Alliance Online News: Homelessness Prevention for Survivors of Domestic Violence

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Newsletters | March 20, 2012

March 20, 2012    

ISSUES  \|  POLICY  \|  SOLUTIONS  \|  NEWS & EVENTS Forward Editor: Anna Blasco

Spotlight On...
Homelessness Prevention for Survivors of Domestic Violence

On Thursday, March 29 at 3 pm ET, the Alliance will co-sponsor "Homelessness Prevention for Survivors of Domestic Violence" with the District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH) and the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV). This webinar is the second in a series of webinars on preventing and ending homelessness for survivors; it will feature Peg Hacskaylo, Executive Director of DASH, and Linda Olsen, Housing Program Coordinator at WSCADV. For a recording of the first webinar in the series, "Housing for Survivors of Domestic Violence," please click here.

Register for the Webinar

 



Hill Update

House Holds Appropriations Hearings
This week, the House Appropriations Committee will hold numerous hearings on fiscal year (FY) 2013 funding for various departments and agencies. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Related Agencies will hold a
hearing on Wednesday, March 21 at 10 am ET on proposed FY 2013 funding for programs within HUD, which includes most affordable housing and homelessness programs. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan will be testifying about the agency's proposed FY 2013 budget.

The Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies will hold a similar hearing tomorrow at 2 pm ET on proposed FY 2013 funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which includes many programs for homeless veterans, including case management for the HUD - VA Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers, Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF), the Grant and Per Diem program, and other key programs. VA Secretary Eric Shinseki will testify at the hearing.

For further information on the additional hearings the House Appropriations Committee will be conducting this week, please visit their website.

Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Homeless Veterans
Last Wednesday, March 14, the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs held a hearing entitled, "Ending Homelessness Among Veterans: VA's Progress on its 5 Year Plan." The hearing focused largely on the need for VA to better accommodate homeless or at-risk female veterans, noting that increasing numbers of homeless veterans are females with families, many of whom experienced sexual trauma during their military service. The panel did remark, however, on the excellent progress VA has made in ending homelessness for thousands of veterans in recent years. To view witness testimony and an archived webcast of the hearing, please click here.

Alliance Comments on SSI Rule

In response to a call for public input from the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Alliance commented on the needs and experiences of homeless people with disabilities who access emergency shelters. The SSA is reviewing the impact of the rule that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits cannot be paid to homeless people who rely on shelters for longer than six months in a nine month period. In commenting, the Alliance emphasized that people on SSI experiencing homeless need this benefit and other supports and services in order to find and remain in permanent housing. Alliance President Nan Roman wrote, "access to emergency shelter does not mitigate the need for income support, especially for the most vulnerable homeless people. In fact, there is a considerable gap between what shelters provide and what homeless SSI recipients need to solve their housing problems, especially if they are chronically homeless. This argues further for improvements in how SSA administers SSI benefits to homeless populations."

Homeless advocates, including the Alliance, recommend better federal outreach programs to homeless people who may be eligible for SSI. Revised enrollment procedures are also needed, to account for the unique challenges chronically homeless people face in shelters and on the street.

Webinar: Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs

HUD recently released a webinar training on its recently published final rule, Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs - Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity. The webinar covers the four basic principles of the policy:
  • General equal access provision;
  • Clarification on the definition of family;
  • Prohibition of inquiry of sexual orientation and gender identity for the purposes of determining eligibility; and
  • Inability of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to discriminate.

Reminder: Webinar on an Emerging Framework for Ending Youth Homelessness


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