Loebsack, Stivers Bill to Help Homeless Youth Passes Financial Services Committee
Today, H.R. 1511, the Homeless Children and Youth Act (HCYA), a bipartisan bill sponsored by Representatives Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Steve Stivers (R-OH), passed the Financial Services Committee. The HCYA would help bring the invisible homeless—such as vulnerable children “couch surfing” at the generosity of strangers or living in motels—out of the shadows and give communities more flexibility so they can address the growing problem of homelessness among children. This bill received a hearing in the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance earlier this month.
“As someone raised in poverty by a single mother who struggled with mental illness, I know firsthand how community supports can help make a difference in people’s lives. We must take every step possible to help children in need excel. I am pleased this bill is moving forward and taking the next step to make it easier for homeless children to access homeless assistance programs. The Homeless Children and Youth Act will help communities best provide for those who are most in need,” said Loebsack.
“No child should ever be without a home, let alone be forced to navigate bureaucratic red tape just to prove that they are actually homeless,” Stivers said. “This bill is an important step in accurately identifying the scope of youth homelessness so we can help some of the most vulnerable in our communities. I want to thank the Chairman and committee members for supporting this legislation, and hope it is considered by the full House soon.”
Spanning multiple Administrations, the HUD definition of “homeless” has been inconsistent with other federal agencies. The HCYA would expand HUD’s definition of “homeless” to include all children and youth who are already verified as homeless by several other federal educational and social services programs.
The Senate companion bill is sponsored by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA). To read the full text of the bill, click here.
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