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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 98-642
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Wednesday
Or contact your local HUD officeDecember 16, 1998


WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo said the U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual Survey on Hunger and Homelessness released today shows there is a need to expand HUD programs that help homeless people become self-sufficient.

"The Conference of Mayors survey shows that while HUD programs have helped many homeless Americans transform their lives to rejoin mainstream society, more must be done," Cuomo said. "We need to work with Congress to get funding to expand our programs to create more affordable permanent housing, more job training and jobs, more substance abuse treatment and more mental health services. Study after study has shown that these programs work and can break the cycle of homelessness."

The Conference of Mayors survey highlights both the continuing need to address homelessness across the nation and the positive impact that the policies of the Clinton Administration have had on the problem.

The survey of 30 cities points to the shortage of affordable housing, substance abuse problems, and mental illness as the three leading causes of homelessness. It points to an average increase in demand for emergency shelter of 11 percent across the cities surveyed, although more than half of the cities stated that there was no unmet demand for emergency shelter.

Many of the surveyed cities benefited by the significant new resources provided by the Clinton Administration. Overall, according to the survey, there has been a 17 percent increase in transitional housing for homeless families and a 7 percent increase in Single Room Occupancy housing over the past year.

The survey results underscore the importance of the Clinton Administration's Continuum of Care policy as a tool for collaborative and comprehensive community planning to address the complex issue of homelessness.

Under the Continuum of Care policy, communities are required to submit plans to HUD designed to help homeless people become self-sufficient. The Continuum of Care is the centerpiece of the federal policy on homelessness announced by President Clinton in 1994.

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