As part of the FY 2014 Budget Support Act (BSA), DC Mayor Vincent C. Gray has proposed significant changes to the Homeless Services Reform Act (HSRA), the law governing homeless services in DC. Not only will the proposed changes do little to resolve the crisis of family homelessness, but if enacted, could cause significant harm to homeless residents. Nearly 200 DC organizations signed on to a letter to the Mayor asking him to withdraw these amendments from the BSA because they had not been vetted by stakeholders and because such significant changes deserve their own legislative process.
Councilmember Graham is now leading the effort to remove these amendments (Subtitle D, The Homeless Services Reform Amendment Act of 2013) from the BSA and has introduced them as stand-alone legislation, which will give the public and stakeholders an opportunity for meaningful input.
As Fair Budget members, we know the best way to address homelessness is to ensure that housing is provided right now to DC residents experiencing homelessness, not by implementing changes in the law that could negatively impact both families and individuals.
That’s why we want to tell the DC Council to invest in the programs that will end homelessness and to support Councilmember Graham’s efforts.
The solution is housing! With a total investment of $8.5 million in the Housing First Program, $10.3 million in tenant-based Local Rent Supplement Program vouchers, we can end homelessness for 300 homeless families, for every DC senior, and for every resident with HIV/AIDS. And an investment of $5.1 million in supportive housing, shelter beds, and wrap-around services will help end homelessness for over 100 chronically homeless youth.
And there’s one more action we want you to take: Join us at Fair Budget’s “One City Needs” Lobby Day action on Wed, May 15th from 10am-12pm at the Wilson Building (1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW)! To find out more about the action, visit Fair Budget’s event page on facebook. For more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-328-5513