Senate approves appropriations bill containing Collins’ homeless funding provisions

The U.S. Senate recently approved a fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations bill that includes legislation offered by U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) to provide billions of dollars in federal aid to help end homelessness in her home state and across the nation.

“This important funding will bolster Maine’s efforts to assist our state’s most vulnerable citizens with additional resources and promote their health, independence and overall well-being,” said Sen. Collins, chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies.

The Senate on Oct. 31 voted 84-9 to approve $2.8 billion to help communities design and implement local solutions to end homelessness as part of the FY 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, Interior, Environment, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, H.R. 3055.

Sen. Collins’ proposed funding for homelessness was part of her FY 2020 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, S. 2520, which she authored and which was included in the reconciled H.R. 3055.

The funding provisions authored by Sen. Collins that are part of H.R. 3055 include $80 million in funding for efforts to end youth homelessness in both urban and rural areas; $50 million for new rehousing projects that serve victims and survivors of domestic violence; $20 million for new family unification vouchers to prevent youth exiting foster care from becoming homeless; and $40 million for new federal vouchers to reduce veterans’ homelessness.

“I am particularly pleased that this bill supports new housing vouchers for veterans who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms as well as initiatives to find permanent housing for homeless and runaway youth,” Sen. Collins said.

H.R. 3055 now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law.