HUD Pushes Back Goal of Ending Chronic Homelessness

Post Interviews Donovan on Tenure at HUD
Ending Chronic Homelessness Delayed Until 2016

HUD Secretary Shaun DonovanIn a June 11, 2014 interview with The Washington Post, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan answers questions about HUD’s work to end homelessness and why they extended the date to end chronic homelessness until 2016. If confirmed by the Senate, Donovan will move on to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB.)

On his passion for ending homelessness said Donovan,

“It’s been an incredible experience for me to be able to lead the [homelessness] effort. It’s the first time an American president has ever said we’re not just going to put a band aid on homelessness but to end it.”

On why the Administration will not be able to meet its goal of ending chronic homelessness in 2015, said Donovan,

“Chronic homelessness, because of sequestration and other budget shortfalls, we have moved that goal to the end of 2016 and put in the president’s budget request adequate funding to allow us to get there.”

Donovan spoke about supportive housing as the solution to chronic homelessness.

For the chronically homeless, the most important tool we have is something called “supportive housing.” It used to be that somebody who is struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues was put in a program while they’re in shelter or maybe given transitional housing, with the goal that if they take steps to get sober or get into job training that they’ll get a place to live at the end of that process. That’s absolutely backward. You should get people into housing right away. It’s much easier for them to stabilize their lives when they’re stably housed. We get them into supportive housing that has services attached to it, like a case manager who works with the residents and regular medical visits that come into that housing. We’ve lowered chronic homelessness by 16 percent over the last three years, even with limited funding and coming out of the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes.

But given the recent proposed cuts to HUD by Congress, the new 2016 goal for ending chronic homelessness could be pushed back even further.

Click here for the full interview.