A Rise in Homelessness Across the U.S.
Pam Fessler of Southern California Public Radio explores a reported increase in homelessness across the United States this year. According to the 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress released by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) this week, the number of people experiencing homelessness increased by 0.7 percent. The increase points to severe affordable housing shortages in major U.S. cities, especially along the west coast. Nan Roman, president and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness expresses concern about the availability of housing units in some areas of the country. HUD Secretary Ben Carson says that an increase in joint efforts between the government, nonprofits organizations, and faith-based communities can help drive solutions.
Read the article here.
Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel Unveiled in the U.K.
The Big Issue discusses the UK’s next step of action toward solving homelessness. To help fulfill a pledge to reduce the number of people sleeping rough by half by 2022, U.K. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid is assembling an advisory panel to help with strategy development. The panel will consist of homelessness experts, charities and local government, including Chief executive of Crisis, Jon Sparkes, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, and Chief Executive of Shelter, Polly Neate. The Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel will provide a cross-government approach to implement the government’s plans to tackle homelessness. “To break the homelessness cycle once and for all, we all need to work together, drawing on as much expertise and experience as we can. The Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Implementation Taskforce and the Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel, together with the three Housing First pilots, are important steps in making that happen,” said Javid.
Read the article here.
Exploring Canada’s National Housing Strategy
Nick Falvo of the Calgary Homeless Foundation outlines key components of Canada’s newly-unveiled National Housing Strategy. The strategy aims to reduce chronic homelessness by 50% through several different efforts. The government intends to create a Housing Benefit that will provide financial assistance to low-income households to help them afford rent in both private and social housing units; this can pose as homelessness prevention. Up to 60,000 new housing units will also be created, while focusing on preserving and repairing existing social housing. In addition, new initiatives that will foster participation and strengthen engagement with people with lived experience of homelessness will take place. The strategy also mentions plans to expands research on affordable housing solutions.
Per the article: “Solution Labs will be funded to bring experts and a range of housing stakeholders together to rapidly incubate and scale potential solutions to housing affordability pressures. Through open competitive processes, teams from the housing sector will be invited to identify housing challenges in key National Housing Strategy priority areas and propose strategies to develop new, world-leading solutions.”
Read the blog here. (Scroll down to post titled “Ten things to know about Canada’s newly-unveiled National Housing Strategy”)