Homelessness stems from a lack of affordable housing. Increasing
rents, destruction of traditional low-income housing, and cuts in federal
housing programs threaten affordable housing with extinction.
Ø The foreclosure and economic
crisis significantly increased homelessness and the number of families at risk
of homelessness in cities and counties across the nation.
o The United States Department of
Housing and Urban Development reports that on any given night in January 2011
there were approximately 636, 017 people homeless.
o The chronically homeless
population has decreased 13% since 2007 due to an increase in the permanent
supportive housing beds available.
o In 2011 four in ten homeless
individuals were unsheltered and sleeping on the street or in cars, indicating
a 2% increase in the unsheltered population since 2009.
o The 2012 Landscape on Housing
Report found that almost 1 in 4 working households spends more than half of its
income on housing.
o While the homeless population
overall decreased nationally in the past year, it increased in 24 states and
the District of Columbia, proving that much more needs to be done to address
homelessness across the country.
Ø The Law Center's Housing Program
is dedicated to increasing housing resources for homeless people in both urban
and rural communities. We advocate for an increase in federal funding for
permanent, low-income housing.
Ø Title V of the McKinney-Vento
Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 makes vacant federal properties available at no
cost to non-profits, including state and local government agencies, for use as
facilities to assist homeless people.
o The Law Center was instrumental
in the Act's passage, and has helped enforce Title V for the last sixteen years
o The Law
Center continues to monitor compliance with the court's orders and helps
non-profits and government agencies obtain federal properties.
o To date, the federal government
has transferred land and buildings worth over $100 million to providers to
serve homeless people under the Title V program
Ø We address the issue of housing
from multiple perspectives. We are particularly effective in assisting homeless
service providers gain access to free federal surplus property.
National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty is not an actual
provider of housing or shelter.