On July 24, the House Financial Services Committee advanced H.R. 1511, the Homeless Children and Youth Act of 2017 and H.R. 2069, the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act of 2017, both aimed at expanding housing assistance to at-risk youth. As NCSHA wrote in a previous blog, H.R. 1511 would broaden HUD’s definitions related to homeless individuals and youth to align them with definitions used for other federal assistance programs. H.R. 2069, amended since the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee held a hearing on it, would prioritize public housing, Housing Choice vouchers, and rural rental assistance for youth aging out of foster care. The bills passed on largely party lines, 39–18 and 34–23, respectively.
Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) and other Committee Democrats opposed H.R. 1511 because it would expand eligibility for HUD’s homelessness programs by 4 million individuals without additional resources to serve them. Waters and other Democrats opposed H.R. 2069 because it would prioritize certain populations in already over-subscribed programs and impose a combination of work- and training-requirements as a condition of receiving housing assistance.