CSH does not waver in our conviction that supportive housing is a solution to ending homelessness that will continue to have bipartisan appeal and support. Consider the recent success of a reentry program that provided housing and supportive services in Oklahoma, or the launch of a Central Referral System (CRS) - a web-based tool where persons experiencing homelessness can apply for supportive housing in Illinois, or CSH’s innovative work to combine data analysis with intensive community feedback to develop a visual representation of the existing homelessness response system in Colorado.
As the Administration re-shapes itself for its second term and as new Senators and Representatives come to Washington, we will continue to demonstrate supportive housing’s cost effectiveness through rigorous research and demonstrations, continue giving policymakers the opportunity to see supportive housing’s impact on lives first-hand through site visits, and continue developing innovative policy proposals to use supportive housing to solve many complex problems that communities face.
CSH also looks forward to 2013 to work with the new Congress, the Administration, and our state and local partners on important innovations in supportive housing as a solution to ending homelessness. These include: more deeply engaging with Public Housing Agencies as a partner in creating supportive housing, ensuring that supportive housing is understood and used as a critical component of criminal justice reform efforts around the country, protecting the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and New Markets Tax Credit as Washington contemplates tax reform, and maximizing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to increase the federal government’s role in paying for crucial supportive services to keep people out of emergency systems of care and out of homelessness. We congratulate those advocates who participated in our pre-election advocacy campaign to raise the issue of homelessness in federal, state and local campaigns. But the truth is that we have no time to rest before we turn our attention to some very significant policy decisions that are ahead of us.
Congress will reconvene in the coming weeks to decide whether or not to act on “sequestration” a budgetary maneuver required by the Budget Control Act of 2011 that, if not overturned, could result in a large across-the-board cut to housing and health care programs and result in the loss of housing assistance and supportive services for many thousands of homeless or at-risk families and individuals. Just as importantly, we all have to take on the arduous task of meeting with newly elected policymakers at all levels of government to educate them about how supportive housing is a successful and cost-effective solution to ending homelessness. Please look forward to upcoming advocacy alerts from CSH and our partners as there is much work to be done in the coming weeks and months.
Use these sample talking points when reaching out to your Member of Congress.