Shaheen Helps Introduce Bill to Address Root Causes of Homelessness

July 19, 2021

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) joined Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Alex Padilla (D-CA) in introducing the Fighting Homelessness Through Services and Housing Act, a bill to increase federal resources to battle homelessness. The bill authorizes $1 billion in grants annually for the next five years for local governments to combat homelessness. 

As a way to address the root causes of homelessness, this legislation for the first time would condition federal funds on a grant recipient’s ability to provide not only housing, but also comprehensive supportive services like mental health care, substance abuse treatment and job training. Grant recipients would be required to provide 25 percent of project funds and report on measures of success, including whether individuals remain housed. 

“To stem the homelessness crisis that worsened during the pandemic, we need a comprehensive approach that makes families whole again. We must take into account how poverty, mental illness and substance misuse exacerbate cycles of housing insecurity,” said Shaheen. “This legislation pairs critical services like counseling and mental health treatment with housing support, addressing the root causes of homelessness. I’ll continue fighting in the Senate to ensure Granite Staters have the services and support they need for their health and housing security.”  

Specifically, the Fighting Homelessness Through Services and Housing Act

  • Authorizes $1 billion annually for five years to fund supportive housing models that provide comprehensive services and intensive case management. 
  • Requires a 25 percent match for services and housing from non-federal funds. 
  • Allows grants to be used for any combination of operations and capital building costs, as long as housing and services requirements are fulfilled. 
  • Requires grantees to track outcomes and report on housing stability and improvements in health and wellbeing, including the education of children. 

Full text of the bill is available here

Shaheen has fought to protect New Hampshire homeowners and renters left vulnerable by the COVID-19 public health emergency. The Shaheen-backed American Rescue Plan includes nearly $50 billion for states to provide relief for vulnerable homeowners, renters and individuals and families experiencing homelessness. The emergency COVID-19 relief legislation, supported by Shaheen and signed into law in December, provided $25 billion in emergency rental assistance.  

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