2015 Policy Preview

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Federal Policy Brief | February 24, 2015

Files: Policy Preview (PDF | 563 KB | 25 pages)

As communities around the country strive to solve the problem of homelessness, the ability to count on the federal government as a partner has proven to be essential. The housing and services that homeless people need are expensive. Money available from federal programs, both those targeted to homeless people and those that address poverty more broadly, is a major part of the resources available. The design of these homelessness programs can reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness, if they are outcome-focused, research-based, and appropriately targeted.

Homeless assistance programs are among the most effective investments of the federal government. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other federal agencies working to address homelessness use data to manage and evaluate the programs, encouraging communities to adopt cost-effective and efficient models like permanent supportive housing and rapid re-housing.

The purpose of this Policy Preview is to help readers understand the most critical issues under consideration by the 114th Congress and by the Obama Administration in its last two years in office, and how those issues will impact the effort to end homelessness. This Preview focuses on specific issues upon which advocacy can have an important and immediate impact, while framing those issues in the context of the current budget and program environment.

The Policy Preview is intended to ensure that people are supplied with basic policy information when they interact with their Congressional and Administration offices throughout the year.