Alliance Online News: Alliance Comments on Proposed Definition of Chronic Homelessness


Newsletters | June 4, 2013

June 4, 2013    
    ISSUES  |  POLICY  |  SOLUTIONS  |  NEWS & EVENTS Forward Editor: Emanuel Cavallaro    
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Alliance Comments on Proposed Definition of Chronic Homelessness

The Alliance has submitted comments on a new proposal by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that would change regulations defining chronic homelessness for all of HUD's homeless assistance programs. The proposed definition would introduce a time measurement for an episode of homelessness that would disqualify a significant number of vulnerable people from receiving permanent supportive housing.

Chronic homelessness is characterized by two characteristics: frequent or lengthy episodes of homelessness and the presence of a disabling condition (mental or physical). Under the current definition of chronic homelessness, an individual is recognized as chronically homeless if he or she has experienced an episode of homelessness either for one year or more, or four times in a three year period. Currently, the length of a homeless episode required to meet the definition is 15 days.

The proposed rule would change this significantly, requiring the cumulative length of the four episodes to be at least one year. Under such a standard, four episodes of equal length would be around 90 days per episode.

In the Alliance's comments, we note that under the proposed definition, some communities would have very few people considered chronically homeless. We urge HUD to consider allowing more flexibility for communities.

Read the comments


Hill Update

House to Continue Work on FY 2014 Spending Bills
It is anticipated that the full House will begin to consider fiscal year (FY) 2014 appropriations bills this week. The Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) funding bill, which funds programs for veterans experiencing homelessness such as the Grant Per Diem and Supportive Services for Veterans Families programs as well as the joint HUD--Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) voucher case management, is among the spending measures up for consideration by the full House this month. This bill was approved by the House MilCon-VA Appropriations Subcommittee Wednesday, May 15 and the full House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, May 21. To read the legislation, click
here. House and Senate markups for other spending bills are anticipated in the near future.

Congress Returns from Recess
Yesterday, June 3, both the House and Senate returned from recess for the Memorial Day Holiday. Both chambers will remain in session until this Friday, June 7, when the House will depart for a brief recess, returning Tuesday, June 12.

House Committee Holds Hearing on FY 2014 Budget Proposal
Today, June 4 at 10 a.m. ET, the full House Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing on the proposed FY 2014 budget request for the Department of Health and Human Services. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius served as the sole witness. Secretary Sebelius emphasized the importance of protecting vulnerable populations and of funding the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA)'s mental health programs, which help chronically homeless families and individuals to acquire and maintain permanent supportive housing. To read Secretary Sebelius' full testimony, click here; for further information about the hearing, click here.

Appropriations Subcommittees Hold Hearings on President's FY 2014 Budget Proposal
Today, June 4, at 2:30 p.m. ET, the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Related Agencies (T-HUD) Subcommittee will hold a hearing on proposed FY 2014 funding for agencies, programs, and activities under its jurisdiction. The Commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration, Carol Galante, and the Inspector General for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, David Montoya, will serve as witnesses. Tomorrow, June 5 at 10 a.m. ET, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education and Related Agencies (Labor-H) Subcommittee will hold a hearing on proposed FY 2014 funding for agencies, programs, and activities under its jurisdiction. The Acting Secretary of the Department of Labor, Seth D. Harris, will serve as the sole witness.

Game Simulates Rapid Re-Housing Model

A rapid re-housing role-playing game designed by the Alliance's Center for Capacity Building for use in trainings on rapid re-housing is now available for download. The game introduces participants to the basics of the rapid re-housing model and illustrates how rapid re-housing works by exploring the different roles involved: homeless families, housing locators, and landlords, among others. The full game takes about an hour and a half to play and requires eight players.

Last Week on Ending Homelessness Today

Disabled "Priced Out" of Basic Housing
By Lisa Stand

In this blog post we take a look some of the facts presented in new report that warns that the widening gap between disability benefits and housing costs puts low-income people with disabilities at-risk of becoming homeless or institutionalized.

Why States Are Using Welfare to Pay for Housing
By J.B. Wogan

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, also known as the economic stimulus, set aside $1.5 billion for the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Program (HPRP) over three years. This guest post looks at why states are now turning to Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) funding to cover the loss of that one-time investment.

More on the blog

The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonpartisan, non profit organization dedicated to solving the problem of homelessness and preventing its continued growth.

2013 National Conference on Ending Homelessness
July 22-24, 2013, at the Renaissance Washington DC Hotel

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