Merkley Applauds New Obama Proposal for Battling Homelessness

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today applauded President Obama’s call for increased assistance for homeless Americans in his FY2017 budget. The President’s budget proposal follows a Senate push led by Merkley for increased assistance to help communities across the country, such as Portland and other Oregon communities, which are struggling with rising homelessness as housing costs go up.

“I’m pleased to see President Obama acknowledge that this crisis is reaching a fever pitch in many of our cities as housing costs soar upwards,” said Merkley. “Homelessness tears at the fabric of our families and makes it difficult for children to find stability and success in school. It’s time to tackle this growing tragedy head-on and redouble our efforts to help homeless families find permanent, stable housing.”

Last year, Merkley led 25 Senators in calling for strong federal assistance to address the growing homelessness crisis. A copy of Merkley’s letter can be found here.

In today’s budget proposal, President Obama proposed spending $11 billion over the next ten years to take on the national homelessness crisis. Additionally, he proposed creating 10,000 new housing vouchers, 8,000 new units for rapid rehousing, and 25,500 new units of supportive housing through separate funding streams.