House Committee Holds Hearing on the Definition of Homelessness

The House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on June 6 to discuss HUD’s definition of homelessness and review the “Homeless Children and Youth Act of 2017” (HR 1511), introduced by Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH). The bill would amend the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to expand HUD’s definition of “homelessness” to include children and youth who are living in “doubled-up” housing situations, making them eligible for HUD homeless assistance programs.

Several lawmakers and witness Steve Berg of the National Alliance to End Homelessness acknowledged the good intentions of the bill, but said increasing the number of families and youth eligible for HUD homeless assistance without providing any additional resources to meet the increased need would spread already inadequate resources even thinner. Supporters of the bill asserted that the expanded definition will allow service providers to better serve families and youth who are unstably housed and whose housing needs are not currently being met through existing federal assistance programs.

Watch the archived webcast of the hearing at:

Learn more about the bill at: