Tuesday, June 10, 2014

House Passes Conyers Amendment to Fully Fund Center to Combat Homelessness

(WASHINGTON) – Late yesterday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives considered H.R. 4745, the “Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Act of 2015.” During consideration of the legislation, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) offered an amendment to fully fund the Homeless Data Analysis Project (HDAP). The HDAP is the federal government’s leading center for data collection and dissemination of best practices for combating homelessness. This program has been located within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) since 2001. Despite initial reservations by conservative Members, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the amendment unanimously. After the amendment was adopted, Representative Conyers issued the following statement:

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
“In the aftermath of the nationwide housing crisis of 2008, millions of Americans lost their homes through no fault of their own. In the worst cases - yet regrettably all too often - these struggling individuals wound up in shelters or found themselves living on the streets. It is unthinkable that more than a million people struggle with the scourge of homelessness in the world’s most prosperous nation. In an effort to help repair this shameful state, I offered an amendment - unanimously approved by the House of Representatives - that fully funds the Homeless Data Analysis Project (HDAP). This vote was a win for America’s most vulnerable people, and an acknowledgment by Congress that homelessness is not only corrosive to individual lives but also to our national character,” said Conyers.

“In 2001, Congress directed the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to ‘take the lead on data collection’ on homelessness, the result of which was the HDAP. This program provides critical resources to communities to improve data collection, reporting, and integration of data collection efforts with other federal funding streams. Over the past decade, this project has allowed HUD and other agencies to move away from using largely anecdotal and often inconsistent evidence to using quality data for policy decisions. Better data means better outcomes for the most vulnerable Americans.

“With more than 19,000 individuals - including nearly 4,000 children - homeless in the Detroit area at some point over the course of a year, we have a moral obligation to act. By fully funding homeless assistance grants, and data coordination programs to wisely administer such funding, we can help make the dream of ending homelessness a reality.”

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