The Bassuk Center has published a new policy paper titled Family Homelessness: The Path Ahead. Developed in collaboration with the National Network to End Family Homelessness, the paper outlines what is needed to end family homelessness, summarizes key policy priorities, and shares voices from local communities.
The paper emphasizes the continuing increase in youth and family homelessness, the underlying systemic issues driving this crisis, and needed reforms of US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) policies.
Also highlighted are the consequences of HUD’s limited definition of homelessness, inaccuracy of HUD’s Point-in-Time count, how federal funding fails to meet local needs, and how programs must combine housing with services for families to achieve long-term housing stability.
Policy recommendations include: advocating for the Homeless Children and Youth Act (HR 1511, S 611); changes to the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA); enhancing HUD data systems; and reforming Continuum of Care governance to allow local flexibility, collaboration, and greater transparency. Other priorities address issues of health and mental health care, affordable housing, and adequate earnings for low-wage workers.
The paper was prepared to engage local providers, inform advocacy initiatives, and mobilize communities. As stated in the document, “…we commit to reforming the current system so that children in our shelters never become homeless again.”
The National Network to End Family Homelessness is made up of over 350 organizations, service providers, and advocates working with children and families in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.