Republicans Push for Comprehensive Approach to Addressing Homelessness
Committee holds first hearing of the 116th Congress entitled Homeless in America: Examining the Crisis and Solutions to End Homelessness
February 13, 2019 –
WASHINGTON – Today, the House Financial Services Committee held its first full committee hearing of the 116th Congress entitled Homeless in America: Examining the Crisis and Solutions to End Homelessness.
Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (NC-10) delivered an opening statement highlighting the far-reaching issue of homelessness and the importance of evaluating our government programs to ensure they are effective in addressing this national challenge.
Watch the Ranking Member’s opening statement here or by clicking on the image below.
Ranking Member McHenry: “I hope this will be the first of a robust discussion on this issue where we can review all the programs under the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and across our government, to determine if they are effective in addressing the homelessness challenge we face across our nation. Additionally we should explore new initiatives to engage the federal, state, local, nonprofit and private market shareholders, to develop holistic approaches. Where appropriate we should explore how to allow localities to tailor specific solutions to address these concerns that may not fit a one-size-fits-all approach.”
Additionally, the Ranking Member questioned Dr. David S. Lucas, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for an Entrepreneurial Society, Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University, on how Congress can employ an innovative and cost-effective approach to addressing homelessness, while avoiding a one-size-fits-all mandate.
Watch Ranking Member McHenry’s questioning of Dr. Lucas here or by clicking on the image below.
Ranking Member McHenry: “So it’s not just a question of money, it’s how you utilize those monies?”
Dr. Lucas: “Certainly, while there are some claims that permanent supportive housing saves significant costs, actually a 2018 report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine reveal that there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate that permanent supportive housing saves healthcare costs or is cost-effective relative to existing alternatives. And that’s likely because the costs vary considerably from community to community.”
Ranking Member McHenry: “So how do we leverage federal taxpayer dollars to get a better outcome?”
Dr. Lucas: “Most of the allocation currently is on the basis of need and there’s also explicit, in the bills being discussed, prioritization of an earmarking for permanent supportive housing and housing first approach for much of that funding and rather than requiring and prioritizing that in the notice of funding availability through HUD and others, allowing results to drive solutions would be better.”
Dr. Lucas went on to state that we “should reward performance rather than rewarding compliance,” further proving that a tailored, innovative approach will be most effective in tackling this issue.
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