Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced H.R. 1856, the Ending Homelessness Act of 2019, legislation that provides a comprehensive plan to ensure that every person experiencing homelessness in America has a place to call home.
“In the richest country in the world, it is simply unacceptable that we have people living in the streets,” said Chairwoman Waters. “Today, there are over a half million people experiencing homelessness nationwide. Nearly 160,000 of them are children and nearly 38,000 are veterans who we have failed to support after their service to our nation.
“In Los Angeles County, there are over 50,000 people experiencing homelessness, nearly 5,000 of whom are children, and over 3,800 of whom are veterans.
“As Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, I have made it a top priority to focus on this crisis. That is why I have introduced the Ending Homelessness Act of 2019, which would provide $13.27 billion in new funding over five years to federal programs and initiatives to prevent homelessness.
“It is time for Congress to step up and provide the resources and funding necessary to address this important issue and I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to ensure that every American has a safe, affordable place to call home.”
The Ending Homelessness Act of 2019 would appropriate $13.27 billion in mandatory emergency relief funding over five years to several critical federal housing programs and initiatives, providing the resources that these programs need to effectively address the homelessness crisis in America.
This bill includes the following funding amounts over and above what is already annually provided for these existing U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs:
- $5 billion over five years to McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants, which is expected to provide 85,000 new permanent housing units;
- $2.5 billion over five years to for new Special Purpose Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV), which is expected to provide an additional 300,000 housing vouchers and would give preference to those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless;
- $1.05 billion annually in mandatory spending dedicated to the National Housing Trust Fund, which in the first five years of funding is expected to create 25,000 new units affordable to extremely low-income households, with a priority for housing the homeless;
- $500 million over five years in outreach funding to ensure that homeless people are connected to the resources they need and;
- $20 million for states and localities to integrate healthcare and housing initiatives, which provides technical assistance to help state and local governments coordinate their healthcare and housing initiatives that are funded by federal programs.
This bill is supported by the Center for Supportive Housing, Community Solutions, Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, Drug Policy Alliance, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Leading Age, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Alliance to End Homelessness, National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, National Housing Conference, National Housing Law Project, National Housing Trust, National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, National Low Income Housing Coalition, National Rural Housing Coalition, PATH (People Assisting the Homeless), Public Housing Authority Directors Association, Stewards for Affordable Housing for the Future, and TELACU Residential Management.
Click here to view the legislation, an executive summary, and a section-by-section. Congresswoman Waters first introduced the Ending Homelessness Act in 2016.