eight years, the Secretary of HHS would have the discretion to make the pilots permanent. (Estimated cost: $4.1 billion over 10 years)
  • Expand Eligibility for the 1915(i) HCBS State Plan Option: The Budget proposes to update eligibility requirements to increase states' flexibility in expanding access to HCBS under 1915(i) state plan option. Under current law, certain non-categorically eligible individuals who meet the needs-based criteria can only qualify for home and community-based services through the 1915(i) state plan option if they are also eligible for home and community-based services through a waiver program. This proposal would remove that requirement. (Estimated cost: $1.3 billion over 10 years).
  • Allow Full Medicaid Benefits for Individuals in a HCBS State Plan Option: This proposal would provide states with the option to offer full Medicaid eligibility to individuals who access HCBS through the 1915(i) state plan option. Under current law, when a state elects to not apply the community income and resource rules for the medically needy, these individuals can only receive 1915(i) HCBS and no other Medicaid services. (Estimated cost: $38 million over 10 years).

For more detail, see HHS proposed budget chart which includes proposed funding for select HHS programs including those under HRSA and ACF. See also, HHS’ budget justification, and the SAMHSA, HRSA and ACF detail.  

Department of Education (DOE)

Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA)

Among the programs the RSA oversees are Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) State Grants, which are formula grants to state VR agencies who provide a range of services, including vocational evaluation, counseling and guidance, work adjustment, diagnosis and treatment of physical and mental impairments, education and vocational training, job placement, and post-employment services, to individuals with disabilities, and  Supported Employment State Grants (also a formula grant) which provides supplemental funds to State VR agencies for supported employment services for individuals with the most significant disabilities. The President’s FY 2016 budget request includes:

  • $3.4 billion for VR State Grants, $41.2 million of which would be set aside to support grants under the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services program.
  • $30.5 million for Supported Employment State Grants, a $3 million increase which would help states implement changes made under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) which places increased emphasis on supported employment and opportunities for youth.

For more information, see DOE Budget Summary & Background

Department of Labor (DOL)

The President’s request includes $38.2 million for the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), which develops and influences policy to increase the number and quality of employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The request includes $9 million for another round of Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) state grants, jointly funded by Employment and Training Administration (ETA).

For more information, see DOL Budget in Brief and the ODEP Budget Justification.

FY 2015 Federal Budget

On December 16, 2014 President Obama signed the “cromnibus” spending bill into law. The bill provides funding through FY15 for all federal agencies, except the Department of Homeland Security, which is funded through a Continuing Resolution (CR) ending February 28, 2015.  

The following chart lists the FY15 and comparative FY14 spending levels for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs that serve low and extremely low-income households including people who are homeless and people with disabilities.


Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)


FY 2015 Enacted

FY 2014 Enacted

Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Program

$135 million to fund renewal PRAC contacts. This amount is for renewals and does not represent any new 811 PRA funding. However, language is included which allows HUD to use unallocated or recovered funds from previous years  - if any - for new PRA units

$126 million, included $17 million for new PRA units

Homeless Assistance Program (HEARTH)

$2.135 billion

(increase of $30 million)

$2.105 billion

Tenant Based Rental Assistance Programs

$19.304 billion, including $75 million for new VASH vouchers

(increase $127 million)

$19.177 billion

Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)

$330 million

$330 million

HOME Investment Partnerships Program

$900 million[1]

(decrease $100 million)

$1 billion

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

$3.066 billion

(decrease of $34 million)

$3.1 billion

Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

FY 2015 Enacted

 FY 2014 Enacted

Community Mental Health Services Block Grant

$482.57 million[2]

(decrease of $1.17 million)

$483.74 million

Primary & Behavioral Health Care Integration

$49.88 million

(decrease of $120,000 million)

$50 million

Mental Health First Aid

$14.96 million

(decrease of $40,000 million)

$15 million

Substance Abuse Prevention & Treatment Block Grant

$1.819 billion

$1.819 billion

CSAT Targeted Capacity Expansion (TCE)

$23.2 million

(increase of $9.9 million)[3]

$13.3 million

PATH Homelessness Program

$64.79 million

$64.79 million

CMHS Homelessness Prevention

$30.77 million

(decrease of $70,000 million)

$30.70 million

CSAT Treatment Systems for Homeless

$41.39 million

(decrease of $100,000 million)

$41.49 million

Behavioral Health Workforce

$35 million

(decrease of $10.7 million)

$45.7 million

Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA)

FY 2015 Enacted

FY 2014 Enacted

Community Health Centers (discretionary + mandatory ACA funds)[4]

$5.09 billion

(increase of $1.45 billion)

$3.64 billion

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Programs

$2.32 billion

(increase of $300,000)

$2.29 billion

Administration for Children & Families (ACF)

FY 2015 Enacted

FY 2014 Enacted

Runaway and Homeless Youth Act

$114 million

$114 million

Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)

$674 million

$674 million

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Program

FY 2015 Enacted

FY 2014 Enacted

Supportive Services for Homeless Veterans (SSVF)

$300 million

$300 million

Grant and Per Diem (GPD)

$250 million

(increase of $15 million)

$235 million

Department of Labor/VA Program

FY 2015 Enacted

FY 2014 Enacted

Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP)

$38.109 million

$38.109 million

[1] Less than half the FY10 HOME funding level
[2] The 5% set-aside for evidence-based early intervention remains equal to FY14 amount
[3] $12 million of this is for discretionary grants to states to expand treatment for individuals with heroin or opioid dependence. Grant funds may be used to support the use of medication assisted treatment and other clinically appropriate services, and must be made to states with the highest need for these services.
[4] Includes Health Care for the Homeless funds

For more information:

National Low Income Housing Coalition FY15  Budget  Chart  for  Selected  Department  of  Housing  and  Urban  Development  (HUD)  and  Department  of  Agriculture  (USDA)  Programs

More detailed analysis on behavioral health program funding

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans FY15 budget “write-up”

Text to H.R.83 - Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015