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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 99-270
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Thursday
Or contact your local HUD officeDecember 16, 1999


WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo said the U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual Survey on Hunger and Homelessness released today shows that HUD's Continuum of Care program is successfully helping homeless people around the country become self-sufficient.

Cities surveyed by the USCM have benefited by the new resources provided by the Clinton Administration, the survey shows. Over the last year there has been a 16 percent increase in transitional housing for homeless families and a 5 percent increase in Single Room Occupancy housing, thanks in large part to HUD assistance under the Continuum of Care program for homeless people.

The USCM survey points to the affordable housing shortage - along with substance abuse problems and mental illness - as some of the leading causes of homelessness. The survey cites the positive impact that the policies of the Clinton Administration have had on homelessness, but says there is a continuing need to address the problem.

Cuomo said the USCM survey supports the conclusions of a report on homelessness that was released by HUD last week. Last week's report said that when homeless people get housing assistance and needed services - such as health care, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, education and job training - 76% of those living in families and 60% of those living alone end their homeless status and move to an improved living situation after completion of the assistance program.

"The U.S. Conference of Mayors survey shows there is still a tremendous need in this nation for affordable housing and services that help homeless people get off the street and become productive members of society," Cuomo said. "This survey adds to a growing body of evidence that shows we can break the cycle of homelessness when we address its underlying causes with programs to create affordable housing, job training and jobs, substance abuse treatment, and mental health services."

The USCM 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 issue of homelessness. Recently the Continuum of Care program - administered by HUD - received the prestigious Innovations in American Government Award from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and the Ford Foundation for its broad-based approach to reducing homelessness.

HUD's Continuum of Care initiative, which was developed by Cuomo when he was an Assistant Secretary at HUD, is the centerpiece of the federal policy on homelessness. It has helped more than 300,000 homeless people get housing and jobs to become self-sufficient.

The Continuum of Care stresses permanent solutions to homelessness through comprehensive and collaborative community planning. Communities submit plans to HUD that reflect efforts to address the complexities of homelessness through a range of housing and services. The services provide emergency assistance and assessment of a homeless person's needs, and help the person to obtain permanent housing and become self-sufficient.

HUD has invested nearly $5 billion in programs to help homeless people since President Clinton took office - more than three times as much as the $1.5 billion HUD spent on homeless assistance programs from 1987 to 1993. HUD's Fiscal Year 2000 Budget provides for $1.02 billion in funding for homeless programs - a $45 million increase over 1999.


Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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