The United State Interagency Counsel on Homelessness (USICH) released on October 19 a new strategic plan that is deeply flawed and ill-informed, ignoring decades of evidence on the causes of and solutions to homelessness and undermining successful programs. NLIHC joined nine other national housing organizations in a sign-on letter responding to the plan and noting its shortcomings.
The plan ignores the structural causes of homelessness – including the severe lack of affordable, accessible housing for the lowest-income people, racism, and the growing gap between what renters make and what housing costs – and uses cherry-picked data to undermine successful policies. USICH Director Robert Marbut has a demonstrated history of using false claims to advance an ideological agenda that frames homelessness as a “personal failing” rather than the result of an inequitable system.
“This is a plan in name only,” the letter from the ten national housing/homelessness organizations states. “It does not contain the interventions proven to reduce and end homelessness, which have been embraced by administrations on both sides of the aisle. The vast majority of what has been proposed cannot be implemented by the agency. The document continues to leverage data that has been widely disproven by experts.”
NLIHC’s President and CEO Diane Yentel also rebuffed the plan, noting people experiencing homelessness “deserve, at the very least, for [USICH] to make serious efforts to end homelessness. This plan from [Director Marbut] is entirely unserious and should be broadly dismissed.”
Read the sign-on letter at: https://tinyurl.com/y4rgbqkw
Read Diane Yentel’s Twitter thread on the strategic plan at: https://tinyurl.com/y6mnngxe