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Funding Resources - Welfare to Work Vouchers

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 Information by State
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Accessing Unspent TANF Funds for Supportive Services

Are you looking for funds to support your WtW Voucher Program? Do you need additional funding for activities such as housing search assistance, case management, and transportation assistance? If so, you should consider applying for surplus Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) funds in your state.

The 1996 federal welfare legislation specified that annual TANF block grant allocations would be based on federal funding levels in the early 1990s, when welfare caseloads were much higher, and would be maintained through 2002. Due to dramatic declines in caseloads over the past four years and fixed funding levels, states across the nation currently have surplus TANF dollars. According to a recent Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) report, as of September 30, 1999, there were more than seven billion dollars in unspent funds. To view specific information for your state, visit CBPP's Web site.

These excess funds have given states new opportunities to provide a wide range of needed work supports to eligible families, including transportation and child care assistance, substance abuse treatment, and domestic violence services. Over the past two years, at least six states and two California counties have initiated programs that use TANF funds to provide housing assistance to families attempting to make the transition from welfare to work. States can use TANF funds to accomplish any of the following four purposes:

  1. to provide assistance to needy families so that the children may be cared for in their homes or in the homes of relatives;

  2. to end the dependence of needy parents of government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage;

  3. to prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and establish annual numerical goals for preventing and reducing the incidence of these pregnancies; and

  4. to encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.

The process for accessing these funds varies by state. In some states, all requests must be approved by the legislature, while in others, state and county TANF agencies have greater flexibility in approving funding requests. Housing authorities should contact their county TANF agency to learn more about the availability of funds and the process for accessing funds in their state.

For more information about flexible ways to use TANF funds, view the Guide on Funding Services for Children and Families through the TANF Program. To access contact information for your local TANF agency, visit the Welfare Reform State Links page.

Content current as of 4 October 2001   Follow this link to go  Back to top   
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