The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act was introduced by Congresswoman Julia Carson (D-IN) and three other House Members last week. The bill would reauthorize HUDâ€™s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance programs. It includes several provisions that had previously been introduced as part of the Bringing America Home Act. Specifically, the bill would do the following:
Formalize the Continuum of Care process and require that Continuum of Care boards be made up mostly of homeless or formerly homeless people, providers, and advocates.
Consolidate three of HUDâ€™s existing Continuum of Care programs (Supportive Housing Program, Shelter Plus Care, Moderate Rehabilitation/SRO) into one program while adding prevention, rehousing, and permanent housing for non-disabled people as eligible activities.
Expand the definition of homelessness to include people living doubled-up and people living in hotels or motels.
Prohibit domestic violence service providers from providing information about clients for HMIS.
In addition to the HEARTH Act, several other pieces of legislation dealing with homeless services, McKinney-Vento reauthorization, and veterans homelessness are likely to be introduced.