OMB’s proposal would create a commission modeled after the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. The new commission would evaluate surplus federal properties and then create two separate lists: one of properties that the commission recommends the federal government sell, and a second, separate list of properties recommended for use by entities to benefit persons experiencing homelessness. Housing advocates are concerned that, by restricting the properties available for use by homeless service providers, the proposed reforms would undo the rights granted in the McKinney-Vento Act.
On May 4, Representative Jeff Denham (R-CA) introduced H.R. 1734, the Civilian Property Realignment Act, which is similar to the OMB proposal. The measure has no cosponsors and has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, and the House Committee on Rules.
Advocates, organized by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, a long-time champion of the use of surplus properties to benefit people experiencing homelessness, will work to preserve the right of entities to access surplus federal properties in order to benefit persons experiencing homelessness.