Hill Update: Youth Homelessness
On January 9, 2015, Rep. Al Green, D-Tex. introduced two bills that will address the permanent housing needs of homeless veterans.
The first bill, H.R. 251, the Homes for Heroes Act of 2015, would establish the position of special assistant for veterans affairs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to submit to Congress on an annual basis a veteran homelessness report that supplements the “Annual Homeless Assessment Report” (AHAR). Currently the supplemental report isn’t mandated by law.
The second bill, H.R. 252, the Comprehensive Homes for Heroes Act of 2015, would allow the HUD Secretary to expand supportive housing for low income veteran households by providing assistance such as planning grants, capital advance funds, project-based rental assistance, or tenant-based rental assistance to nonprofits and consumer cooperatives. As with H.R. 251, this bill would also create the position of special assistant for veterans affairs at HUD and mandate the annual submission of the veterans supplemental report.
On January 27, 2015, Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., introduced a bill reauthorizing the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA). The RHYA reauthorization bill strengthens the prevention of human trafficking and includes a nondiscrimination clause to ensure that all homeless youth are treated fairly.
The bill also provides for national support activities like the national call center for youth in crisis and research and data collection by authorizing funding for a national incidence and prevalence study, among others.
Click here for more information about RHYA Reauthorization.