Hastings Introduces Legislation to Address Chronic Homelessness Nationwide


Washington, DC – September 23, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) introduced the Support for Ending Long-Term Homelessness Act of 2009.  This bill will establish a grant program to provide permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals and families that have needs not addressed by traditional affordable housing. The companion bill has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC). (Please find attached a copy of the bill.)

“The very sad reality is that more than a half million Americans do not have a place to call home each night, and half of them are without shelter,” said Hastings. “This bill will help to alleviate the wide-spread problem of chronic homelessness across the country.”

Current programs for funding services in permanent supportive housing, other than those administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), were not designed to be closely coordinated with housing resources, nor were they designed to meet the multiple needs of people who are chronically homeless. This bill will establish a comprehensive grant program to provide supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals and families that they so badly need. Support services will include mental health services, substance use disorder treatment, referrals for medical and dental care, health education, and services designed to help individuals make progress toward self-sufficiency and recovery.

“Recently, I heard the story of Jamie Cole, a 25-year-old mother of three young children in my district, who was running out of options—staying at a hotel in Palm Beach County after fleeing domestic violence in Miami.  As she was running out of money, Jamie and her kids – ages 6, 5 and 3 –soon would be homeless.  But, the Coles were one of the lucky ones.  She was referred to The Lord’s Place residence for homeless families, where she now lives with her children.  As a leader in my district for chronic homelessness solutions, the Lord’s Place is a perfect example of the types of establishments that would benefit immensely from this legislation.”

This legislation will ensure permanent supportive housing, which will help the chronically homeless stay off the streets, out of hospitals and jails, and ultimately help them achieve the stability they need to lead healthier lives as productive members of their communities.

“Permanent supportive housing is 100% practical, and is a guaranteed investment of public and private resources to end long-term homelessness,” Hastings further commented.  “I encourage my colleagues in Congress to help address the wide-spread problem of chronic homelessness across our nation by supporting this critically important legislation.”

Joining Hastings as original co-sponsors of this legislation include: Representatives Corrine Brown, Raul Grijalva, Danny Davis, Bob Filner, Al Green, Pete Stark, Ed Towns, Robert Wexler, Kendrick Meek, Jan Schakowsky, and Rush Holt.

Previous article$4 Million Community Foundation Loan to Spur Affordable Rental Housing in Palm Beach and Martin counties
Next articleFlorida’s Existing Home, Condo Sales Up in August 2009