The President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget Request proposes to cut funding to assist homeless people and people at-risk of homelessness by more than $6 billion compared to the enacted FY2016 funding level and the enacted FY2017 funding level, the latter which was not enacted at the time the budget request was prepared.
Continue reading The FY2018 Budget Request Cuts Assistance to Homeless People and People At-Risk of Homelessness by $6 Billion
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released Part 1 of its Annual Homelessness Assessment Report for 2016 this past week reporting the number of homeless people, homeless individuals, homeless families, homeless veterans, chronically homeless people, and homeless youth on a given night. In the report, the number of homeless people on a single night was 549,928, a decrease of 2.6% from the year before. Unfortunately, the report noted that the declines were composed entirely of people staying in sheltered locations and that homelessness increased among people without shelter by 2%. The number of homeless persons without shelter increased by 3,089 persons from 173,268 in 2015 to 176,357 in 2016.
Continue reading The Newly-Released HUD Homeless Report Shows Unsheltered Homelessness Increased by 2% or 3,000 Persons in 2016
Homelessness disproportionately affects African-Americans, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders, Latinos, families with children, and persons with disabilities and homelessness also affects large numbers of females and survivors of domestic violence and persons who identify as transgender.
Continue reading Homelessness Has a Disproportionate Effect and the Fair Housing Act May Be Able to Prevent and End Homelessness
Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released its 1-Year American Community Survey data on income, employment, poverty, and other population characteristics in 2015 for jurisdictions with populations of 65,000 or more. According to this survey, 39.9 million people or 12.6% of the nation had a disability, an increase of 300,000 from 2014. Moreover, persons with disabilities were disproportionately poor and extremely poor: 8.4 million or 21% of people with disabilities were poor while 46.2 million or 14.7% of people overall were poor and 3.1 million or 7.8% of people with disabilities were extremely poor while 20.4 million or 6.5% of people overall were extremely poor. Also, 8.4 million or 18.2% of the 46.2 million people with income below the federal poverty level had a disability and 3.1 million or 15.3% of the 20.4 million with income below half of the poverty level had a disability in 2015.
Continue reading According to Census and HUD Data, States with the Highest Numbers of Adults with Disabilities in Poverty and Deep Poverty Have the Highest Numbers of Chronically Homeless Persons in 2015
To reach the goal of ending chronic homelessness next year, Congress should appropriate the $2.664 billion requested in HUD’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2017 so that the needed 25,000 new units of permanent supportive housing can be built and so that homeless persons with disabilities are not living outside on the streets for more than a year. In 2015, on a given night, there were 53,350 unsheltered chronically homeless individuals and 4,426 unsheltered chronically homeless persons in families, yet there was not enough transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, safe haven, rapid rehousing, and other permanent housing beds for 26,000 to 34,000 chronically homeless individuals without shelter nor for 600 to 1,200 chronically homeless persons in families.
Continue reading There are Not Enough Housing Beds for 26,000 to 35,000 Chronically Homeless Individuals and Families
The President’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2017 maintains housing and homeless assistance funding dedicated to ending veteran homelessness, proposes homeless assistance funding to end chronic homelessness in 2017, and proposes housing and homelessness assistance funding to end homelessness for families and youth in 2020. Given the critical importance of shelter, the budget should provide enough resources to provide shelter for every homeless person without shelter and housing and homelessness assistance funding targeted to other homeless individuals.
Continue reading The Proposed FY2017 Budget Provides Significant Funding to End Homelessness But Should Provide Shelter for All
In addition to HUD’s new definition for the term “chronically homeless” being inconsistent with the text and purpose of Congress’s definition in the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act(HEARTH Act), the new regulatory definition is also not reasonable. HUD’s new definition is not consistent with its long-standing definition
that has been published in the Federal Register, the change will reduce the safety of homeless individuals who may be forced to spend more time on the streets and the basis for the change is to target limited resources to a subset of chronically homeless individuals and families, a facet not allowed in the HEARTH Act. Continue reading HUD’s New “Chronically Homeless” Definition is Inconsistent with Its Long-Standing Definition and is Unreasonable
On December 4, 2015, the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published its final rule to define the term “chronically homeless” for use in HUD’s Continuum of Care Program and in the Consolidated Submissions for Community Planning and Development Programs. HUD defines “chronically homeless” as a homeless individual with a disability who lives in a place not meant for human habitation, a safe haven, or in an emergency shelter and has been homeless and living in such a place continuously for at least 12 months or on at least 4 separate occasions in the last 3 years, as long as the combined occasions equal at least 12 months and each break in homelessness separating the occasions included at least 7 consecutive nights of not living in such a place. Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing: Defining “Chronically Homeless”, 80 Fed. Reg. 75791, 75804 (Dec. 4, 2015). A family with an adult head of household (or a minor head of household in families with no adult) who meets this criteria is also classified as chronically homeless. Id. The rule also states that stays in institutional care facilities for fewer than 90 days are included in the 12-month total and do not constitute a break. Id.
Continue reading HUD’s “Chronically Homeless” Definition Does Not Affect Permanent Housing Eligibility Nor Can It Add Extra Time Requirements
Despite the long-lasting nature of chronic homelessness, the goal to end chronic homelessness has been delayed and chronic homelessness still exists because enough resources have not been provided. Continue reading The Continuing Resolution Should Provide Funding for the 29,000 to 35,000 Chronically Homeless Individuals and Families Without Shelter