The Increasing Use of TANF and State Matching Funds to Provide Housing Assistance to Families Moving from Welfare to Work - 2001 Supplement
In February 2000, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities published The Increasing Use of TANF and State Matching Funds to Provide Housing Assistance to Families Moving from Welfare to Work.1 The paper provides a detailed look at eight state and local programs that use federal TANF or state maintenance-of-effort (MOE) funds to provide housing assistance to families attempting to make the transition from welfare to work. It also explains the issues that states and counties should consider in deciding which funding sources to use for particular housing programs. Since this paper was published, four additional states and localities — Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Denver, Colorado — have initiated housing programs using TANF funds. Two of the original states — Minnesota and New Jersey — also have
invested additional funds in new TANF- or MOE-funded housing programs while continuing their earlier initiatives. In addition, over the last 12 months, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued guidance on a number of questions concerning the permissible uses of TANF and MOE funds to provide housing assistance. Another development that may be relevant to the use of TANF funds for housing is the retention, at least for fiscal year 2001, of states’ ability to
transfer up to 10 percent of TANF funds to the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG).
This supplemental paper first reviews HHS’ relevant guidance and states’ ability to transfer TANF funds to SSBG. It then explores the six new state and local initiatives that use TANF or MOE funds to help subsidize families’ ongoing housing costs. These recent efforts provide further evidence that an increasing number of state and local governments are recognizing the importance of addressing families’ housing needs as part of state welfare reform efforts. (Authors)
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