Peters’ Bipartisan Amendment to Get San Diego’s Fair Share of Homeless Funding Passes Unanimously in the House
Last night, Representative Scott Peters (CA-52) sponsored an amendment to H.R. 3700 that will help get San Diego the resources it needs to fight homelessness. The provision would require the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to reopen the public comment period on the Continuum of Care funding formula that determines how federal anti-homelessness funds are allocated.
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.
“This is a significant victory in the years-long fight to get San Diego its fair share of federal funding to help the homeless,” Rep. Peters said. “People working on the ground in our communities deserve to have their voices heard. Unanimous passage of this amendment lets the administration know that this is not just a request coming from San Diego, but from all of the cities adversely affected by this outdated formula.”
“We commend Congressman Scott Peters for initiating this action that will hopefully align federal funds for homelessness with needs in San Diego,” said Richard Gentry, President & CEO of the San Diego Housing Commission.
The amendment was adopted unanimously by the House. H.R. 3700 was passed by the House, and will now be considered by the Senate.
In 2012, HUD proposed new rules on homelessness funding and opened a public comment period which closed in November 2012. In 2013, HUD notified Congress that it intended to reopen the comment period as it worked to develop an updated formula. In a visit to San Diego in October, Secretary Castro also indicated that he intended to reopen the public comment period, but a firm date for this had not been set. The amendment passed yesterday requires HUD to reopen the public comment period on the Continuum of Care Formula no fewer than 30 days after the bill’s enactment, and to keep that period open for no fewer than 60 days.
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.