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Stivers Bill to Help Homeless Youth Receives Committee Hearing

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Washington, June 6, 2018 | comments
Today, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance held a hearing on the Homeless Children and Youth Act (HCYA), a bill sponsored by Representatives Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA). The hearing highlighted the discrepancies between how homelessness is defined by different federal agencies, and the human impact of the overly restrictive definition used by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 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.
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WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance held a hearing on the Homeless Children and Youth Act (HCYA), a bill sponsored by Representatives Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA). The hearing highlighted the discrepancies between how homelessness is defined by different federal agencies, and the human impact of the overly restrictive definition used by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  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.
 
Witnesses for the hearing included Ms. Barbara Duffield, Executive Director, SchoolHouse Connection; Ms. Kat Lilley, Deputy Executive Director, Family Promise of Colorado Springs; Ms. Millie Rounsville, Chief Executive Officer, Northwest Wisconsin Community Services Agency; and Mr. Steve Berg, Vice President, Programs and Policy, National Alliance to End Homelessness.
 
“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 Chairman Duffy and all of the subcommittee members and witnesses for considering this legislation.”
 
Spanning multiple Administrations, the HUD definition of “homeless” has been inconsistent with other federal agencies.  This legislation 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 watch the full hearing, click here.
 
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