Two new housing bills impacting PHAs were recently introduced. The Ending Homelessness Act of 2019 (H.R. 1856), introduced by Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Housing Financial Services Committee, would appropriate $13.27 billion in mandatory emergency relief funding over five years to several federal housing programs and initiatives. The Safe Housing for Families Act (S. 755), introduced by Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) on March 12, with companion legislation introduced in the House (H.R. 1690) by Representative Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL), would require property owners to install at least one carbon monoxide detector per floor in all federally-assisted housing units.
The Ending Homelessness Act of 2019, which passed out of Committee on March 28 appropriates $13.27 billion over five years for the following programs:
- $5 billion for McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants
- $2.5 billion for special-purpose Housing Choice Vouchers specifically for homeless households
- $500 million for outreach and service coordination to homeless or formerly homeless households
- $1.05 billion for the Housing Trust Fund, with a priority for housing homeless households
- $20 million for technical assistance to states and local organizations to coordinate assistance between supportive housing and health care providers
The bill would also permanently authorize the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and remove the existing sunset date for the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. CLPHA supports the Ending Homelessness Act of 2019 as it would appropriate critical resources for serving the homeless population and provide additional support for systems alignment efforts.
The Safe Housing for Families Act would include properties undergoing rehabilitation and requires the Secretary to implement specific standards for carbon monoxide placement and monitoring. The bill also appropriates $10 million over a ten-year period to fund the requirement.
CLPHA will continue to monitor these bills as they make their way through the legislative process.