MIAMI – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson were joined by U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Executive Director Matthew Doherty, HUD Region IV Administrator Denise Cleveland-Leggett, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Miami-Dade County Commissioners Esteban Bovo, Jose “Pepe” Diaz, and Rebeca Sosa, Homeless Trust Chairman Ron Book, and Miami VA Healthcare System Director Paul Russo to announce that Miami-Dade County has effectively ended veteran homelessness. Diaz-Balart, who serves as Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, obtained $19.6 billion in his fiscal year 2018 funding bill to address homelessness across the United States, and increased it to $20.10 billion in his fiscal year 2019 funding bill.
“I congratulate Miami-Dade County on this immense achievement and am proud to join them to recognize veteran homelessness reaching functional zero. Working with local and federal partners, the County has shown that the number of homeless veterans in the community is less than those being permanently housed. Our veterans sacrificed so much to defend our freedom, and we owe it to these brave men and women to help them in their times of need. As Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, I secured $19.6 billion in the 2018 funding bill to fight homelessness, including among our veterans. In the 2019 bill, I increased it to $20.10 billion, with an additional $40 million going directly to housing our nation’s veterans. I thank Secretary Carson, Miami-Dade County leadership, and Homeless Trust Chairman Ron Book for their work and leadership on this momentous accomplishment. I cannot think of a better partner to work with on such vital initiatives than Secretary Carson, who recognizes the significant work that organizations like the Homeless Trust perform daily. I am grateful to be in a position to contribute towards this goal and will continue to do my part in Congress to ensure we put an end to veteran homelessness across the country.”
Diaz-Balart has long been a champion for the Homeless Trust and its mission. In 2016, the Homeless Trust sought assistance as it lost $5 million in federal funding that supported essential homelessness programs. Diaz-Balart worked with local and federal leaders to find a solution. With Diaz-Balart’s help, Miami-Dade County was the recipient of an Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) in the amount of $4.092 million, filling the gap for 2017. This ESG funding comes from the Homeless Assistance Grants program, which Diaz-Balart funded at $2.5 billion in the 2018 bill and increased it to $2.6 billion in the 2019 bill.