Hearing on Homelessness Held by House Financial Services Subcommittee

National and Local Organizations Advocate for Additional Federal Funding to End Homelessness

On May 17, 2018, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance held a hearing titled “An Overview of Homelessness in America.” This hearing allowed witnesses from both local and national organizations to discuss homelessness across the country.

Many witnesses were concerned with the proposal to implement work requirements as part of U.S. Representative Michael Turner’s (R-OH-10) “Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act” H.R. 2069 and the Trump Administration’s “Making Affordable Housing Work Act.”

Congressman Tom MacArthur is a co-sponsor of the “Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act.”

Witnesses discussed the connection between the lack of affordable housing and homelessness.

The President of the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) and National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) Board Member, Nan Roman, claimed she believed homelessness cannot end until the affordable housing crisis is addressed in the United States. Further, she urged legislation to consider an innovation fund to allow local communities to try out different affordable housing solutions.

The hearing also addressed issues concerning race and criminal records. Peter Lynn, executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, said that

“Inequitable criminal justice enforcement in black communities is one of the reasons African Americans are disproportionately represented among the homeless population.” Anne Bischoff of Star House added that when youth are forced to engage in survival crimes it makes it more difficult for them to secure housing in the future.

Overall, all witnesses advocated for increased federal funding for programs which address homelessness as well increased number of affordable housing options.

Just one day prior to this hearing, Monarch Housing Associates in partnership with Seton Hall University Law School, the Anti-Poverty Network of NJ, and NJ Institute for Social Justice will host a Public Policy Forum on The Color of Law. Thank you to Investors Bank Foundation and New Jersey Office of the Attorney General’s Division on Civil Rights for their generous support of this important Public Policy Forum. The two events echoed similar sentiments.

On July 25th, a Congressional Reception will be held at the Dirksen Senate Auditorium in Washington D.C. This event will allow New Jersey Residents who are working poor, below the poverty line and or impacted by homelessness to urge their elected officials in Washington to make No Cuts to Housing and remind them that Opportunity Starts at Home.

Click here for more information about the Congressional Reception. You can also follow @OppStartsatHome in order to learn more about the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Opportunity Starts at Home Campaign. Follow the event with these hashtags #NJHillDay #NoHousingCuts and @OppStartsatHome.

NLIHC Coverage of the Hearing

Congressional Reception

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