There is a growing movement across New Jersey that believes that ending homelessness is not a dream but something that we can and must do. The time to act on a national level on this issue is now. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness “we have an incredible opportunity to expand funding and programs for permanent housing solutions to homelessness with the reauthorization of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants program. Let’s get the strongest bill we can with high priority on housing solutions to homelessness.”
The following is information from an important Advocacy Update from the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Please review and contact your member of Congress today! To find out how to contact you House member click here. For a summary of the legislation click here.
What Can You Do:
Please call your House Member, especially those on the Financial Services Committee, and ask him or her to contact Rep. Maxine Waters the Chair of the Subcommittee with jurisdiction over this legislation and Rep Shelly Moore Capito who is the Ranking Member in support of the Manager’s Amendment to the HEARTH Act.
Why we must act now!
House: The House legislation, HR 840, the HEARTH (Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing) Act was introduced by the late Representative Julia Carson (D-IN) with lead Republican Representative Geoff Davis (R-KY) in February 2007. Two hearings were held in October. It is the intention of the Financial Services Committee to hold a markup of legislation in the next few weeks. Rep Waters, Chair of the Subcommittee with jurisdiction (Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity of the Financial Services Committee), will offer a manager’s amendment making significant changes to the HEARTH Act and greatly improving its impact on the goal of ending homelessness.
Senate: S 1518, the Community Partnership to End Homelessness Act, was introduced by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) with lead Republican Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO) in May 2007, passed the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and awaits action on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
The goal is to ensure the two pieces of legislation are similar to enable quicker enactment and a permanent solutions focus.
What will the manager’s amendment do?
It promotes permanent housing as the solution to homelessness by:
Funding permanent housing renewals from the account that funds Section 8 vouchers which would provide stability for renewals as well as free up funding for other new projects.
Makes law the practice of establishing a 30 percent set aside for permanent housing for people with disabilities, including both individuals and families.