May 17, 2023
Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY), a senior Member of the House Financial Services Committee, unveiled legislation to reform the failed Housing First policy at a press conference at the House Triangle. The Housing Promotes Livelihood and Ultimate Success (Housing PLUS) Act of 2023 is intended to end the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) exclusive reliance on the so-called “Housing First” methodology, which recent U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness data demonstrates is a failed experiment.
Specifically, this bill would prohibit the HUD Secretary from prohibiting, limiting or otherwise restricting award of Continuum of Care (CoC) funds to providers because they require wraparound services (e.g., job training, addiction treatment) or because they are faith-based organizations. The bill also directs the Secretary to allocate no less than 30% of CoC funding to recipients that provide, or facilitate access to, wraparound services outside of housing first and would require the Secretary to annually certify to Congress that HUD allocated CoC funds as directed by the bill, and report to Congress specifically how its allocation of funds met the bill’s requirements.
“Housing First prevents providers who require wraparound services from receiving federal funds to curb homelessness in our communities,” said Congressman Andy Barr. “These wraparound services are oftentimes necessary to ensuring a person can safely and fully attain permanent housing on their own. We need to abandon HUD’s exclusive reliance on Housing First in favor of an all-hands-on deck approach to end homelessness in the United States. The Housing PLUS Act will ensure that HUD grant funding is reaching providers who are helping people transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency, without unneeded restrictions.”
“Housing PLUS would be the best tool we have had in the last 15 years to significantly address homelessness.” Dr. Robert Marbut, Discovery Institute Senior Fellow, former Federal Homelessness Czar