Alliance Online News: BPC Housing Commission Releases Recommendations


Newsletters | February 26, 2013

February 26, 2013    
    ISSUES  |  POLICY  |  SOLUTIONS  |  NEWS & EVENTS Forward Editor: Emanuel Cavallaro    
Spotlight On...
BPC Housing Commission Releases Recommendations

On Monday, February 25, the Bipartisan Policy Center's Housing Commission released America's Future: New Directions for National Policy, providing recommendations for federal housing policy, which the Commission says in the report is currently "outdated and inadequate." The Commission, on which Alliance President and CEO Nan Roman serves as a member, endorses the 1949 Housing Act goal of a "decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family," and recommends an approach to the distribution of federal rental subsidies that would prioritize the most vulnerable households and reward housing providers who show the best results. The Commission also proposes a reformed system of housing finance in which the private sector would play a greater role in bearing credit risk and providing mortgage funding.

Read the Report


Hill Update

Sequestration Expected to Go into Effect Friday
The Senate plans to vote on both Democratic and Republican proposals to avert sequestration this week, including a Democratic plan that would replace $110 billion in cuts, equivalent to a year of the sequester, with a 50-50 split of targeted cuts (such as eliminating direct payments to farmers) and new revenue. Despite these efforts, it is anticipated that sequestration, the automatic, across-the-board cuts to security and non-security programs, will go into effect this Friday, March 1. Sequestration would have devastating impacts on homelessness assistance programs and would likely result in about 125,000 individuals and families losing assistance provided to them through the Housing Choice Voucher programs and 100,000 homeless and formerly homeless people being removed from housing or shelter programs.

The Administration has continued to be vocal about the harmful effects of the looming cuts, hoping to pressure Congress to compromise on an alternative deficit reduction package. The White House recently released a state-by-state breakdown of sequestration's effects. Yesterday, Monday, February 25, President Obama spoke at the annual meeting of the National Governors Association, urging governors to review the state-by-state reports and discuss the effects with their congressional colleagues.

House Appropriators to Release New Spending Plan
House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) is putting together a proposal to fund the second half of fiscal year (FY) 2013 that would combine new Defense and Military Construction-VA bills with a stopgap funding measure, known as a continuing resolution (CR), which would continue to fund the rest of the government at FY 2012 levels. It is anticipated that the plan will be made public as early as this week. Although it is unknown if or when House leadership will decide to bring this particular legislation to the floor, Congress is expected to pass an FY 2013 appropriations bill prior to March 27, when the six-month CR currently funding the government will expire.

Congress Returns from Recess
The House and Senate reconvened yesterday, Monday, February 25, following a week-long recess. Congress is expected to spend the week attempting to avert sequestration, which is set to go into effect this Friday, March 1.

USICH Releases New Framework to End Youth HomelessnesssOn Thursday, February 21, the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) released the USICH Framework to End Youth Homelessness: A Resource Text for Dialogue and Action. The framework builds on the 2012 amendment to Opening Doors and outlines strategies for meeting the goal set forth in that amendment of ending youth homelessness by 2020. In this new framework, USICH emphasizes the need for better data on the population of youth experiencing homelessness and improved capacity for programs serving that population. Also included in the framework is a preliminary intervention model that accounts for risk factors and focuses on addressing high-risk populations such as youth involved with the foster care and juvenile justice systems.

New TANF Resources

The Administration for Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services has released a new information memorandum outlining strategies for how states can use funds available through the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) to prevent and end family homelessness. Among the strategies included are rental assistance and coordinating employment services with rapid re-housing interventions. Additionally, the memorandum highlights the use of TANF to support rapid re-housing in communities, which the Alliance also explores in greater detail in its promising strategy profiles of Mercer County, New Jersey and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Access the Memorandum

The Alliance has published two new papers, Making Effective Use of TANF, which examines how states can use TANF funds to support rapid re-housing, and Promising Strategy: Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and the CATCH Program, a profile of a partnership between the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and the Charitable Assistance to Community's Homeless, Inc. (CATCH). In the coming months, the Alliance will host webinars exploring successful models of using TANF to support rapid re-housing and examine how these models can be replicated in other communities.

Making Effective Use of TANF

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and the CATCH Program

Call for Point-in-Time Count Data

The Alliance's Homelessness Research Institute (HRI) is seeking data from the Point-In-Time Counts conducted by communities across the nation last month. If you have 2013 Count data or information available from your community, including any detailed data on specific subpopulations such as youth, families, veterans, and chronically homeless persons, please send it to the Alliance at Your contribution is invaluable to the Alliance's work to prevent and end homelessness.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonpartisan, non profit organization dedicated to solving the problem of homelessness and preventing its continued growth.

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Visit the Center for Capacity Building to learn more about the ways the Center can help your community end homelessness.