|HUD No. 21-095
HUD Public Affairs
May 27, 2021
Secretary Fudge Elected as Chair of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness
WASHINGTON - U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge today was elected chair of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH).
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough 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 HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “We are at a pivotal moment for USICH - and for the homelessness crisis in our country. 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 implementation of the federal strategic plan, and foster collaboration between federal member agencies.
The United States was facing a homelessness crisis even before the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress found that on a single night in January 2020, 580,466 people experienced homelessness in the United States, an increase of 12,751 people, or 2.2 percent, from 2019. After steady reductions from 2010 to 2016, homelessness has increased in the last four consecutive years.
Addressing the nation’s homelessness crisis has been a top priority for Secretary Fudge and the Biden-Harris Administration. Secretary Fudge recently announced the allocation of $10 billion in American Rescue Plan homelessness assistance: $5 billion in funding through the HOME Investment Partnerships Program to increase affordable housing to address homelessness, and $5 billion for 70,000 emergency housing vouchers.