Last week, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a 2015-2017 biennial budget and revenue package that provides substantial new resources for affordable and supportive housing. The approved budget adopted many of the initiatives included in Governor Malloy’s proposed budget, supporting innovative housing approaches and services that will help make ending Veteran Homelessness by the End of 2015 and Chronic Homelessness by the end of 2016 a feasibly reality.
The Legislature also passed legislation authorizing a comprehensive study related to the sex offender registry, to be conducted by the Connecticut Sentencing Commission. CCEH played a central role in developing this proposal because we are working to effectively serve this population (who face serious and sometimes permanent barriers to securing housing) as a part of our mission to end homelessness.
The budget approved by the House and Senate, which Gov. Malloy is anticipated to sign into law, continues the momentum that Gov. Malloy and the General Assembly have generated over the past several years by including:
- $1 million in FY 2016 and $2 million in FY 2017 for support services provided by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and another $900,000 in FY 2016 and $1.8 million in FY 2017 for Department of Housing (DOH) rental subsidies to support a total of 200 new units of supportive housing related to the Governor’s Second Chance Initiative, specifically for the Connecticut Collaborative on Re-Entry (formally known as FUSE) which is designed to serve those who frequently cycle through the criminal justice system and homeless shelter services.
- $1 million in FY 2016 and $1 million in FY 2017 to DMHAS for wraparound services for chronically homeless individuals as part of the Governor’s Zero: 2016 initiative.
- $1 million in each year to maintain the Homeless Youth Services in the Department of Children and Families.
- $1.1 million in FY 2016 and $1.15 million in FY 2017 to DOH for the non-profit housing tax abatement program.
- $527,000 in FY 2016 and $541,000 in FY 2017 to DOL for the Veterans’ Opportunity PILOT, a job training and subsidized employment program for veterans who have been homeless or at risk of homelessness.
- A portion of Community Investment Act funding, which is projected to reach a potential of $20.3 million over the biennium, of which 25% is authorized for housing and homelessness programs.
- $1.43 million in each year to the Department of Labor to provide funding for the expansion of the Integrated Basic Education and Skills program as part of Gov. Malloy’s Second Chance Initiative.
- $1.5 million in FY 2016 and $3 million in FY 2017 to DMHAS for grants to organizations that provide acute care and emergency behavioral health services, care coordination, access to information and referrals to healthcare and social service programs.
- $138,000 in each year for supportive housing services at Jefferson House in New Britain and Horace Bushnell Apartments in Hartford.