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Housing Justice

Rapid Rehousing: A Manual for Providers (2010) Developed by Sue Watlov-Phillips and presented by Elim Transistional Housing.


Visit the links on this page to learn more about NCH’s Housing Justice public policy recommendations, action alerts, and research.

 

Issues:

National Housing Trust Fund
In July 2008, Congress and the President enacted into law an omnibus housing measure that included the establishment of a National Housing Trust Fund. The NHTF is a permanent federal program intended to increase and preserve the supply of rental housing for extremely low and very low income families. Currently, NCH and others are seeking to secure additional permanent funding sources for the NHTF, in addition to annual contributions from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Advocates are also working with HUD to develop regulations for implementing the NHTF.

Foreclosure and Homelessness Prevention
NCH’s April 2008 report, “Foreclosure to Homelessness: The Forgotten Victims of the Subprime Crisis,” reported that a majority of local and state homeless coalitions had seen an increase in homelessness since the foreclosure crisis began in 2007. In December 2008, an annual survey from the U.S. Conference of Mayors found that 12 major cities reported an increase in homelessness as a result of foreclosure, with renters of foreclosed properties being the victims most vulnerable to homelessness. NCH and others are urging Congress to include money for homelessness prevention and re-housing in any legislative response to the foreclosure crisis, and are also seeking to pass legislation that would help renters living in foreclosed properties to remain in their homes or transition smoothly to new housing.

HUD McKinney-Vento Reauthorization
The McKinney-Vento homeless assistance programs administered by HUD make funds available for provisions of emergency shelter, transitional and permanent housing, and supportive services for people experiencing homelessness. Congress and advocates have been working to increase the funding level and consolidate programs into a more efficient system—a process that is long overdue. The Senate recently passed such a measure as part of a broader housing bill, and the House of Representatives may follow suit shortly. However, NCH has expressed a number of concerns about aspects of the legislation that would exclude some homeless people from receiving needed services, would limit the participation of some stakeholders in the decision-making process, would restrict communities from using funds in the way that makes sense on a local level, and would authorize a client data collection system without first putting sufficient privacy protections in place. NCH will continue to work with legislators and the Administration to address these concerns, and will also work to increase the appropriation levels for HUD McKinney-Vento programs in fiscal year 2010.

Rural Homelessness Assistance
Rural homelessness is an epidemic afflicting thousands of individuals and families every year, but rural communities often face a dearth of homeless assistance services. The current formula and method for distributing funding through HUD homeless assistance programs (the continuum of care application process) puts rural communities at a disadvantage. The Rural Homeless Assistance Act, a legislative proposal of NCH, would create a rural homeless assistance program within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Funds for that program could be used for homelessness prevention, emergency shelter, transitional housing, supportive services, and capacity-building assistance. NCH is seeking a Congressperson to sponsor the Rural Homeless Assistance Act in the next Congress. As an interim measure, NCH calls for a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study into the unmet homeless assistance needs in rural communities.

Housing Choice (Section 8) Vouchers
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program assists very low-income families and elderly and disabled individuals in obtaining affordable housing on the private market. Section 8 has prevented countless low-income families and individuals from falling into homelessness. At a time when affordable housing in the private market is scarce and the foreclosure crisis is pushing the number of people experiencing homelessness even higher, NCH and others urge Congress to include in any legislative response to the foreclosure crisis the authorization of new Housing Choice Vouchers to provide the lowest-income households with rental assistance. Ultimately, NCH and others back the addition of two million additional vouchers into the housing assistance system.

Reports:

“Foreclosure to Homelessness: The Forgotten Victims of the Subprime Crisis”, April 2008

National Coalition for the Homeless
2201 P Street NW
Washington, DC 20037-1033
202-462-4822
info@nationalhomeless.org

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Page last modified: June 24, 2013

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