McKinney Act

Author:Jeffrey Lehman, Shirelle Phelps

Page 21

The Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C.A. 11301 et seq. (1989 Supp.), was named after the Republican congressman from Connecticut. It authorizes the HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT to coordinate the disbursement of unused federal property to community groups interested in providing shelter to HOMELESS PERSONS, especially elderly persons, handicapped persons, families with children, Native Americans, and veterans. The Interagency Council on the Homeless (Pub. L. No. 100-77, 101 Stat. 484, 42 U.S.C.A. 11301 (b) (1) [1989]) distributes information on how to use benefits under the act.

Initially, priority to receive excess properties was given to homeless providers rather than local communities. However, the Base Closure and Community Redevelopment Act of 1994 (Pub. L. No. 103-421, Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4346) amended the McKinney Act by eliminating homeless providers' priority. The result is that homeless providers' needs are considered simultaneously in a community's reuse planning.

Funding and support for the McKinney Act has been reduced, especially with the 1996 WELFARE reform, because the act functions in connection with other related legislation. In one recent funding cycle, nearly three thousand requests for transitional housing were submitted, but only 818 proposals could be funded under the act.

In 1996, to assist homeless individuals, the 104th Congress appropriated $823 million for the...

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