One of the primary reasons that NMCEH was founded was for the purpose of advocating for the needs of people experiencing homelessness at the State Legislature. The Coalition also advocates at the local and federal levels.
Lobby Day 2018
Our primary ask of the State Legislature in 2019 is for the State to more adequately fund the housing solutions that have been shown to work for helping people experiencing homelessness get back on their feet. We are asking legislators to increase funding for the Rental Assistance Program, the Linkages Permanent Supportive Housing Program and to provide the matching funds for the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program.
- The Behavioral Health Services Division (BHSD) receives $1.35 million in state funding for this program. BHSD passes these funds to the MFA, which contracts with non-profits and housing authorities.
- Linkages provides permanent supportive housing to about 200 households with mental health disabilities who were homeless or at risk of homelessness. The program currently serves households in Bernalillo, Dona Ana, Grant, Santa Fe, San Juan and Taos Counties.
- The program costs less than $7,000 per household per year, and a recent study of an Albuquerque permanent supportive housing program found a net savings of about $14,000 per client over 2-3 years.
- The state should double its support for the Linkages program to $2.7 million annually.
Rental Assistance Program:
- Income Supportive Division (ISD) receives $400,799 in state funding for this program and passes these funds to MFA. MFA adds $360,731 in federal funds to this program.
- The program provides short-to-medium term rental assistance and supportive services to households that are homeless or at risk of homelessness. 241 people were served between 7/1/16 and 6/30/17, and MFA contracts with non-profits in Bernalillo, Dona Ana, Grant, Luna, Rio Arriba, San Juan, San Miguel, Santa Fe and Valencia Counties to administer the program.
- The program costs less than $3,200 annually per person served. Nationally, the average cost of providing rapid rehousing to a homeless family is just $880 per month, versus $5,000 for an emergency shelter.
- The state should increase its support for the Rental Assistance Program by $1 million, bringing its total support to $1,400,799.
Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program - Matching Funds:
- In July 2018, HUD announced that 14 counties in the Northern New Mexico region had been selected to receive $3.37 million in federal funds as part of the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program. New Mexico’s proposal was one of only 11 selected nationwide in 2018.
- The award requires $412,500 annually in matching funds. The state should allocate these funds to support this amazing opportunity to address youth homelessness in New Mexico.
What Would It Take to House Everyone in New Mexico?
- The New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness estimates that we could house all homeless households currently waiting for housing with an additional $8,057,000 for permanent supportive housing, and an additional $3,885,541 for rapid rehousing.
- This year, let’s make progress towards those numbers and allocate the amounts requested above: $412,500 in matching funds for the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program, $2.7 million for Linkages, and $1,400,799 for the Rental Assistance Program.
NMCEH Members have also voted to lend support to the following bills:
HB 122 – Including homeless people as a protected class by the Hate Crimes Statute
HB 31 – Increasing the minimum wage in New Mexico to $12 over three years and eliminating the lower minimum wage for restaurant workers.
SB 212 – Appropriating $10 million to the New Mexico Housing Trust Fund
SB 196 and HB 195 - Not spending local resources to enforce federal immigration laws.
HB 295 - The Health Security Act commissioning a study to find out how to best create a universal health care system in New Mexico.
SB 96 – prohibit questions about convictions on job applications.
SB 278 – Eliminating fingerprinting from process of obtaining an ID and other changes to simplify the process
NMCEH will support legislation that raises revenue for vital state programs in a fair progressive way.
NMCH will oppose legislation that would tax goods purchased by nonprofits or that would expand gambling in New Mexico.
Lobby Day in Santa Fe is February 7, 2019.
To learn more, call us at 505-982-9000 or email email@example.com