2016 Budget Analysis

LSA Analysis of President Obama's Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request to Congress

Last Updated February 18, 2015

On February 2, President Obama submitted his fiscal year 2016 (FY16) budget request to Congress. His plan outlines the Administration's overall fiscal policy and federal program priorities for the FY that will begin on October 1, 2015. Included in the Administration's budget are funding requests for all federal executive departments and independent agencies. To access the President's proposed budget, please click here

Overall, the budget proposes eliminating the sequester - the automatic across-the-board cuts to discretionary programs that are slated to take effect again this year - and boosting total discretionary spending levels by seven percent. Among the initiatives that the budget supports are many of the priorities that the President announced in his State of the Union (SOTU) address a few weeks ago, including his child welfare initiative and criminal justice reforms.  For background on these policies, please see LSA's analysis of the 2015 SOTU.

The President's budget is non-binding on lawmakers, and is not expected to gain much traction in a Republican-controlled Congress. However, the budget does provide a sense of the President's priorities for the final years of his term.  The Administration's preferences will be important throughout the annual appropriations process, and when a final FY16 budget is crafted at year's end.

LSA has conducted a preliminary analysis of the President's budget request. In the pages that follow, please find a draft version of LSA's report, which includes agency and content-specific breakdowns of the proposed funding levels, with a focus on initiatives of particular interest to LSA members. We will update this preliminary memo as additional information becomes available.

In the interim, if you have questions or concerns, or would like additional information, please contact LSA's Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, Lindsey Copeland, at lcopeland@lutheranservices.org.

Child Care and Early Development:The Administration for Children and Families 

Head Start and Early Head Start. Head Start funding is a major component of the President's overall child care plan.  His FY16 budget requests $10.1 billion for the Head Start and Early Head Start programs, which together provide comprehensive services to low-income pregnant women, as well as children from birth to age five. This request would bring total program funding up by $1.5 billion, relative to current levels.  

Of this increased amount, $1.1 billion would be used to expand Head start programs to full-day and full-year programs, defined as at least six hours per day for at least 170 days per year.  $150 million would go to Early Head Start, specifically to increase funding for Early Head Start-Child Care (EHS-CC) Partnerships. Under the proposal, EHS-CC Partnerships would receive $650 million, with the goal of expanding access to high-quality childcare for children from birth to age three. Only four percent of eligible families receive EHS services, and the EHS-CC program aims to increase participation in EHS and improve the quality of child care overall. EHS-CC is a relatively new initiative, and HHS announced the first round of EHS-CC awards in December 2014.

Home Visiting. The budget request includes $500 million for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), a $100 million increase over current levels. Created under the Affordable Care Act, the MIECHV program provides funding to all states to promote the use and expansion of evidence-based home visiting services to low-income parents with children under age five.  

Affordable Child Care. As unveiled in his most recent State of the Union address, one element of President Obama's three-pronged approach to making child care more affordable is to make changes to the existing Child Care and Dependent Tax Credit (CDCTC), a tax benefit that helps families pay for the child care they need in order to work or go to school. The credit also is available to families that are responsible for the care of a spouse or other adult dependent.  The President's FY16 proposal would triple the maximum CDCTC for families with children under 5, increasing it to $3,000 per child.  It would also expand the CDCTC, making the full credit - for young children, older children, and elderly or dependent with disabilities – available to families with incomes up to $120,000.

A complementary initiative, the second prong of President Obama's plan is to expand the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), a child care subsidy for low- and moderate-income families, authorized under the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act.   The FY16 budget request would boost funding for the CCDF by $82 billion over 10 years, with the goal that by 2025, all families with young children and incomes at or below 200% of poverty would have access to child care subsidies.

The Administration is also requesting $370 million in additional discretionary funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant. Of this amount, $266 million would help states implement the recently reauthorized CCDBG law, and $4 million would increase the Research and Evaluation Fund set-aside.  The remaining $100 million would fund a new Working Families Pilots program, which is the third prong of President Obama's affordable child care proposal.  These new pilots would test innovative strategies to better serve working families by addressing gaps in the delivery of child care.

Serving Vulnerable Children, Youth, and Families
The Administration for Children and Families

Promoting Safe and Stable Families. The budget request includes $435 million for the mandatory portion of the Promoting Safe and Stable Families account. Of this amount, $345 million would support the Promoting Safe and Stable Families program (PSSF), $75 million would support the Personal Responsibility Education Program, and $15 million would support the reauthorization of the Family Connection Grants.

PSSF is a combination of funding streams for different but related services. The PSSF's $345 million in mandatory funding would, in part, level-fund the Court Improvement Fund ($30 million), the Substance Abuse Partnership Grants ($20 million) competitive grants to address substance abuse, and Workforce State Grants ($20 million), which are allocated to states if they meet a requirement to visit children in foster care at least once a month.

In addition to the mandatory funding, in FY16, the Administration is requesting $90 million in PSSF discretionary funds, $30 million above the FY15 amount.  This additional funding would go to support states and tribes in operating a coordinated program of family preservation services, community-based family support services, time-limited reunification services, and adoption promotion and support services. Of the new Tribal and Rural Assistance funding, $20 million would be targeted to increase child welfare services capacity for tribes, $7 million would support service delivery in rural communities, and $3 million would enhance research, evaluation, and technical assistance.

Child Abuse Prevention.  The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), first authorized in 1974 (P.L. 93-247) is the only federal legislation exclusively dedicated to the prevention, assessment, identification, and treatment of child abuse and neglect. It is a continuum of child maltreatment services and supports. The three main funding streams from CAPTA are (1) State Grants, (2) Discretionary Grants for research and demonstration projects, and (3) Community Based Grants to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect.

The CAPTA State Grants aim to help states improve their CPS systems and develop innovative approaches. To qualify for these grants, states must meet eligibility requirements, enact laws preserving victim confidentiality, appoint Guardians Ad Litem, and establish citizen review panels. The Administration proposes level funding for State Grantsin FY16, at $25 million. 

CAPTA Discretionary Grants support state efforts to improve their practices in preventing and treating child abuse and neglect. Funds support program development, research, training, technical assistance, and the collection and dissemination of data to advance the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. These funds also support the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, the National Office of Child Abuse and Neglect, the National Resource Center on Child Maltreatment, and the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect.  For FY16, the Administration proposes funding the Discretionary Grants at $49 million, $20 million above the current $29 million.

Of this amount, $15 million would be allocated to prevent traffickers from “luring children and youth in the child welfare system into prostitution and other forms of criminal activity”. The remaining $5 million would fund new competitive grants to identify and evaluate best practices for child protection investigations.

The CAPTA Community-Based Grants support state efforts to develop, operate, and expand a network of community-based, prevention-focused family support programs that coordinate resources among a range of existing public and private organizations. Funding is allocated to states by a formula based on the number of children in a state's population.  The FY16 budget request includes level funding for the Community-Based Grants, $40 million.

Runaway and Homeless Youth. In FY16, President Obama is requesting an additional $9 million for Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs, increasing total program funding from $114 to $123 million. Of this new funding, $5 million would go to expand services in the Transitional Living Program, $2 million would support the Prevalence, Needs, and Characteristics of Homeless Youth study, and $2 million would enhance on-site monitoring.

Family Violence Prevention and Services. The FY16 budget request includes $162 million, an increase of $23 million, for Family Violence Prevention and Services, the primary federal funding stream that provides shelter and supportive services for victims of family violence, domestic violence, and dating violence, and their dependents. Of the additional funds requested for FY16, $15 million would help address the unmet need for emergency shelter and supportive services. The budget also requests an additional $8 million to expand the capacity of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, to ensure timely response to calls, increase bilingual services, and expand online chatting and texting services.

Home Energy Assistance. The budget request includes $3.4 billion in discretionary funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), the same as FY15.  The request also includes $1.1 billion in FY16 and $8.1 billion over 10 years in mandatory dollars to establish a LIHEAP Contingency Fund, which would provide additional mandatory funds triggered by significant increases in the number of eligible low-income households, the price of fuel, or extreme cold at the beginning of winter.

Community Services Programs. The FY16 budget request includes $674 million for the Community Services Block Grant, the same as FY15.  The Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) is a capped entitlement program which provides flexible grants to states according to population size for the provision of social services ranging from child care to residential treatment. The Administration's request includes level-funding of $1.7 billion for SSBG in FY16.   The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programprovides $17.3 billion annually to states, territories, and eligible tribes to assist low-income families and improve employment and other outcomes. For FY15, The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (P.L. 113-235) extended all TANF grants through September 30, 2015 and provided $608 million annually for the TANF Contingency Fund in FY15 and FY16.

Foster Care and Permanency
The Administration for Children and Families

The FY16 budget request for the Foster Care, Adoption Assistance, Guardianship Assistance, and Independent Living programs is $8 billion. These programs, authorized by Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, support safe living environments for vulnerable children and prepare older foster youth for independence.

Foster Care. As an entitlement, the Title IV-E Foster Care funding is determined by the level of need and number of claims filed by states for reimbursement at the federal level. For 2016, the Administration projects that Title IV-E foster care maintenance and administrative costs will be at $4.772 billion, an increase from the projected cost of $4.581 billion in 2015. Total cost will likely change either upward or downward depending on eligibility and caseload factors. The funding will cover an estimated 168,900 children in foster care, which the Administration indicates is an increase of 6,600 children from the projected 2015 number.

The budget also requests $586 million over 10 years in matching funds for prevention and post-permanency services included as part of the child's case plan.  The proposal calls for funding to be used for evidence-based or evidence-informed practices that will reduce likelihood that a child will be placed into foster care and to sustain permanency for recently placed children.

In addition, the Administration seeks $69 million over ten years to increase the use of family-based foster care for children with mental health and behavioral health needs as an alternative to congregate care, and to provide oversight of congregate care to assure such placements have been determined as necessary.

Adoption Assistance. Title IV-E Adoption Assistance funding is similar to foster care, in that it is based on claims filed by states for federal reimbursement. For FY16, the projected cost for Title IV-E adoption assistance payments and administrative costs are projected to be $2.563 billion, an increase of $53 million from FY15. The Administration requests $38 million for this year's Title IV-E Adoption and Kinship Incentives Fund, which would be the same total agreed to in 2015.   

Guardianship Assistance. The Administration's FY16 budget also includes $123 million for the Title IV-E Kinship/Guardianship Assistance program, an increase of $24 million above the FY15 enacted level.  The increase is due to a higher take-up rate in this program than expected. Under this state optional entitlement, state Title IV-E agencies provide a subsidy on behalf of a child to a relative who has been granted legal guardianship of that child. The goal of the program is to keep children with relatives – rather than in foster care – when the relative's home is a safe and appropriate placement for them.  

Independent Living. The FY16 budget also includes $140 million for the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, the same level as in FY15. This set program funds services for youth who are likely to remain in foster care until they turn 18, and current or former foster children between the ages of 18 and 21. The budget proposes to allow those states that provide foster care up to age 21 to use Chafee program funds for current or former foster children through age 23, in order to prevent an abrupt end to services when children age out of foster care.  The Administration is seeking these changes legislatively.

Refugee Assistance
The Administration for Children and Families

Human Trafficking. The FY16 budget request for Victims of Trafficking would allow the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to continue service levels for foreign victims of human trafficking, and includes an increase of $6 million to expand services for domestic victims of human trafficking. With this additional funding, competitive grants would be awarded to organizations working with at-risk populations, including runaway youth and victims of domestic violence, and used to identify victims and connect them to the full range of services they need to restore their lives. Funds will also be used to train professionals to better align the trafficking hotline with hotlines maintained by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, and to demonstrate effective housing solutions for young victims of domestic trafficking.

Unaccompanied Children. ACF provides shelter to unaccompanied children who are apprehended by immigration authorities. By law, ACF must take custody of most unaccompanied children within 72 hours. These children remain in ACF's care until they can be placed with sponsors, usually parents or other relatives, who assume responsibility for their care while their immigration cases are processed. The FY16 budget request includes level base funding for the Unaccompanied Children's Program from FY15 at $948 million, and creates a contingency fund that would trigger additional funds if caseloads exceed levels that could be supported with base funding and any carryover funds from the prior year.

Home and Community Based Programs for Older Adults and Family Caregivers
The Administration for Community Living

ADRCs. In FY16, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) is requesting $20 million, an increase of $13.9 million, for the Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) program.  This initiative has a proven track record of helping Americans of all ages learn about and access their health and long-term services and supports options. ADRCs support state efforts to create consumer-friendly entry points into long-term care at the community level.  ADRCs received $10 million in mandatory funding through the ACA for each FY 2010 – 2014.  These funds expired at the end of FY14, and ACL's FY16 ADRC request is for discretionary dollars only.

Protection of Vulnerable Older Adults. Elder abuse prevention continues to be a top priority for ACL.  In his FY16 budget, President Obama requests $29 million for ACL's Elder Rights Support Activities, including $25 million – an increase of $21 million - for the Elder Justice Initiative (EJI) to address the damaging impact of abuse, neglect, and exploitation on the health and independence of seniors. Of the EJI's new funding, $15 million would be used to provide demonstration grants to assist states in developing and upgrading their Adult Protective Services (APS) data and reporting systems. The remaining $10 million would support research, evaluation, and technical assistance activities designed to improve APS efforts related to elder abuse.

This proposed investment builds on ACL's existing programs that protect and empower older adults and people with disabilities.  In FY16, ACL is requesting $16 million for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, which provides support for ombudsmen who advocate on behalf of residents of long-term care facilities to ensure the protection of their rights and welfare.

The budget also requests level funding for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and Neglect program ($5 million), as well as the Senior Medicare Patrol program ($9 million).  These programs seek to both protect seniors from abuse and equip them with the necessary knowledge to prevent fraud and abuse.

Supportive Services. The Administration is requesting $386 million, $38 million more than in FY15, to fund ACL's Home and Community-Based Supportive Services program.  These direct services help older Americans live independently and with dignity, and include things like transportation; case management; information and referral; adult day services; physical fitness programs; and help with personal care – such as eating, dressing, and bathing.   In combination with state and local funding, this request would support over 28 million hours of assistance to seniors who are unable to perform daily activities, as well as more than 23 million rides to medical and other appointments, and nearly 8 million hours of adult day services.

The budget requests level funding ($10 million) for ACL's Aging Network Support Activities, which help seniors access the resources and supports they need to remain independent.  Of this amount, $2.5 million is set aside for Holocaust Survivor Assistance, funding targeted to nonprofit service providers who work with this community.

Family Caregivers.  In the FY16 budget, ACL is proposing to increase investments in family caregiving support, in part by creating a new competitive grant program - the Family Support Initiative.  This new program would provide $15 million in competitive grants to five to seven states for the purpose of establishing promising and evidence-based practices that support family caregivers in local communities. 

The Initiative complements the FY16 request of nearly $50 million for existing aging programs that provide critical help and supports to older Americans and their caregivers, including ACL's Family Caregiver Support Services and the Lifespan Respite Care program, which would see increases of $5 million and $3 million, respectively.  The Administration is seeking level funding for the Alzheimer's Disease Demonstration Grants ($4 million request) and the Alzheimer's Disease Initiative ($11 million request), as well as a $1 million increase for the Native American Caregiver Support Services program, which would bring its funding close to $7 million in FY16. Together, these investments would help to build the rigorous research and evidence base needed to sustain comprehensive systems of family support across the lifespan.

Nutrition Assistance. The FY16 budget request includes $875 million for ACL's Nutrition Services, $60 million more than FY15 levels. Of this increase, $40 million would be evenly divided between the Congregate Nutrition and Home-Delivered Meal programs, increasing each by $20 million.  The remainder of the increased funding ($20 million) would support new evidence-based innovations designed to improve quality and efficiency in the agency's nutrition programs. This new program – the Nutrition Services Innovation Demonstration – would award competitive grants to increase the knowledge of states and nutrition providers, drive improved health outcomes for program recipients by promoting higher service quality, and increase program efficiency through innovative service delivery models.

Under the FY16 request, the Nutrition Services Incentive Program would remain level-funded at $160 million, and Native American Nutrition and Supportive Services would receive an additional $3 million, relative to FY15.

Preventive Health. The President is requesting level-funding ($20 million) for ACL's Preventive Health Services program, which provides grants to states and territories to help educate older adults about the importance of healthy lifestyles and promote healthy behaviors.  These practices can help to prevent or delay chronic disease and disability, thereby reducing the need for more costly medical interventions.

The FY16 budget also includes level funding requests for Chronic Disease Self-Management Education ($8 million) and Falls Prevention ($5 million).  Administered by ACL but funded through the ACA's Prevention and Public Health Fund, these two programs support evidence-based strategies that help seniors improve their health status, with the ultimate goal of reducing hospital stays and emergency room visits.

Nutrition Programs
The US Department of Agriculture

Supplemental Nutrition. As a mandatory entitlement program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)funding is provided to meet caseload and serve all eligible participants. SNAP is expected to cost $83.692 billion in FY16.  Additionally, the FY16 budget requests $9 million for the SNAP State Option to Improve Access for Seniors initiative.  This proposal would create a new state option to improve SNAP access for seniors, by allowing states to adopt a set of policies to streamline and simplify the SNAP application, reporting requirements, and re-certifications for seniors.

The Administration is also requesting $457 million, up from $447 million in FY15, for the SNAP Employment and Training Program, as well as $1.5 million for the SNAP E&T Center for Excellence to share proven strategies for connecting SNAP recipients to work.

Child Nutrition Programs. As mandatory entitlement programs, funding is provided for the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Summer Food Service Program and Child and Adult Care Food Program to meet caseload and serve all eligible participants. These programs are expected to cost $21.475 billion in FY16 and serve 5.38 billion lunches and snacks, 2.5 billion breakfasts in schools, 2.04 billion meals in child and adult care centers, and 177.4 million summer meals. 

Commodity Nutrition Assistance. Under The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), commodity foods are made available by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to states. States then provide the food to local agencies that they have selected, usually food banks, which in turn, distribute the food to soup kitchens and food pantries that directly serve the public.  The FY16 budget requests $320 million for TEFAP Commodity Funds, which reflects the amount authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.  The Administration is also requesting $40 million for TEFAP Storage and Distribution Funds, which support the storage and distribution of TEFAP commodities.

The FY16 budget requests $221 million, compared to the FY15 funding level of $211 million for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program.  This initiative provides a monthly food package to low-income seniors living at or below 130 percent of the poverty line. According to USDA, this requested funding level is enough to support caseload in the existing 39 states and would provide the additional resources necessary to support the program in the 7 additional states that have USDA-approved plans and are beginning operations.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children - better known as the WIC Program - serves to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care. The FY16 budget requests $6.623 billion, compared to the FY15 funding level of $6.623 billion.

The WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program provides fresh, unprepared, locally grown fruits and vegetables from local farmers' markets to WIC recipients.  The FY16 budget requests $17 million, relatively level funding from FY15.

The Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program awards grants to States, territories, and federally-recognized Indian tribal governments to provide low-income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for eligible foods at farmers' markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs.  The FY16 budget requests $21 million for this program, which is relatively level funding from FY15.

Housing Programs
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development

Assisted Housing Programs. Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) would receive $21.12 billion, a 9.42 percent increase over the FY15 enacted level of $19.30 billion. Of this amount, $18.33 billion would be allocated to Housing Choice Voucher contract renewals, a nearly five percent increase over FY15 funding levels. This additional funding would allow for the restoration of approximately 67,000 Housing Choice Vouchers that were lost due to sequestration. Building on its stated goal of reducing homelessness among veterans, the President's proposal would target 30,000 of these vouchers to families with children and others in immediate need of a stable home, including homeless veterans and victims of domestic violence and their children.

The HUD request also includes $150 million for new Tenant Protection Vouchers, which HUD indicates would cover the FY16 costs of 33,500 new vouchers, and $108 million to renew and administer Section 811 mainstream vouchers in 2016.

In its FY15 budget request, HUD proposed to shift the annual renewal of funding for Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) contracts to a calendar year cycle. It did this for two reasons: to put in place a simpler and more predictable funding process; and to reduce — for one year only — the amount of new funding required to renew contracts in 2015. The President's 2016 budget seeks to complete the transition to a calendar-year funding cycle by requesting a $1 billion increase in PBRA funding, $10.8 billion total. According to HUD, the proposed funding levels would be sufficient to cover all funding renewals and contract amendments through calendar year 2016.

The request would also set aside up to $3 million for the Tenant Resource Network to provide preservation-related tenant advocacy and capacity building technical assistance. These funds would “fund tenant groups, nonprofit groups, and public entities to support their efforts to preserve affordability and improve tenant services,” the request says.

The White House's request would also allow PBRA properties to compete for Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program funding. The FY15 HUD appropriations bill allowed PBRA residents, for the first time, to participate in FSS in programs run by public housing agencies (PHAs) or by PBRA owners who use their own funds to hire service coordinators. HUD's FY16 request continues this policy but would also allow PBRA owners to compete for FSS funding. HUD seeks an additional $10 million for the FSS program in FY16, for $85 million in total FSS funding.

The FY16 HUD request would expand the Moving to Work demonstration program, now capped at 39 PHAs, to another 15 PHAs with a total of 150,000 public housing and voucher units over the next three years. The 15 new agencies would have to be high performing PHAs with voucher utilization rates of at least 90 percent of voucher funds, and would have to comply with “all reporting and evaluation requirements, as established by the Secretary.”

Public Housing. The budget proposes to increase the Public Housing Capital Fund by $100 million, from $1.875 billion to $1.970 billion. Over $1.8 billion of this amount would fund capital grants to PHAs, and up to $20 million is included for emergency capital needs from non-presidentially declared disasters.  The HUD budget also proposes to set aside $100 million of the Capital Fund for the Jobs-Plus program, and to eliminate a Capital Fund set-aside for the Resident Opportunities and Supportive Services (ROSS) program. Jobs-Plus provides grants to support employment services and earnings incentives for public housing residents. The Administration has proposed to eliminate the ROSS set aside in each of its seven budget requests, but Congress has not done so.

The Administration requests $4.6 billion for the Public Housing Operating Fund to assist in funding public housing operating expenses, an increase from FY15's $4.4 billion.  HUD estimates that its operating fund request would cover 86 percent of the subsidies for which agencies would be eligible. The request also seeks to increase the amount that PHAs with more than 250 units can transfer from their capital accounts to their operating accounts from 20 percent to 30 percent.

The request would establish a Capital Fund Replacement Reserve to be held by the Treasury in LOCCS (a line of credit control system). This out-of-HUD reserve would not be subject to current spending timelines and would “allow PHAs to accumulate funds for large-scale capital expenditures,” according to the request. The proposal would apply to 791 PHAs.

The budget would create a new Utility Conservation Pilot demonstration that would encourage housing agencies to adopt conservation measures in public housing by allowing them to retain a portion of any resulting utility cost savings for one to 20 years, depending on the magnitude of the savings.

The budget proposes a large expansion of the Rental Assistance Demonstration Program (RAD), which helps preserve public housing developments by converting them to long-term project-based Section 8 contracts. The budget would eliminate a cap which currently limits RAD conversions to 185,000 of the nation's 1.1 million public housing units. Also for the RAD program, HUD requests $50 million for the conversion of about 25,000 public housing units that cannot feasibly convert to a new subsidy stream at existing funding levels or are located in high poverty neighborhoods.

In addition, the budget proposes to nearly triple funding for the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) to $250 million, from $80 million in FY15. CNI provides grants to revitalize distressed public and privately owned assisted housing. HUD indicates that this increase would permit eight communities to receive CNI grants.

Homeless and Supportive Housing. The McKinney-Vento Homeless assistance Grants would receive a $345 million increase under the President's FY16 budget, from FY15's $2.135 billion to $2.48 billion. This proposed increase includes $250 million for Emergency Solutions Grants and a $2.2 billion set-aside for the Continuum of Care and Rural Housing Stability programs. The request also seeks to continue annual appropriations language allowing nonprofits to administer rental assistance, and proposes $7 million for a National Homeless Data Analysis Project.

The budget would increase funding for the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program by 8.33 percent to $455 million. Of this amount, $365 million would be allocated to renew or amend existing Section 202 contracts. The Administration also proposes up to $77 million of Section 202 budget authority to fund service coordinators, and the continuation of existing congregate service grants for residents of senior assisted housing.

Under the Administration's request, the Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities program would be funded at $177 million, a $42 million increase from FY15 levels. The budget provides $25 million for new Section 811 Project Rental Assistance awards to state housing agencies. The budget also seeks to allocate $332 million to the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program to provide housing and supportive services to persons living with HIV and AIDS and their families.  This amount is slightly above the FY15 enacted funding level.

HUD seeks an increase for Housing Counseling, from FY15's $47 million to $60 million in FY16. These funds are used by HUD-approved housing counseling agencies for direct services.

Community Planning and Development. The White House request would increase funding for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, from FY15's $900 million level to $1.06 billion in FY16.  The Administration proposes to level fund the Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) at the FY15 enacted level of $10 million as a set-aside within the HOME Program account, and is seeking less funding for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) in FY16 ($2.8 billion) than was provided in FY15 ($3 billion). Included in this amount is $80 million for the Indian CDBG program.

The President's FY16 budget would fund the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) at $250 million, a substantial increase over its FY15 enacted level of $80 million. The proposal would fund eight implementation grants and between five and ten planning grants to transform distressed neighborhoods into sustainable, mixed income communities with high performing schools, quality transportation, and access to jobs.

Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service

AmeriCorps. The Administration's FY16 request of $425.1 million for AmeriCorps State and National funding is an increase of $89.6 million over the FY15 enacted level.  This funding would support approximately 81,200 AmeriCorps members – an estimated 12,500 more members than in FY15 - providing direct service to communities across the country.

AmeriCorps VISTA primarily supports efforts to alleviate poverty by engaging individuals ages 18 and older in a year of full-time service. These AmeriCorps VISTA members build the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of programs that help low-income Americans gain the skills and resources they need to break the cycle of poverty. The FY16 request is for $96.8 million, an increase over FY15's enacted level of $92.3 million.

AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) is a residential, team-based program that provides opportunities for young Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 to address pressing national and community needs in all 50 states through 10 months of full-time, intensive national service. The FY16 request is for $30.5 million, an increase over the $30 million enacted level in FY15.

Senior Corps.  Through grants and other resources—including the energy and efforts of citizens age 55 and over—Senior Corps helps meet the needs and challenges of America's communities. Grants administered through Senior Corps provide funding for three programs: the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, the Foster Grandparent Program, and the Senior Companion Program. The President's budget requests level funding for Senior Corps, at $202 million.  The budget does not seek to restructure the programs, as it did in FY15.

The President's budget requests level funding ($48.9 million) for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program in FY1 6.  This funding would engage the skills, talents, and experience of approximately 232,384 volunteers age 55 and older, through their participation in approximately 627 federally-funded projects designed to meet a wide range of community needs.

Under the FY16 request, the Foster Grandparent Program would also receive level funding, $107.7 million, which would be used to connect approximately 25,190 volunteers age 55 and over with opportunities to provide one-on-one mentoring, nurturing, and support to children with special or exceptional needs, or who are at an academic, social, or financial disadvantage.

The Administration's FY16 budget level request of $45.5 million for the Senior Companion Program would engage approximately 12,190 volunteers, ages 55 and over, in providing in-home supports to adults who have difficulty with daily living tasks.

Social Innovation Fund. The FY16 budget would again invest $70 million in the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) to test promising new approaches to major challenges, leverage private and philanthropic capital to meet these needs, and expand evidence-based programs that demonstrate measurable outcomes.  The SIF seeks to improve the lives of people in low-income communities by investing in three priority areas of need: economic opportunity, youth development, and healthy futures.

Disaster Resiliency
The Federal Emergency Management Agency

Disaster Resiliency. The Budget invests $9.6 billion to support disaster resiliency, primarily through the grants programs that are administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). This includes $7.4 billion in DRF funding to provide immediate and long-lasting assistance to individuals and communities stricken by emergencies and major disasters, and $2.2 billion in grants to prepare state and local governments to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from incidents of terrorism and other catastrophic events. 

According to the Administration, this $7.4 billion is projected to be sufficient to cover the FY16 estimated requirements for all past declared catastrophic events, including Hurricane Sandy and the 10-year average obligation level for non-catastrophic disaster activity (under $500 million). Through the DRF, FEMA provides a significant portion of the total Federal response to Presidentially-declared major disasters and emergencies.

Climate Resilience. The Budget invests $616 million to support the President's Climate Resiliency initiative, including flood mapping and risk analysis, Pre-Disaster Mitigation grants for hazard mitigation planning and projects, analyses of climate change impacts on critical infrastructure, FEMA climate workshops, and regional resilience coordination.

Behavioral Health
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Improving Communities. The FY16 budget requests $10.0 million, including $5 million in the Mental Health appropriation and $5 million in the Substance Abuse Treatment appropriation, for a new braided program line entitled Crisis Systems. This funding would support a targeted demonstration grant program to help states and communities build, fund, and sustain crisis systems capable of preventing and de-escalating behavioral health crises.

The budget request includes $1.8 billion for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant, and $483 million for the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant, the same levels as in FY15, to implement evidence-based strategies nationwide and to maintain the nation's public behavioral health infrastructure.  Examples of services which can be provided by these flexible sources of funding include medical services, provider education, supported employment and housing, rehabilitation, crisis stabilization and case management services, and wrap around services for children and families such as education, counseling, on-site child care or transportation of children, and parenting classes.

The budget requests $20 million in new funding to bring primary care services to community substance abuse treatment provider sites through the Primary Care and Addiction Services Integration (PCASI) intiative. This funding would be used to provide grants to behavioral health and primary care providers to integrate substance abuse treatment services and primary care. By co-locating primary and specialty care medical services, this program would seek to increase the likelihood that patients would receive primary care services, which has been shown to lower health care costs.   

The FY16 budget requests $77.7 million for the Behavioral Health Workforce, an increase of $31 million from the FY15 level. The request includes an increase of $10 million for a new program entitled Peer Professional Workforce Development, which would award grants to provide tuition support and further the capacity of community colleges to develop and sustain behavioral health paraprofessional training and education programs. The remaining $21 million of additional funding would increase the SAMHSA-HRSA Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Grant Program to expand the behavioral health workforce. The $56 million program would support the addition of approximately 5,600 health professionals to the workforce, an increase of 2,100 individuals over FY15 levels.

Preventing Suicide. The FY16 budget request includes $118.3 million - an increase of $8.8 million from the FY15 enacted level - for the Administration's Suicide Prevention Framework. The request includes $10 million, new in FY16, for the Strategic Prevention Framework for Prescription Drugs (SPF-Rx) program.  With this funding, the SPF-Rx program would support efforts to raise public awareness about the dangers of sharing medications, and to work with pharmaceutical and medical communities to raise awareness on the risks of overprescribing.

An additional $2 million in FY16 would bolster funding to implement the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, expanding support so states can further establish evidence-based suicide prevention efforts that support the goals and objectives of the National Strategy. In addition to basic prevention efforts, the budget request maintains the capacity of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a hotline that routes calls across the country to a network of certified local crisis centers.

Criminal Justice
The Department of Justice

State and Local Strategies. As part of the Administration's Community Policing Initiative, the FY16 budget includes $20 million for a new program, Building Community Trust. This initiative would provide grants and technical assistance to state, local, and tribal courts and juvenile justice agencies to support innovative efforts to improve perceptions of fairness in the juvenile justice system and build community trust in these institutions. Funding will be used to facilitate community and law enforcement engagement and to implement and test strategies to enhance procedural justice, reduce implicit bias, and support racial reconciliation in communities of color in 10 pilot sites.

The Administration is requesting an additional $6 million above the FY15 enacted level for Project HOPE, for a total of $10 million. This nationwide program identifies probationers with a high risk for re-offending, focusing on reducing drug use, new crimes, and incarceration.

The budget request includes an additional $52 million for the Second Chance Act program, which would bring FY16 funding to $120 million. This program provides employment assistance, substance abuse treatment, housing, family programming, mentoring, victims support, and other services that can help reduce re-offending and violations of probation and parole. Of this amount, $10.0 million would be used to improve probation and parole supervision efforts.

The budget also includes $5 million for Children of Incarcerated Parents demonstrations to enhance and maintain parental and family relationships for incarcerated parents as a reentry/recidivism reduction strategy. Up to $30 million would be available for performance-based awards for Pay-for-Success projects, which engage social investors, the federal government, and states or localities to collaboratively finance effective interventions. Of this amount, up to $10 million would be for Pay For Success Programs that implement the Permanent Supportive Housing Model.

Also included in the FY16 request is an additional $15 million for the Defending Childhood/Children Exposed to Violence Initiative, for a total of $23 million to fund demonstration sites and provide training and technical assistance.

The Administration's budget requests $29.5 million to reestablish funding for the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) program as a separate line-item. BCJI is a community-based strategy that aims to prevent and control violent crime, drug abuse and gang activity in designated high crime neighborhoods by providing funding to support partnerships between law enforcement agencies and community-based organizations that balance targeted enforcement with prevention, intervention, and neighborhood restoration services. The program models place- and evidence-based collaborative strategies for improving public safety, revitalizing neighborhoods, and forging partnerships with stakeholders at the federal, state, local, and tribal levels.

Juvenile Justice. The Administration requests an additional $14.5 million above the FY15 enacted level for the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) Title II, Part B State Formula Grants Program in FY16, for a total of $70 million. This program is the core program that supports state, local, and tribal efforts to improve the fairness and responsiveness of the juvenile justice system and to increase accountability of the juvenile offender. Part B formula grants fund programs that serve over 250,000 at-risk youth per year and allow appropriate youth to stay in their communities rather than face secure detention. If detaining the youth is necessary, Part B funding can be used to ensure that they are held pursuant to the core requirements of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act. This increase would provide DOJ with the funding needed to help states maintain the progress they have achieved to date toward implementing the principles outlined in the JJDP Act.

Under the Administration's budget, the Title V Delinquency Prevention Program would receive a $27 million increase above the FY15 enacted level, for a total of $42 million. Title V is the only federal program that provides delinquency prevention funding at the local level to reach youth at risk and help keep them out of the juvenile justice system.  $10 million of this funding would be used for the Juvenile Justice and Education Collaboration Assistance (JJECA) Program. Under JJECA, grants may be used to establish and implement community partnerships between schools, police, and the juvenile justice system.

The FY16 budget requests $30 million to re-establish the Juvenile Accountability Block Grants (JABG) program. These funds would support vital state efforts to effectively strengthen juvenile court services, such as behavioral health screening and assessment for court-involved youth and alternatives to detention.  The basic premise underlying the JABG program is that both the juvenile offender and the juvenile justice system are held accountable. For the juvenile offender, accountability means an assurance of facing individualized consequences through which the juvenile offender is made aware of and held responsible for the loss, damage, or injury that the victim experiences.

The President's budget also requests $5.4 million for the Improving Juvenile Indigent Defense Program, which supports the objectives of DOJ's Access to Justice (ATJ) Initiative to assess and improve the quality of indigent defense services nationwide.

The budget also includes $18 million to reestablish the Community-Based Violence Prevention Initiative, which funds programs that adopt a comprehensive public health approach that investigates the causes of youth violence and implements a community based strategy to prevent youth violence by addressing both the symptoms and causes of neighborhood violence.

The President is requesting $4 million to reestablish funding for the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention.  The Forum was created for participating localities to share challenges and promising strategies with each other and to explore how federal agencies can better support local efforts to curb youth and gang violence.

The FY16 budget request also includes $30 million for a new program that would provide incentive grants to assist states that use Juvenile Accountability Block Grant program funds for evidence-based juvenile justice realignment to foster better outcomes for system-involved youth. This program – the Smart on Juvenile Justice Initiative (formerly Juvenile Justice Realignment Incentive Grants Program) - would build on the recent successes achieved by several states that have implemented comprehensive juvenile justice reform initiatives and will promote the use of a number of promising, evidence-based juvenile justice programs and strategies developed by some of the nation's leading research and juvenile justice reform organizations.