Ronald Reagan picture

Statement of Administration Policy: S. 809 - Urgent Relief for the Homeless Act

April 06, 1987


(Byrd (D), WV, Dole (R) KS, and 28 others)

In fiscal year 1987, the Federal Government has committed over $260 million, more than in any previous year, on programs targeted specifically to the homeless ($115 million for FEMA's emergency food and shelter program, $15 million for HUD's emergency shelter grants programs, over $100 million for rental subsidies for the mentally ill homeless and homeless families, $23 million for runaway and homeless youth, and nearly $10 million in surplus food, equipment, and facilities for the homeless). Other existing Federal programs fund State and local efforts to provide services and facilities for the homeless. For example, the Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG) and the Social Services Block Grant program (SSBG) provide funds that states and communities may use to assist the homeless. State and local governments have used more than $100 million in CDBG funds alone to renovate shelters and provide support services for the homeless.

The Administration opposes S. 809, because it establishes costly and duplicative programs in a time of fiscal problems. It also establishes a dominant Federal role where State and local governments are better able to deal with the plight of the homeless. Rather than authorizing costly add-ons or new Federal programs and bureaucratic structures, State and local governments should be urged to target additional amounts of the over $6 billion already available this year through CDBG, SSBG, the Community Services Block Grant, and the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Block Grant to address the needs of their homeless citizens.

At a minimum, any additional Federal funding should be funneled through existing State block grants and be offset with resources from lower priority programs.

Ronald Reagan, Statement of Administration Policy: S. 809 - Urgent Relief for the Homeless Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Simple Search of Our Archives