Thursday, February 10, 2011

Underutilized buildings; unhoused people

GAO reports today (summary here, full report here) that "The Government Faces Challenges to Disposing of Unneeded Buildings".

Meanwhile, HUD faces challenges to housing unhoused people.

The McKinney-Vento Act still requires HUD to post listings in every Friday's Federal Register of surplus government property suitable for housing homeless people. Nice in theory. In practice, if a federal agency lets a property be referred to HUD for listing in this way, there's probably some reason money can't be made from it. For example, the most recent Federal Register listing of this type described only a group of "unsuitable properties" at Fort Knox that were surplus but suffered from "extensive deterioration."

The McKinney-Vento listing requirement is mentioned just once in today's GAO report, in a paragraph beginning, "GSA’s ability to effectively dispose of its unneeded property can also be hampered by its lengthy disposal process, which is legislatively mandated..."

Maybe instead of viewing the Friday listings for the homeless as a nuisance formality, government agencies could place properties on them that are truly usable as homes for people who now have no place to be.

Impossible? Unlikely, but why say impossible?

No comments:

Post a Comment