03/08/2013 - What We’re Talking About: The Week at USICH March 4-7

The Impact of Sequestration on Low-Income Communities

In light of last Friday’s news that automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration, will go into effect, National Alliance to End Homelessness President and CEO Nan Roman detailed the devastating impact of the sequester on the poor and vulnerable. She was featured on the Huffington Post blog, and you can read her piece here. In addition, The New York Times further explained how the poor would be hit particularly hard by the budget cuts, as all of HUD’s programs are subject to the sequester, which is an effective 9 percent cut to budgets for the rest of this fiscal year (until September 30). In the words of Secretary Donovan, “Sequestration is a blunt and indiscriminate instrument…a self-inflicted wound that would have devastating impacts on our economy and on people across the nation.” For Americans experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, funding cuts as a result of the sequester further fray the social safety net for the most vulnerable.

Fortunately, Department of Veterans Affairs programs will be spared by sequestration, but advocates are monitoring other Veteran programs that may be cut from other U.S. departments. Learn more here.

Affordable Housing

The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s latest Housing Spotlightprovides new evidence of the deepening lack of affordable housing nationwide. This spotlight appeared particularly relevant as it was reported this week that NYC has seen an increase in homelessness, including a drastic increase in family homelessness, over the last decade. NYC’s increase is evident of a national trend, but The Wall Street Journal covered the story and described homelessness in NYC as “an escalating crisis…amid a chronic shortage of affordable housing and an unemployment rate higher than the state and national levels.”

On the USICH blog

This week, USICH Executive Director Barbara Poppe was featured on our blog. She shared her reflections on the Philadelphia PIT Count, and how the Council rededicates its efforts to the cause that no family, no child, no youth, no Veteran, no man or woman should be without a safe, decent place to call home.

We featured a second blog yesterday written by Shahera Hyatt from the CA Homeless Youth Project. In her blog, she shares about her organization’s work on the state’sfirst-ever plan to end youth homelessness, and using the voices of youth to influence policy.Read it.

Stories from across the country

San Diego covers homelessness funding and what it means for their community

Chicago’s new plan to end homelessness and the major organizations involved

Boston releases their Point-in-Time data

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