Politics & Money

Presidential candidate Kamala Harris introduces bill to end homelessness

Bill referred to Senate Banking Committee

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Democratic presidential candidate, introduced a bill in the Senate Wednesday that seeks to end homelessness in the U.S.

S. 2613 – A bill to provide a path to end homelessness in the United States, and for other purposes was introduced in the Senate Wednesday, and referred to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. If the bill passes in the committee, it will be referred to the whole Senate for a vote.

Co-sponsors to the bill include Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.; Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

The text for the bill is not yet available, but bills are generally sent to the Library of Congress from the Government Publishing Office one to two days after they are introduced on the floor of the House or Senate. Delays can occur when there are a large number of bills to prepare or when a very large bill has to be printed.

In April, the House of Representatives passed HR 1856, the Ending Homelessness Act, which would provide $13.27 billion in new funding over the next five years to federal programs and initiatives to prevent homelessness. The funding allotted for new units of affordable housing, new vouchers, case management and technical assistance.

But it passed by a partisan vote, and with Republicans in control of the Senate, the bill didn’t make it any further.

In 2018, the Department of Housing and Urban Development increased its focus on homelessness when it announced it awarded a record $2 billion to homeless assistance programs across the nation.

In December, Little Rock, Arkansas became the latest city to effectively end veteran homelessness in its community.

Little Rock’s announcement brought the VA one step closer to its goal of eradicating veteran homelessness across the U.S. It joins 65 other communities and three states, Connecticut, Delaware and Virginia, that have all effectively ended veteran homelessness.

This bill would look to eradicate all homelessness, but it’s unclear what chances it stands of passing in the Senate.

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