Public Law 111-22/Division B

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Public Law 111-22
Division B - Homelessness Reform

==DIVISION B—HOMELESSNESS REFORM==

SEC. 1001. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.[edit]

(a) Short title.—
This division may be cited as the ``Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009´´.
(b) Table of contents.
The table of contents for this division is as follows:
DIVISION B—HOMELESSNESS REFORM
Sec. 1001. Short Title; Table of Contents.
Sec. 1002. Findings and Purposes.
Sec. 1003. Definition of Homelessness.
Sec. 1004. United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.
TITLE I—HOUSING ASSISTANCE GENERAL PROVISIONS
Sec. 1101. Definitions.
Sec. 1102. Community Homeless Assistance Planning Boards.
Sec. 1103. General Provisions.
Sec. 1104. Protection of Personally Identifying Information by Victim Service Providers.
Sec. 1105. Authorization of Appropriations.
TITLE II—EMERGENCY SOLUTIONS GRANTS PROGRAM
Sec. 1201. Grant Assistance.
Sec. 1202. Eligible Activities.
Sec. 1203. Participation in Homeless Management Information System.
Sec. 1204. Administrative Provision.
Sec. 1205. GAO Study of Administrative Fees.
TITLE III—CONTINUUM OF CARE PROGRAM
Sec. 1301. Continuum of Care.
Sec. 1302. Eligible Activities.
Sec. 1303. High Performing Communities.
Sec. 1304. Program Requirements.
Sec. 1305. Selection Criteria, Allocation Amounts, and Funding.
Sec. 1306. Research.
TITLE IV—RURAL HOUSING STABILITY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Sec. 1401. Rural Housing Stability Assistance.
Sec. 1402. GAO Study of Homelessness and Homeless Assistance in Rural Areas.
TITLE V—REPEALS AND CONFORMING AMENDMENTS
Sec. 1501. Repeals.
Sec. 1502. Conforming Amendments.
Sec. 1503. Effective Date.
Sec. 1504. Regulations.
Sec. 1505. Amendment to Table of Contents.


SEC. 1002. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.[edit]

(a) Findings.—
The Congress finds that—
(1) a lack of affordable housing and limited scale of housing assistance programs are the primary causes of homelessness; and
(2) homelessness affects all types of communities in the United States, including rural, urban, and suburban areas.
(b) Purposes.—
The purposes of this division are—
(1) to consolidate the separate homeless assistance programs carried out under title IV of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (consisting of the supportive housing program and related innovative programs, the safe havens program, the section 8 assistance program for single-room occupancy dwellings, and the shelter plus care program) into a single program with specific eligible activities;
(2) to codify in Federal law the continuum of care planning process as a required and integral local function necessary to generate the local strategies for ending homelessness; and
(3) to establish a Federal goal of ensuring that individuals and families who become homeless return to permanent housing within 30 days.

SEC. 1003. DEFINITION OF HOMELESSNESS.[edit]

(a) In general.—
Section 103 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11302) is amended—
(1) by redesignating subsections (b) and (c) as subsections (c) and (d); and
(2) by striking subsection (a) and inserting the following:
``(a) In general.—For purposes of this Act, the terms ‘homeless’, ‘homeless individual’, and ‘homeless person’ means—
``(1) an individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence;
``(2) an individual or family with a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings, including a car, park, abandoned building, bus or train station, airport, or camping ground;
``(3) an individual or family living in a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designated to provide temporary living arrangements (including hotels and motels paid for by Federal, State, or local government programs for low-income individuals or by charitable organizations, congregate shelters, and transitional housing);
``(4) an individual who resided in a shelter or place not meant for human habitation and who is exiting an institution where he or she temporarily resided;
``(5) an individual or family who—
``(A) will imminently lose their housing, including housing they own, rent, or live in without paying rent, are sharing with others, and rooms in hotels or motels not paid for by Federal, State, or local government programs for low-income individuals or by charitable organizations, as evidenced by—
``(i) a court order resulting from an eviction action that notifies the individual or family that they must leave within 14 days;
``(ii) the individual or family having a primary nighttime residence that is a room in a hotel or motel and where they lack the resources necessary to reside there for more than 14 days; or
``(iii) credible evidence indicating that the owner or renter of the housing will not allow the individual or family to stay for more than 14 days, and any oral statement from an individual or family seeking homeless assistance that is found to be credible shall be considered credible evidence for purposes of this clause;
``(B) has no subsequent residence identified; and
``(C) lacks the resources or support networks needed to obtain other permanent housing; and
``(6) unaccompanied youth and homeless families with children and youth defined as homeless under other Federal statutes who—
``(A) have experienced a long term period without living independently in permanent housing,
``(B) have experienced persistent instability as measured by frequent moves over such period, and
``(C) can be expected to continue in such status for an extended period of time because of chronic disabilities, chronic physical health or mental health conditions, substance addiction, histories of domestic violence or childhood abuse, the presence of a child or youth with a disability, or multiple barriers to employment.
``(b) Domestic violence and other dangerous or life-threatening conditions.—Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the Secretary shall consider to be homeless any individual or family who is fleeing, or is attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or other dangerous or life-threatening conditions in the individual’s or family’s current housing situation, including where the health and safety of children are jeopardized, and who have no other residence and lack the resources or support networks to obtain other permanent housing.´´.
(b) Regulations.—
Not later than the expiration of the 6-month period beginning upon the date of the enactment of this division, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall issue regulations that provide sufficient guidance to recipients of funds under title IV of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to allow uniform and consistent implementation of the requirements of section 103 of such Act, as amended by subsection (a) of this section. This subsection shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this division.
(c) Clarification of effect on other laws.—
This section and the amendments made by this section to section 103 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11302) may not be construed to affect, alter, limit, annul, or supersede any other provision of Federal law providing a definition of ``homeless´´, ``homeless individual´´, or ``homeless person´´ for purposes other than such Act, except to the extent that such provision refers to such section 103 or the definition provided in such section 103.

SEC. 1004. UNITED STATES INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON HOMELESSNESS.[edit]

(a) In general.—
Title II of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11311 et seq.) is amended—
(1) in section 201 (42 U.S.C. 11311), by inserting before the period at the end the following ``whose mission shall be to coordinate the Federal response to homelessness and to create a national partnership at every level of government and with the private sector to reduce and end homelessness in the nation while maximizing the effectiveness of the Federal Government in contributing to the end of homelessness´´;
(2) in section 202 (42 U.S.C. 11312)—
(A) in subsection (a)—
(i) by redesignating paragraph (16) as paragraph (22); and
(ii) by inserting after paragraph (15) the following:
``(16) The Commissioner of Social Security, or the designee of the Commissioner.
``(17) The Attorney General of the United States, or the designee of the Attorney General.
``(18) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget, or the designee of the Director.
``(19) The Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, or the designee of the Director.
``(20) The Director of USA FreedomCorps, or the designee of the Director.´´;
(B) in subsection (c), by striking ``annually´´ and inserting ``four times each year, and the rotation of the positions of Chairperson and Vice Chairperson required under subsection (b) shall occur at the first meeting of each year´´; and
(C) by adding at the end the following:
``(e) Administration.—The Executive Director of the Council shall report to the Chairman of the Council.´´;
(3) in section 203(a) (42 U.S.C. 11313(a))—
(A) by redesignating paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), and (7) as paragraphs (2), (3), (4), (5), (9), (10), and (11), respectively;
(B) by inserting before paragraph (2), as so redesignated by subparagraph (A), the following:
``(1) not later than 12 months after the date of the enactment of the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009, develop, make available for public comment, and submit to the President and to Congress a National Strategic Plan to End Homelessness, and shall update such plan annually;´´;
(C) in paragraph (5), as redesignated by subparagraph (A), by striking ``at least 2, but in no case more than 5´´ and inserting ``not less than 5, but in no case more than 10´´;
(D) by inserting after paragraph (5), as so redesignated by subparagraph (A), the following:
``(6) encourage the creation of State Interagency Councils on Homelessness and the formulation of jurisdictional 10-year plans to end homelessness at State, city, and county levels;
``(7) annually obtain from Federal agencies their identification of consumer-oriented entitlement and other resources for which persons experiencing homelessness may be eligible and the agencies’ identification of improvements to ensure access; develop mechanisms to ensure access by persons experiencing homelessness to all Federal, State, and local programs for which the persons are eligible, and to verify collaboration among entities within a community that receive Federal funding under programs targeted for persons experiencing homelessness, and other programs for which persons experiencing homelessness are eligible, including mainstream programs identified by the Government Accountability Office in the reports entitled ‘Homelessness: Coordination and Evaluation of Programs Are Essential’, issued February 26, 1999, and ‘Homelessness: Barriers to Using Mainstream Programs’, issued July 6, 2000;
``(8) conduct research and evaluation related to its functions as defined in this section;
``(9) develop joint Federal agency and other initiatives to fulfill the goals of the agency;´´;
(E) in paragraph (10), as so redesignated by subparagraph (A), by striking ``and´´ at the end;
(F) in paragraph (11), as so redesignated by subparagraph (A), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon;
(G) by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:
``(12) develop constructive alternatives to criminalizing homelessness and laws and policies that prohibit sleeping, feeding, sitting, resting, or lying in public spaces when there are no suitable alternatives, result in the destruction of a homeless person’s property without due process, or are selectively enforced against homeless persons; and
``(13) not later than the expiration of the 6-month period beginning upon completion of the study requested in a letter to the Acting Comptroller General from the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee and several other members regarding various definitions of homelessness in Federal statutes, convene a meeting of representatives of all Federal agencies and committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate having jurisdiction over any Federal program to assist homeless individuals or families, local and State governments, academic researchers who specialize in homelessness, nonprofit housing and service providers that receive funding under any Federal program to assist homeless individuals or families, organizations advocating on behalf of such nonprofit providers and homeless persons receiving housing or services under any such Federal program, and homeless persons receiving housing or services under any such Federal program, at which meeting such representatives shall discuss all issues relevant to whether the definitions of ‘homeless’ under paragraphs (1) through (4) of section 103(a) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as amended by section 1003 of the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009, should be modified by the Congress, including whether there is a compelling need for a uniform definition of homelessness under Federal law, the extent to which the differences in such definitions create barriers for individuals to accessing services and to collaboration between agencies, and the relative availability, and barriers to access by persons defined as homeless, of mainstream programs identified by the Government Accountability Office in the two reports identified in paragraph (7) of this subsection; and shall submit transcripts of such meeting, and any majority and dissenting recommendations from such meetings, to each committee of the House of Representatives and the Senate having jurisdiction over any Federal program to assist homeless individuals or families not later than the expiration of the 60-day period beginning upon conclusion of such meeting.´´.
(4) in section 203(b)(1) (42 U.S.C. 11313(b))—
(A) by striking ``Federal´´ and inserting ``national´´;
(B) by striking ``; and´´ and inserting ``and pay for expenses of attendance at meetings which are concerned with the functions or activities for which the appropriation is made;´´;
(5) in section 205(d) (42 U.S.C. 11315(d)), by striking ``property.´´ and inserting ``property, both real and personal, public and private, without fiscal year limitation, for the purpose of aiding or facilitating the work of the Council.´´; and
(6) by striking section 208 (42 U.S.C. 11318) and inserting the following:
``SEC. 208. Authorization of appropriations.
``There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this title $3,000,000 for fiscal year 2010 and such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 2011. Any amounts appropriated to carry out this title shall remain available until expended.´´.
(b) Effective date.—
The amendments made by subsection (a) shall take effect on, and shall apply beginning on, the date of the enactment of this division.