Wednesday, March 2, 2011

GAO: homelessness programs overlap

HAC News, the essential source on federal subsidized housing, notes that a recent GAO report on duplication in government programs includes concern about the piecemeal tinkering federal agencies do at different little edges of the big homelessness crisis. Some good words:
"...A number of federal programs are specifically targeted to address issues related to homelessness while other mainstream programs that are generally designed to help low-income individuals by providing housing assistance and services such as health care, job training, and food assistance may also serve those experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. In some cases, different agencies may be offering similar types of services to similar populations. For example, GAO reported in July 2010 that at least seven federal agencies administered more than 20 programs that provide some type of shelter or housing assistance. Similarly, five agencies administered programs that deliver food and nutrition services, and four agencies administered programs that provide health services including mental health services and substance abuse treatment. This range of programs has resulted in a fragmented service system..."
Well, yes. But it's nice to see them saying so. The citations in there look useful to researchers, too.

Not sure why, but this duplication item is part of a recent huge drop of big GAO reports, others of which address elder abuse, Medicare, and why "Making Home Affordable" isn't. [Update: Firedoglake has that one summarized here.]

Should also mention that today's HAC News explains the new continuing resolution and much else so the rest of us don't have to. I don't know why the general public doesn't read this newsletter more. According to Alexa the site rank of its "" domain is worse than two-millionth, but the roster of the top hundred sites linking to it includes some of the smartest players on public housing money.

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