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Strengthening Local Partnerships to Advance Solar Energy in Affordable Housing
President Obama has made addressing climate change one of the top priorities of his agenda. As part of this work, his Administration has worked tirelessly with local leaders to support cutting-edge renewable energy technologies and, in recent years, we’ve seen great progress. As the President stated in this year’s State of the Union Address.
"Whether it's helping to rapidly re-house families with young children or finding a permanent home for an individual with serious health conditions, HUD is working with our local partners to end homelessness as we know it," said Donovan. "Over the last few years we have changed the trajectory of homelessness in America, but we need bipartisan support from Congress to fully fund proven strategies that have created this downward trend. The evidence is clear that the cost of doing nothing far exceeds the cost of finding real housing solutions for those who might otherwise be living on our streets."
"In the face of budget cuts from sequestration, Continuums of Care and grantees were forced to make difficult choices and do as much as possible to advance their local efforts to end homelessness with fewer resources," said Laura Zeilinger, Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. "Communities are making the smart choice, investing HUD funds in evidence-based, cost-effective programs. Now we need help from Congress to fully fund these programs and provide communities with exactly what they need to reach the goals of Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness."
HUD funding will allow local providers to continue offering permanent and transitional housing to homeless persons as well as services including job training, health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and child care. HUD is continuing to challenge local communities to reexamine their response to homelessness and give greater weight to proven strategies, from promoting "Housing First" to providing 'rapid re-housing' for homeless families with children and permanent supportive housing for those experiencing chronic homelessness.
Continuum of Care grants are awarded competitively to local projects to meet the needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness in their community. The grants fund a wide variety of programs from street outreach and assessment to transitional and permanent housing for homeless persons and families. HUD funds are a critical part of the Obama Administration's strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness
WASHINGTON – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced HUD will speed federal disaster assistance to the State of Arkansas and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes due to severe storms, tornadoes and flooding.
Today, President Obama issued a disaster declaration for Faulkner County. The President’s declaration allows HUD to offer foreclosure relief and other assistance to certain families living in this county.
“Families who may have been forced from their homes need to know that help is available to begin the rebuilding process,” said Donovan. “Whether it’s foreclosure relief for FHA-insured families or helping these counties to recover, HUD stands ready to help in any way we can.”
In most cases, the ADA does not apply to residential housing. Rather, the ADA applies to places of public accommodation such as restaurants, retail stores, libraries, and hospitals as well as commercial facilities such as offices buildings, warehouses, and factories. However, Title III of the ADA covers public and common use areas at housing developments when these public areas are, by their nature, open to the general public. For example, it covers the rental office since the rental office is open to the general public.
Title II of the ADA applies to all programs, services, and activities provided or made available by public entities. This includes housing when the housing is provided or made available by a public entity. For example, housing covered by Title II of the ADA includes public housing authorities that meet the ADA definition of "public entity," and housing operated by States or units of local government, such as housing on a State university campus.
For more information on the Americans with Disabilities Act, visit the Department of Justice ADA
We Can End Homelessness
Written by:Mark Johnston
As a new intern in the Federal government in the winter of 1983, I was a junior researcher for a Presidential hunger commission. One frigid morning I saw a man living on a heating grate near the White House. His name was Saif. I was stunned to see someone living outside and I sat down near him to understand why he was there. This was the first person had I ever met who was homeless. At the time there weren’t any Federal homelessness programs, much less evidence-based programs and strategic policies to confront the problem.
Today, ending the cycle of homelessness is an audacious goal but the evidence is now clear that it can be done. In fact, it’s already happening. The Federal government’s strategic plan to prevent and end homelessnessis called“Opening Doors.” It’s a strategy built on proven approaches taken at the state and local level that are dramatically reducing both chronic and veteran homelessness in this country. Since 2010, more than 3,000 cities and counties reported a 24 percent reduction in veteran homelessness and a 16 percent decline among those who have been living on our streets and in our shelters for long periods of time.
How are they doing it? These communities understand there is no single method to reduce homelessness. Instead, they’re taking a strategic approach by targeting various interventions based upon the needs of the individual or family. Whether it’s helping to rapidly re-house families with young children or finding a permanent home for an individual with serious health conditions, HUD is working with our Federal, State and local partners to reduce and even eliminate homeless. Over the last few years, the Federal government and local planners changed the trajectory of homelessness in America by understanding a simple truth — the cost of housing someone who is homeless is often less than doing nothing at all, as persons on the streets often cycle between expensive jails, hospitals and emergency shelters.
HUD recently awarded $1.6 billion in grants to renew support for nearly 7,100 local homeless housing and service programs throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These grants allow local housing and service providers to continue offering permanent and transitional housing to persons experiencing homelessness as well as job training, health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, and child care.
But let’s face it—during this tough budget environment, HUD is challenging local communities to rethink their traditional response to homelessness and give greater weight to evidence-based strategies that we know are working. Strategies like “Housing First” models that offer permanent supportive housing to persons living with long-term disabling conditions to rapid re-housing programs that help struggling families in our shelters move quickly into a place of their own.
Sure, Opening Doors sets a pretty high bar when it comes to preventing and even eliminating homelessness in this country. For their part, local communities are making the smart choice, investing HUD funds in evidence-based, cost-effective programs. But now is not the time to retreat from what’s been working. President Obama’s 2015 budget seeks $2.4 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants, over $300 million above the 2014 enacted level. This level of funding maintains the approximately 224,000 HUD-funded beds that assist the homeless nationwide and would provide permanent housing with service supports for an additional 37,000 persons living on the streets. If funded, we would effectively end street homelessness in this country.
I’m retiring from federal service after more than 30 years fighting this fight and working with some of the most heroic people you can imagine across this great country who share this mission. As I prepare to leave, I’m heartened at how far we’ve come since I first met Saif living on a heating grate near the White House with nowhere to go. We have the tools and the will as a nation to reduce and end homelessness in this country.
- See more at: http://blog.hud.gov/#sthash.dXKQqQOz.dpuf
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Official Blog
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