Alliance Applauds Congress and President Obama for Enacting the HEARTH Act

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National Alliance to End Homelessness

Press Releases | May 20, 2009

Contact: Catherine An - 202-942-8297, can@naeh.org

Alliance Applauds Congress and President Obama for Enacting the HEARTH Act
Bipartisan bill emphasizes homelessness prevention, rapid re-housing, and program modernization

Washington, D.C. - Nan Roman, president of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, commended the nation’s leadership today for passing the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act. The bill, which was included as part of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, reauthorizes the Department of Housing and Urban Development's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance programs, which represent the largest federal investment in preventing and ending homelessness.

“Today, we seize a rare opportunity to truly transform the way we help those most in need of our assistance,” said Roman. “In these challenging times, we all sympathize with those facing tougher and tougher decisions about how to protect themselves and their families. We thank President Obama and Congress for seizing this opportunity to build upon the hard work and experience of the HUD homeless programs and restore our promise to prevent and end homelessness for all.”

The HEARTH Act is the first significant reauthorization of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance programs in nearly 20 years and allocates millions more to homelessness prevention, rapidly re-housing homeless families, and providing permanent supportive housing for homeless people with disabilities. It also modernizes and streamlines housing and services to more efficiently meet the needs of people seeking assistance.

Roman applauded the efforts of both congressional and coalition partners, specifically thanking Sens. Jack Reed (D – RI) and Kit Bond (R – MO), as well as Reps. Maxine Waters (D – CA) and Barney Frank (D – MA) for their courageous leadership and persistence on the issue. Roman also thanked President Obama for exemplifying the political will to apply proven solutions to prevent and end homelessness for all.