MReport July 2021

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58 | TH E M R EP O RT O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T THE LATEST GOVERNMENT U .S. Department of Housing & Urban De- velopment (HUD) Sec- retary Marcia L. Fudge has been elected Chair of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). Join- ing Fudge on the USICH is U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough who was elected as the Council's Vice Chair. "I'm honored to have been elected by my fellow members as the Council's first Chair during the Biden-Harris Administration," said Fudge. "We are at a pivotal moment for USICH—and for the homelessness crisis in our coun- try. As Chair, I am committed to leveraging the Council to tackle homelessness through a Housing First approach and meaningful interagency collaboration." The Council, which consists of representatives from 19 federal agencies, elects new leadership from its members on an annual basis. Each agency is allotted one vote. Secretaries Fudge and McDonough were unanimously elected by all agencies present. The Chair and Vice Chair lead Council meetings, increase public and congressional attention to homelessness, support implemen- tation of the federal strategic plan, and foster collaboration between federal member agencies. "Not only do both leaders bring extensive experience and expertise on this issue, but they also have a passion for the work that we believe will help propel us forward with renewed energy and momentum," said Anthony Love, USICH's Interim Executive Director. To further foster the work of HUD and USICH, President Biden's Administration has sub- mitted its Budget for Fiscal Year 2022 to Congress. The Budget includes the two historic plans the President has already put forward—the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan– with an emphasis on the reinvest- ment in housing. In terms of HUD, Biden's FY 2022 Budget would: • Strengthen and Expand Housing Assistance: To increase access to affordable housing and provide greater opportunities for eco- nomic independence to families and individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness, the Budget proposes an investment of $30.4 billion for the Housing Choice Voucher Program to expand assistance to an additional 200,000 households. The Budget also proposes $3.5 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants to provide housing and supportive services to individu- als and families experiencing homelessness. • Advance Housing Equity: The Budget makes investments in key areas to bring an end to discrimination in housing and eliminate patterns of racial and ethnic segregation and econom- ic disparities in communities, while proactively advancing eq- uity for historically underserved communities. These invest- ments include $3.8 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) pro- gram, including a $295 million increase targeted at historically- underserved communities and neighborhoods; $723 million HUD Secretary Fudge to Lead Council on Homelessness HUD head elected to Council to prevent homelessness, as Biden factors HUD into his FY 2022 budget to promote affordable housing.

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