New Legislation Aims to Alleviate Homelessness

November 25, 2019, 3:40 PM HST · Updated November 25, 3:40 PM
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Today, Sens. Mazie K. Hirono, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Cory Booker introduced legislation that lays out a 10-year investment in federal housing and homelessness programs.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition claims the funding could effectively end homelessness and housing poverty in the United States.

The Pathway to Stable and Affordable Housing for All Act would provide a long-term, dependable level of investment in four federal housing programs–Emergency Solutions Grants, Continuum of Care Grants, the Housing Trust Fund, and tenant-based rental assistance.

“Communities and service providers in Hawaiʻi and across the country do the best they can with the resources they have to help our neighbors in need. However, federal dollars simply don’t go far enough. At the same time, too many workers and families struggle to get and keep affordable rental housing,” Hirono said in a press release.

“The Pathway to Stable and Affordable Housing for All Act rejects the divisive policies of the Trump Administration, and lays out the sustained, 10-year federal investment that on-the-ground providers and experts estimate is needed to help get those most in need off the street and into supportive, safe housing quickly and expand affordable housing stock for the long-term.” 

The Pathway to Stable and Affordable Housing for All Act consists of four provisons: two of which would help states and organizations on the ground get those experiencing homelessness into shelter quickly, and two focused on expanding access to safe, affordable housing:

  • $10 billion per year in additional funding for Emergency Solutions Grants;
  • $10 billion per year in additional funding for Continuum of Care grants so organizations can move those experiencing homelessness into the shelter system and provided needed support services.
  • $40 billion per year in direct appropriations to the Housing Trust Fund on top of the dedicated funding provided by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This level of investment will expand affordable rental housing stock, which will help to lower rents in the long-run.
  • Fully funding tenant-based rental assistance (vouchers) to allow as many households as possible to get into permanent, safe, affordable housing.

The Pathways to Stable and Affordable Housing for All Act has the support of the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

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