February 9, 2016
Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) offered his support to President Obama and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro’s budget request to better address youth and family homelessness across the country. The request includes an $11 billion investment in community-based strategies such as Housing Choice Vouchers and rapid rehousing programs and would provide families with the assistance they need to bring themselves out of homelessness.
“On any given night as many as 64,000 families and 123,000 children are homeless in America,” Rep. Peters said. “Our communities need more resources to get people off of the street, out of shelters, and into stable homes so they can hold a job and raise their family. Secretary Castro has taken significant steps to reduce homelessness across the country, and I support this budget request that will bring more resources to communities like San Diego that are working cooperatively to end homelessness.”
Congressman Peters also spoke to Secretary Castro on Monday morning about the budget request and Peters’ amendment that would direct HUD to reopen the public comment period on the Continuum of Care funding formula that determines how federal anti-homelessness funds are allocated. “Secretary Castro again committed to reopening the comment period, and expressed support for our efforts to build Congressional consensus around this priority,” Peters continued. “I will continue working with Secretary Castro to ensure that San Diego gets its fair share of federal resources to help the homeless.”
In 2014, despite having the 5th largest homeless population in the country, San Diego received the 23rd most funding. Reopening the public comment period would allow service organizations, housing providers, community leaders, and elected officials the opportunity to provide input on how the formula could be revised to more equitably distribute resources to end homelessness.
Peters concluded by commenting on the announcement by the Republican Chairmen of the House and Senate Budget Committees that they will not invite Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan to present President Obama’s budget. “We may not all agree on every priority, but to deny the White House the opportunity to present on and debate their budget is partisan politics at its worst and embodies what the American people hate most about Congress,” Peters said. “This is not how we fix Washington and tackle the challenges of growing our economy and creating high-quality jobs.”
Background on Congressman Peters’ Work on Homelessness:
- March 2013: Sent a letter to then-HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan advocating for an update to the Continuum of Care funding formula
- November 2013: Sent letter with Representatives Vargas (CA-51) and Davis (CA-53) asking for a comment period to make revisions to the funding formula
- September 2014: Sent letter to HUD Secretary Castro advocating for a funding formula update
- January 2015: Met, and advocated for an update to the funding formula, with Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs Chris O’Connor when Secretary O’Connor was in San Diego for the annual WeAllCount
- February 2015: Call with officials from HUD and the Department of Veterans Affairs to discuss ending veterans homelessness and revising the outdated federal funding formula
- May 2015: Met with Secretary Castro on Capitol Hill to discuss the funding formula disparity and to advocate for an update, and the chance for San Diego input on the process
- June 2015: Had a call with Secretary Castro to continue advocating for an update to the funding formula
- October 2015: During a visit to San Diego, Secretary Castro announced his intention to reopen public comment on the funding formula
- February 2016: House unanimously passed Peters’ amendment that would require HUD to reopen the public comment period on the funding formula.