“Bring America Home Now” Launches National Campaign To Pass Rep. Maxine Waters “Ending Homeless Act of 2022,” HR 4496
The “Bring America Home Now Campaign” is engaged in a national grassroots advocacy campaign to pass HR 4496, Rep. Maxine Water’s “Ending Homelessness Act of 2022,” as a very significant first step in solving the unhoused emergency once and for all! A National Education Association study shows that 1.5 million students experienced homelessness in 2020. The National Low Income Housing Coalition reveals that 3.7 million individuals in the U.S. are experiencing “doubled-up homelessness,” living in temporary housing conditions with a friend or family member.
In New York City, according to the Coalition For The Homeless, in July 2022 there were 52,137 homeless people, including 16,650 homeless children, sleeping each night in New York City’s main municipal shelter system. Research shows that the primary cause of homelessness in NYC, particularly among families, is lack of affordable housing. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, ( LAHSA), revealed that in 2022 there were 69,144 people estimated to be experiencing homelessness.
Families Wait Years For Housing Choice Vouchers Due To Inadequate Funding
Unfortunately, 1 out of 4 households who qualify for a HUD Housing Choice Voucher to access an apartment are turned away. ( Center On Budget And Policy Priorities). On average nationally, families that received vouchers had spent close to two and ½ years on waitlists, exposing many to homelessness, overcrowding, eviction, and other hardships while they wait. ( Center On Budget And Policy Priorities).
The HUD Housing Choice Voucher Program is the federal government’s major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments. A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by the PHA on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.
Once passed in Congress, HR 4496 would accomplish the following:
- Would dramatically expand and transform the Housing Choice Voucher program into a federal entitlement, that would be phased in over eight years, so that every household who qualifies for a housing voucher would receive it.
- The Secretary of HUD would allocate 500,000 incremental vouchers in fiscal year 2022, and 1,000,000 incremental vouchers in increments of 500,000 in each calendar year from 2023 through 2025 which have a significant impact in helping to solve the homeless emergency.
- Fund the creation of 410,000 new housing units for people experiencing homelessness, and lift 9 million people out of poverty.
- Appropriate $10 billion dollars in funding over 5 years for the Housing Trust Fund and McKinney Vento Grants to fund the creation of permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness.
*For more information about HR 4496, please contact Joel Segal, at Jsegal@nationalhomeless.org, or contact the office of Rep. Maxine Waters at 202 225-2201.
[ Featured Photo Credit: Aaron P. Bernstein—Getty Images ]