A $115 million increase will move approximately 9,000 people from homelessness to housing
Washingtonâ€”Congressional leaders have agreed to a Fiscal Year 2007 spending resolution that would increase funding for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Developmentâ€™s (HUD) homeless assistance grants program, by $115 million, the largest increase since 1999.
The homeless assistance grants program funds emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent housing, and supportive services for homeless people. Based on past spending patterns, the National Alliance to End Homelessness estimates that the additional $115 million will help nearly 9,000 people exit homelessness and get back into permanent housing.
â€œWe recognize the extraordinary circumstances involved in finalizing this spending bill, and we applaud the Congress for making homelessness a priority. Looking ahead, Congress needs to continue to examine the issue of housing affordability,â€ said Nan Roman, President of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. â€œThe shortage of affordable housing is the primary cause of homelessness, and increasing the availability of affordable housing to very low income people will prevent homelessness and will empty our nationâ€™s shelters.â€
The funding resolution adjusts funding for several key housing programs including Section 8 Housing Vouchers and Public Housing.
â€œWithout these adjustments, hundreds of thousands of people would lose their housing. More extensive funding increases will be needed in the future to ensure access to affordable housing.â€ said Roman.
In addition to the homeless assistance grants funding, the resolution increases appropriations for Community Health Centers by $209 million, including an increase of $18 million for Health Care for the Homeless programs.
â€œLiving on the street can cause significant health problems or exacerbate existing conditions.â€ said Roman â€œImproving healthcare for homeless men, women and children is essential to ending homelessness.â€