Today both the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed S. 896, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act. The legislation will reauthorize McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance programs for the first time in nearly 20 years, and will provide communities with new resources and better tools to prevent and end homelessness. The bill now heads to President Obama for his signature. He is expected to sign the legislation as early as the end of this week.  Click here for analysis of the Act from the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

S. 896 incorporates as an amendment the compromise, bipartisan Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act.

  • Increases prevention resources and changes the current Emergency Shelter Grants Program to the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program;
  • Requires HUD to provide family rapid re-housing incentive;
  • Continues the chronic homelessness initiative and adds families with children to the initiative;
  • Designates 30 percent of total funds for permanent housing solutions for families and individuals with disabilities;
  • Modestly expands the definition of homelessness;
  • Consolidates HUD’s competitive grant programs;
  • Improves homeless assistance in rural communities and gives them greater flexibility;
  • Increases emphasis on performance;
  • Simplifies the match requirement; and
  • Authorizes a funding level of $2.2 billion.

These changes will not go into effect until 18 months after passage, giving HUD and communities time to prepare. S. 896 also includes language that will require that tenants living in foreclosed properties be given 90 days notice prior to eviction.

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