Shaheen Helps Introduce Bill to Support Local Governments in Reducing Homelessness
**The legislation would authorize funding for housing and comprehensive services including mental health, substance abuse.**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) joined Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in introducing the Fighting Homelessness Through Services and Housing Act, a bill to authorize $1 billion annually to help local governments combat homelessness.
The bill recognizes that addressing homelessness requires additional affordable housing as well as mental health care, substance abuse treatment and job training. Cities and counties applying for grants under this bill would be responsible for providing housing as well as these supportive services.
Grant recipients would be required to provide 25 percent of project funds and report on measures of success, including whether individuals remain housed.
"The pandemic severely exacerbated housing insecurity across New Hampshire and the country," said Shaheen. "Housing needs are especially dire for Granite Staters struggling with other crises, like substance misuse or mental health challenges, which have been surging across many communities. Addressing homelessness often requires a comprehensive approach as proposed by this legislation, to address the intersection of these challenges and build a long-term solution for individuals struggling with homelessness. I’ll continue fighting in the Senate to ensure Granite Staters have the services and support they need to have a safe place to call home.”
The Fighting Homelessness Through Services and Housing Act:
- Authorizes $1 billion annually for five years to fund supportive housing models that provide housing paired with 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.
The bill is cosponsored by Senators Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
Senator Shaheen is a leader in the Senate working to combat homelessness and help vulnerable Granite Staters. This week, she announced over $3.5 million she helped secure for New Hampshire through the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program. These funds were authorized by congressional Democrats’ American Rescue Plan Act and signed into law by President Biden, assisting New Hampshire renters with rent and other housing expenses, including energy and utility costs. She’s also led legislation to ensure that thousands of low-income tenants in rural areas are able to maintain access to safe and affordable housing. Shaheen has fought to protect New Hampshire homeowners and renters left vulnerable by the COVID-19 public health emergency. The American Rescue Plan, passed in March 2021, included nearly $50 billion for housing, including support for vulnerable renters and homeowners. This is in addition to the $25 billion in emergency rental assistance included in the December 2020 emergency COVID-19 relief legislation, which Shaheen helped lead as part of the “908 Coalition.”