June 6, 2003
JACKSON TO URGE NATION'S MAYORS TO ADOPT BUSH ADMINISTRATION STRATEGY TO END CHRONIC HOMELESSNESS IN TEN YEARS
Resolution follows national plan to target most vulnerable
DENVER - Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Alphonso Jackson is urging the nation's mayors to adopt a resolution that mirrors the Bush Administration's strategy to end chronic homelessness in 10 years. At its annual meeting in Denver, the U.S. Conference of Mayors will consider adopting a resolution to join the federal government's response to homelessness by providing permanent housing and services to persons experiencing long-term homelessness.
In January, the Bush Administration challenged 100 mayors to create their own 10-year plans to end homelessness. To date, Chicago, Memphis, Indianapolis, Phoenix and Atlanta are among more than a dozen communities that have already endorsed the Bush plan and adopted similar 10-year strategies of their own.
"Our cities are on the front lines in our effort to confront homelessness and meet the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors," said Jackson who will address the USCM in Denver on Saturday. "We sincerely hope the U.S. Conference of Mayors becomes an enthusiastic partner with us as we work toward breaking the cycle of homelessness. Together, we can achieve a society where those living with a disability, mental illness or an addiction have an alternative to living on our streets."
Ending chronic homelessness is a primary goal of HUD's homeless assistance programs. Research indicates that approximately 10 percent of all homeless persons are chronically homeless. Studies also find that this population consumes over half of the resources designed to assist all homeless individuals and families.* By shifting the federal emphasis toward meeting the needs of the most vulnerable homeless persons, more resources become available for those who experience homelessness as a temporary condition.
Last year, HUD awarded more than $1.1 billion in homeless assistance to more than 3,000 local projects around the nation - a record level of funding. This year, HUD will also award a record amount of resources to help house and serve homeless individuals and families and is proposing an unprecedented $1.5 billion in funding next year.
The Bush Administration's comprehensive plan to end chronic homelessness includes a unique collaboration between three federal agencies that will provide $35 million in permanent housing and critical services to help model local programs end chronic homelessness. The funding will include $20 million from HUD, $10 million from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and $5 million from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
In addition, the Bush Administration's FY 2004 budget includes an innovative $70 million Samaritan Initiative to provide permanent housing and supportive services to those experiencing long-term or chronic homelessness. HUD, HHS and VA would jointly administer this interagency program.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet.