Bipartisan bill is supported by 128 organizations, local governments, elected officials
Washington—The U.S. Conference of Mayors announced its support for the Fighting Homelessness Through Services and Housing Act, a bipartisan bill that Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to provide more federal resources to address homelessness and its underlying causes.
In addition to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the bill is supported by 127 other organizations, local governments and elected officials, including 34 California mayors, supervisors, cities and counties. A full list of supporters can be viewed here.
“Homelessness is not only a crisis in California but in cities across the United States,” Senator Feinstein said. “If we’re going to end this epidemic, we have to address all causes of homelessness together. That means pairing stable housing with training, counselling and mental health services. Nobody understands these challenges more than mayors, and I’m proud the U.S. Conference of Mayors is joining with us to move this much-needed legislation.”
“We applaud Senator Feinstein for the Fighting Homelessness Through Services and Housing Act,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and executive director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “The U.S. Conference of Mayors has advocated for years that the most effective approach to eliminate homelessness is through addressing its underlying causes. This bill, which will provide $750 million annually for five years, represents a major step in the fight against homelessness. The nation’s mayors welcome this initiative.”
The Fighting Homelessness Through Services and Housing Act would:
- Authorize $750 million annually for five years to fund supportive housing models that provide comprehensive services and intensive case management.
- Require a 25 percent match for services and housing from non-federal funds.
- Allow grants to be used for any combination of operations and capital building costs, as long as housing and services requirements are fulfilled.
- Require grantees to track outcomes and report on housing stability and improvements in health and wellbeing, including education of children.
Grant eligibility and requirements:
- Grants may go to local governmental entities consisting of cities, counties, regional collaboratives and tribal governments.
- Services must address issues including mental health; substance use disorders; disabling or other chronic health conditions; educational and job training/employment outcomes; and life skills classes.
- Intensive case management must be provided with a ratio of one case manager for no more than 20 people.
- When serving families with children, services available must also include children’s behavioral and mental health services, early childhood education, regular and age-appropriate children’s programming and activities, child health and nutrition screening and education and parenting classes and support programs.
- Services must also have in place protocol for staff training and best practices to identify and prevent child trafficking, abuse and neglect.