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Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing

HUD Building

HUD BuildingU.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge [1] has been elected Chair of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) [2]. Joining Fudge on the USICH is U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough who was elected as the Council’s Vice Chair.

“I’m honored to have been elected by my fellow members as the Council’s first Chair during the Biden-Harris Administration,” said Fudge. “We are at a pivotal moment for USICH—and for the homelessness crisis in our country. As Chair, I am committed to leveraging the Council to tackle homelessness through a Housing First approach and meaningful interagency collaboration.”

The Council, which consists of representatives from 19 federal agencies, elects new leadership from its members on an annual basis. Each agency is allotted one vote. Secretaries Fudge and McDonough were unanimously elected by all agencies present. The Chair and Vice Chair lead Council meetings, increase public and congressional attention to homelessness, support implementation of the federal strategic plan, and foster collaboration between federal member agencies.

“Not only do both leaders bring extensive experience and expertise on this issue, but they also have a passion for the work that we believe will help propel us forward with renewed energy and momentum,” said Anthony Love [3], USICH’s Interim Executive Director.

To further foster the work of HUD and USICH, President Biden’s Administration has submitted its Budget for Fiscal Year 2022 [4] to Congress. The Budget includes the two historic plans the President has already put forward—the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan–with an emphasis on the reinvestment in housing.

In terms of HUD, Biden’s FY 2022 Budget would:

“With the FY22 Budget, we are turning the page on decades of disinvestment and disregard for our nation’s housing crisis and putting housing where it belongs–at the center of our efforts to build a stronger, more equitable America,” said Fudge. “The Budget sends a clear signal that HUD is no longer going to be left on the sidelines while millions of Americans struggle with housing and remain shut out from the opportunities a good home provides. The FY22 Budget transforms and empowers HUD to lay the foundation for stronger, more equitable housing infrastructure, to help communities thrive, and to give every person a fair shot to get ahead.”

Addressing the nation’s homelessness crisis has been a top priority for Secretary Fudge and the Biden-Harris Administration. Secretary Fudge recently announced [5] the allocation of $10 billion in American Rescue Plan homelessness assistance: $5 billion in funding through the HOME Investment Partnerships Program to increase affordable housing to address homelessness, and $5 billion for 70,000 emergency housing vouchers.