76th Annual  Meeting
The U.S. Conference of Mayors
76th Annual Meeting
June 20-24, 2008
Miami

2008 ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS

SUPPORTING INNOVATIVE POLICIES TO END AND PREVENT CHRONIC HOMELESSNESS ACROSS THE NATION

WHEREAS, mayors are committed to ending chronic homelessness in our nation's cities; and

WHEREAS, chronically homeless individuals, those with the most persistent forms of homelessness, are afflicted not only by poverty but also by severe conditions such as mental illness and substance abuse; and

WHEREAS, mayors and cities are on the front lines of the response to chronic homelessness; and

WHEREAS, in order for persons experiencing chronic homelessness to succeed in their housing, supportive services are necessary to mitigate health, substance abuse, and mental health problems;and

WHEREAS, numerous studies compiled by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness have shown that permanent supportive housing models to end chronic homelessness are highly effective and that the cost of providing supportive housing is substantially offset by savings in the most expensive systems of community care including hospitalizations, jails, and other correctional facilities; and

WHEREAS, these supportive strategies improve the quality of life for both the individuals being housed and the community at large; and

WHEREAS, ending chronic homelessness requires collaboration and coordination at all levels of government, together with community institutions, businesses, and faith-based organizations, to determine how best to implement prevention and intervention strategies; and

WHEREAS, more than 330 local governments have created jurisdictionally-based 10-Year Plans to end chronic homelessness, many of which are showing results; and

WHEREAS, though there is progress in many communities, new data demonstrates that homelessness continues to be one of our nation's most challenging social problems; more than 2 million people experience homelessness over the course of a year; and

WHEREAS, over 20 percent of all homeless adults are veterans and 44,000 and 64,000 veterans are chronically homeless, representing a national tragedy,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors strongly supports the increased investment in proven strategies that end chronic homelessness, with a strong focus on permanent housing with supportive services; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors, to achieve the goal of ending chronic homelessness in 10 years, urges Congress to appropriate $2 billion in HUD's Homeless Assistance Grants program, which would enable communities to develop 15,000 units of permanent supportive housing; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors continues to endorse and urges Congress to create new permanent funding sources for supportive services for the homeless within the Health and Human Services budget; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress to re-authorize the McKinney-Vento Act with provisions for regulatory relief that would allow existing federal funds appropriated through McKinney-Vento to be fully expended and more efficiently utilized each budget year; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress, through the re-authorization of the McKinney-Vento Act, to fund an innovative grants program that would provide demonstration grants to communities across the nation implementing ten-year plans to end chronic homelessness; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on Congress and the Administration to provide permanent supportive housing to assist the nation's significant and growing homeless veterans population, including providing additional Section 8 Vouchers for the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supported Housing (HUD-VASH) program, which provides permanent housing subsidies and case management services to homeless veterans with mental and addictive disorders; and through the VA Medical Care Account, provide a dollar for dollar supportive services match for the HUD-VASH Section 8 vouchers; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress and HUD to end homelessness for the roughly 600,000 families who are homeless each year by providing rapid rehousing programs that focus on helping homeless families move back into permanent housing as quickly as possible; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors endorses and urges Congress to enact legislation that would provide Federal housing assistance and services to youth over the age of 18 aging out of foster care and in need of assistance; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors affirms the value of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness and commends its initiatives to support mayors as they implement ten year plans.