The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

Update on HOPWA, McKinney/HAG

FY '96 Appropriations

February 27, 1996

Currently, HOPWA and the McKinney/HAG programs are funded under the Continuing Resolution that expires on March 15th. House and Senate leadership are negotiating on how to finalize FY '96 appropriations, either by re-writing the 5 outstanding appropriations bills or by rolling them all into a year-long CR, and we expect that congress will present something to the Administration for final negotiations before March 15th. In the meantime:

HOPWA Formula Grants:

Any jurisdiction required to submit a consolidated plan for spending FY '96 HOPWA, CDBG, HOME and ESG formula grants before March 15th must do so. Under the CR, each of those jurisdictions will receive about 40 percent of the total HOPWA grant the jurisdiction is expected to receive for FY '96. HUD has determined each jurisdiction's total FY '96 formula grant assuming that HOPWA will be funded at $171 million for the entire fiscal year.

HOPWA and McKinney/HAG Competitive Grants:

HUD is expected to publish the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for HOPWA FY '96 competitive grants sometime this week, even though we do not know for sure how much money will ultimately be available. Reportedly, part of the HOPWA SPNS competition will be set-aside for a joint HOPWA-HRSA SPNS initiative to provide housing and supportive services for dually and triply diagnosed homeless people (people with HIV/AIDS and mental illness or chemical addictions). A separate joint HUD-HRSA RFP is expected for this initiative. As soon as these NOFAs/RFPs are issued, we will notify you and tell you who to contact for more information. The announcement for McKinney/HAG competitive grants is expected to be made in about three weeks.

Action: Call the White House, your Representatives, and your Senators. Tell them funding for HOPWA is critical, and that even the $171 million appropriated for HOPWA in the VA/HUD Appropriations conference report isn't enough to prevent drastic cuts in funding to jurisdictions. Urge them to end the confusion and finalize FY '96 funding decisions, appropriating the highest possible amounts for HOPWA and McKinney/HAG.

You can reach the White House by fax at 202-456-2883, and by e-mail at

All members of the House can be reached through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121, and all Senators can be reached at 202-224-3121. E-mail addresses for your Representatives and Senators can be found posted in HandsNet at Resources/Congressional Contacts.

FY '97 Budget & Appropriations:

The President is expected to submit his FY '97 budget requests to Congress the week of March 18th. Congressional action on FY '97 VA/HUD appropriations will begin in the House around March 6th, when the House VA/HUD Appropriations Subcommittee is expected to begin hearings.

We have learned that the President's budget for HUD will only be around $21.6 billion -- slightly more than in FY '96 but still way below the overall FY '95 HUD budget of $25 billion. Worse still, the President's FY '97 budget is expected to ask for flat-funding of HOPWA yet again. Under the President's budget, HOPWA would receive $171 million in FY '97 -- the same as in FY '95 (post-rescissions) -- even though 20 to 26 new jurisdictions will have become eligible for formula grants during that two-year period! And the President's budget request for McKinney/HAG is expected to be only $1.12 billion -- the same amount the program received in FY '95 (pre-rescissions).

Action: Call the White House. Demand that the President's FY '97 budget include $225 million for HOPWA -- the amount HUD said was needed in FY '96 -- and that the President make HOPWA and other housing programs for the homeless and low-income folks a priority for increases overall.

You can reach the White House by fax at 202-456-2883, and by e-mail at


The Housing and Community Development Act, which includes HOPWA, CDBG, HOME, McKinney/HAG and other major housing programs, has still not been reauthorized even though the Act expired in 1994. This year, because of the delays in budget and appropriations and elections, neither the House or Senate Banking Subcommittees on Housing expect to actually finalize reauthorization, but both subcommittees are planning to introduce bills in late May or April, have some hearings, and possibly mark-up bills in committees. These authorizing committees want to at least start the reauthorization process so that they can influence FY '97 appropriations decisions.

Despite strong anti-HUD, pro-block granting sentiments in both the House and Senate, subcommittee staffers have indicated they intend to reauthorize HOPWA as is, because the program is seen as working well and has wide bipartisan support. We must not lose this support, however. Therefore, it is critical that you continue to push your Representatives and Senators to support reauthorization of HOPWA.

How Flat-Funding Affects
HOPWA Formula Grants

As you know, flat-funding means many jurisdictions are seeing their formula grants cut significantly, because of the need to accommodate newly-eligible jurisdictions and because of shifts in caseloads. Under the current HOPWA formula, an EMA qualifies if it has 1500 or more cases within its borders, and a state qualifies if it has 1500 or more cases outside of any EMA. If the overall funding level for HOPWA remains flat, not only is money stretched further and further, but shifts in caseload show up much more dramatically in changes in formula grants each year.

Given this, we need to fight very hard to increase FY '97 appropriations for HOPWA, to stem these dramatic cuts. If we are not successful in increasing appropriations this year, however, some in the community have asked whether we should seek legislative changes in the FY '97 appropriations bills to make it harder for new jurisdictions to qualify and thus preserve scarce funding for existing jurisdictions.

It is too early to make final decisions about what, if anything, can or should be done now, because (a) it's too early to really know what the FY '97 appropriations picture will look like, and (b) we will not know until March how many/which new jurisdictions may be affected by any changes. However, we promise to keep everyone informed as the FY '97 appropriations process unfolds and more information about FY '97 HOPWA-eligible jurisdictions becomes available.

In the meantime, remember: the bottom line problem is not HOPWA, it's the federal failure to adequately fund HOPWA. The only sure way to prevent any more cuts in HOPWA funding to your city or state is to increase FY '97 appropriations!

For more information, contact
AIDS Action Council
1875 Connecticut Avenue NW #700
Washington DC 20009
202-986-1345 (fax)
202-332-9614 (tty)

  • Email Email
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

This article was provided by AIDS Action Council.
See Also
More Political Action Alerts