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									Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative

Homelessness Numbers Increasing............................................................................................................. 7

Homelessness Numbers Increasing............................................................................................................. 8

Homelessness Population is Undercounted ................................................................................................ 9

Homelessness Population is Undercounted .............................................................................................. 10

Homelessness is Extensive ....................................................................................................................... 11

Homelessness is Extensive ....................................................................................................................... 12

Federal Response Inadequate.................................................................................................................... 13

Federal Response Inadequate.................................................................................................................... 14

Federal Response Inadequate.................................................................................................................... 15

"Ten Year Plan" to End Homelessness Defective .................................................................................... 16

Mckinney-Vento Assistance Inadequate................................................................................................... 17

Definition of Homeless Too Narrow ........................................................................................................ 18

Definition of Homeless Too Narrow ........................................................................................................ 19

HUD Rules Inflexible and Inefficient ....................................................................................................... 20

HUD Rules Inflexible and Inefficient ....................................................................................................... 21

HUD Rules Inflexible and Inefficient ....................................................................................................... 22

Welfare Program Cuts Increase Homelessness ......................................................................................... 23

Welfare and HUD Policies Conflict ......................................................................................................... 24

Hope VI Housing Programs Are Flawed .................................................................................................. 25

Hope VI Housing Programs Are Flawed .................................................................................................. 26

Housing Assistance Subsidies Are Inadequate ......................................................................................... 27

Housing Authority Rules Inflexible .......................................................................................................... 28

Low Income Housing Tax Credits Are Defective As Currently Operated ............................................... 29

Supply of Low Cost Housing is Inadequate ............................................................................................. 30

Supply of Low Cost Housing is Inadequate ............................................................................................. 31

Supply of Low Cost Housing is Inadequate ............................................................................................. 32

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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative

Gentrification has Decreased Supply of Low-Income Housing ............................................................... 34

Section 8 Housing Programs Are Flawed ................................................................................................. 35

Section 8 Housing Programs Are Flawed ................................................................................................. 36

Shelter Capacity is Inadequate .................................................................................................................. 37

Subsidized Housing Serves Mainly Single Mothers with Children .......................................................... 39

Shelter Maintenance Absorbs Too Much Funding ................................................................................... 41

Tax System Biased Toward the Wealthy .................................................................................................. 42

Harms -- Poverty ....................................................................................................................................... 43

Harms -- Poverty ....................................................................................................................................... 44

Housing Costs Too High........................................................................................................................... 45

Housing Costs Too High........................................................................................................................... 46

Housing Costs too High ............................................................................................................................ 47

High Housing Costs Exacerbate Poverty .................................................................................................. 48

High Housing Costs Exacerbate Poverty .................................................................................................. 49

Housing Programs Exacerbate Poverty-Discourage Employment ........................................................... 50

Public Housing Programs Discourage Independence/Working ................................................................ 51

Homeless Children - Lack of Services Drive Adolescent Homelessness ................................................. 52

Services for Kids Escaping Abusive Families Inadequate........................................................................ 53

Current Programs Ignore Unique Needs of Homeless Children ............................................................... 54

“Right to Schooling” Alone Inadequate for Homeless Kids..................................................................... 55

Homelessness Increases Health Problems for Kids .................................................................................. 56

Homelessness Increases Health Problems for Kids .................................................................................. 57

Homelessness Increases Education Problems for Kids............................................................................. 58

Homelessness Increases Education Problems for Kids............................................................................. 59

Homeless Children Need Some Structure in Environment ....................................................................... 60

Homeless Children Create Cycle of Homelessness .................................................................................. 61

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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative

Homelessness Increases Child Abuse ....................................................................................................... 62

“Doubling-Up” Housing Magnifies Harms for Kids ................................................................................ 63

Foster Children Often Become Homeless................................................................................................. 64

Runaways are a Major Problem ................................................................................................................ 65

Shelter Based Educational Programs Help Children ................................................................................ 66

Programs for Runaways Can Solve .......................................................................................................... 67

Inadequate Services Exist for Homeless Domestic Violence Victims ...................................................... 68

Inadequate Services Exist for Homeless Domestic Violence Victims ...................................................... 69

Inadequate Services Exist for Homeless Domestic Violence Victims ...................................................... 70

Homelessness Disrupts Families............................................................................................................... 71

Domestic Violence is Connected to Homelessness .................................................................................. 72

Domestic Violence is Connected to Homelessness .................................................................................. 73

Domestic Violence Causes Homelessness ................................................................................................ 74

Domestic Violence Causes Homelessness ................................................................................................ 75

Inadequate Housing Options Increase Domestic Violence ....................................................................... 76

“Doubling Up” Increases Risk of Domestic Violence .............................................................................. 77

One-Strike Rules Increase Homelessness ................................................................................................. 78

One-Strike Rules Cause Victims of Domestic Violence to Become Homeless ........................................ 79

One-Strike Rules Cause Victims of Domestic Violence to Become Homeless ........................................ 80

“Ban" Lists and One-Strike Rules in Public Housing Disrupt Families ................................................... 81

“Ban" Lists and One-Strike Rules in Public Housing Disrupt Families ................................................... 82

“Ban" Lists and One-Strike Rules in Public Housing Disrupt Families ................................................... 83

“Ban" Lists and One-Strike Rules in Public Housing Disrupt Families ................................................... 84

Cuts in Services have Increased Number of Homeless Mentally Ill Persons ........................................... 85

One Strike Rule Increases Homelessness for Substance Abusers ............................................................ 86

Many of the Homeless have Mental Illnesses........................................................................................... 87

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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative

Many of the Homeless have Mental Illnesses........................................................................................... 88

Inadequate Services for Homeless People with Mental Illness ................................................................ 89

Homeless have Substance Abuse Disorder Problems ............................................................................... 90

Quincy Mass Plan is a Model ................................................................................................................... 91

Homeless Have Health Problems.............................................................................................................. 92

Shelter Programs Spread Communicable Diseases .................................................................................. 93

HIV/AIDS is Connected to Homelessness................................................................................................ 94

HIV/AIDS is Connected to Homelessness................................................................................................ 95

Housing Problems Worsen Health Problems ............................................................................................ 96

Housing Problems Worsen Health Problems ............................................................................................ 97

Stable Housing Decreases HIV/AIDS Transmission ................................................................................ 98

Stable Housing Decreases HIV/AIDS Transmission ................................................................................ 99

Hate Crimes Against The Homeless Are Growing ................................................................................. 100

Racism -- Child Removal Policy Racist ................................................................................................. 101

Race Discrimination in Housing is a Major Problem ............................................................................. 102

Race Discrimination in Housing is a Major Problem ............................................................................. 103

Housing Discrimination Perpetuates Structural Racism ......................................................................... 104

Justice Requires Solution to Homelessness ............................................................................................ 105

The U.S. Has a Formal Goal of Decent Housing for All ........................................................................ 106

Homelessness Has Been Criminalized in Many Areas ........................................................................... 107

Homelessness Has Been Criminalized in Many Areas ........................................................................... 108

Criminalizing Homelessness is a Bad Solution ...................................................................................... 109

Solvency -- Increased Social Services Solve .......................................................................................... 110

Solvency -- Increased Social Services Solve .......................................................................................... 111

Solvency -- Increased Social Services Solve .......................................................................................... 112

Should Increase Funding of Preventive Services .................................................................................... 113

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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative

Supportive Housing Programs Solve ...................................................................................................... 114

Supportive Housing Programs Solve ...................................................................................................... 115

Comprehensive Solution to Homelessness is Required .......................................................................... 116

Comprehensive Solution to Homelessness is Required .......................................................................... 117

Should Expand and Reform Federal Housing Assistance Funds ............................................................ 118

Should Revise HUD Definitions for Eligibility for Assistance .............................................................. 119

Flexibility is Needed in Federal Homelessness Funds............................................................................ 120

Housing Voucher Program Should Be Expanded ................................................................................... 121

Housing Voucher Program Should Be Expanded ................................................................................... 122

Section 8 Housing Vouchers Should Be Expanded ................................................................................ 124

Should Focus Assistance on Residential Stability .................................................................................. 125

Hearth Act Solves ................................................................................................................................... 126

Status Quo Programs Should be Expanded ............................................................................................ 127

Status Quo Programs Should be Expanded ............................................................................................ 128

Gatreaux Project in Chicago Solves ....................................................................................................... 129

Should Reform Public Housing Regulations .......................................................................................... 130

Should Reform Public Housing Regulations .......................................................................................... 131

Should Revise Low-Income Housing Tax Credit ................................................................................... 132

Should Reform Judicial Treatment of the Homeless .............................................................................. 133

Spending Disadvantage Answers ............................................................................................................ 134

Providing Permanent Housing is Cost Beneficial ................................................................................... 135

Providing Permanent Housing is Cost Beneficial ................................................................................... 136

States Counterplan Answers ................................................................................................................... 137

States Counterplan Answers ................................................................................................................... 138

Universal Counterplan ............................................................................................................................ 139

Blaming Kritik Answers ......................................................................................................................... 140

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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative

Topicality -- Social Services ................................................................................................................... 141

Topicality -- Living in Poverty ............................................................................................................... 142




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative

                         Homelessness Numbers Increasing
Number of homeless children and families are increasing – 40% of overall homeless population

Ellen Bassuk, (Prof., Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 71.

For the first time in the history of the United States with the exception of the Great Depression,
homeless children and their families have joined the ranks of the homeless population. While the
numbers of families and children in the mid-1980's were negligible, they now comprise 35%- 40% of
the overall homeless population. It is astounding to consider that 1.8% of all families and 8% of poor
families in the United States experience homelessness annually. We know these numbers underestimate
the extent of the problem because they only capture families that received homeless assistance services.
Local reports suggest that family homelessness is now increasing significantly. For example,
Massachusetts has seen a 29% increase in family homelessness in a little over a year.

Consensus that the problem of homelessness in America is getting worse

Gardenia Harris, (Prof., Social Welfare Policy, Illinois State U.), DYNAMICS OF SOCIAL
WELFARE POLICY: RIGHT VERSUS LEFT, 2008, 10.

Current estimates of the number of homeless people in the country range from several hundred thousand
to several million; however, there is general consensus that the problem is getting worse. Obtaining an
accurate count of the homeless population is complicated by differing definitions of homelessness,
problems locating them, and local maneuvering to obtain higher counts for funding purposes. Although
the chronically homeless constitute only 10 to 20 percent of the homeless population, they absorb nearly
half of the resources devoted to assisting the homeless. In response, the Bush Administration has
pledged to eradicate chronic homelessness within ten years. Under the Good Samaritan Initiative, the
Bush Administration proposed targeting $70 million for housing and assistance to care for the
chronically homeless. Liberals responded that insufficient funds were allocated to do the job and that all
segments of the homeless population must be helped.

5 to 8 million Americans will experience at least some period of homelessness each year

 Morley Glicken, (Prof., Emeritus, Social Work, California State U. at San Bernardino), SOCIAL
WORK IN THE 21ST CENTURY: AN INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL WELFARE, SOCIAL
ISSUES, AND THE PROFESSION, 2007, 75.

In 2004, an estimated 700,000 to 1 million adults were homeless in a given week. In the same year, an
estimated 3 million adults were homeless during the course of a year. These numbers increased
dramatically when children were included to 5 million. SAMSHA also estimated that about 2% to 3% of
the U.S. population (5 to 8 million people) will experience at least one night of homelessness.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                         Homelessness Numbers Increasing

Dramatic increase in number of homeless families

The National Alliance to End Homelessness, HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: FACES OF THE
HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 103.

The dramatic increase in homeless families has been well documented; families now comprise forty
percent of the homeless population, with the majority headed by a single mother. By the mid-1990s over
2,000 family shelters had been established in communities across the United States. The demand for
emergency shelter by families with children increased fifty percent between 1995 and 2000, a trend that
seems to be continuing. A recent national study describes the "typical" homeless family across regions
of the United States as one headed by a mother with two or three children under the age of six. The
family lives in a homeless shelter, receives public assistance, and is on a wait list for public housing.

Growing number of homeless families

The National Alliance to End Homelessness, HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: FACES OF THE
HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 96.

Sadly, homelessness is a shockingly common experience among poor families. As many as one of every
twelve poor families experiences homelessness each year. Although many think of homelessness as
primarily a problem of single men, actually about half of people who become homeless live in families.
Family homelessness is not a problem restricted to large urban areas. In fact, families become homeless
in suburbs, in rural areas, on Indian reservations, in wealthy communities, and in poor ones. No
community and no poor family is immune to the threat of homelessness.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                   Homelessness Population is Undercounted
Homelessness is significantly underreported

Marcia Clemmitt, (Staff, Congressional Quarterly), URBAN ISSUES, 4th Ed., 2009, 100.

"Homelessness is much underreported," says James F. Lytle, a professor at the University of
Pennsylvania and former school superintendent in Trenton, N.J. "Statistics are based on who's in shelters
and on the streets. But 20 to 30 percent of our kids were living in 'serial households' on a day-to-day
basis," or moving about from parents to grandparents to relatives to friends -- not living in the same
house all the time.

Homelessness numbers don’t count those who double up

Shirley Howell, (Prof., Law, Faulkner U. School of Law), THE MODERN AMERICAN, Spr. 2007, 15.

In 2000, an estimated two million Americans were homeless on any given night. Between 2.5 and 3.5
million Americans experienced homelessness every year, and 30% of the homeless had been without
homes for more than two years. These numbers do not include the indeterminate number of individuals
who had no homes and were "doubled up" living with friends or relatives. Only those persons "who lack
a permanent address and sleep in places not designed to be sleeping accommodations for human
beings... and those living in shelters" were considered homeless. Thus, those living under the roofs of
their families and friends did not meet the definition.

Homeless people who resort to doubling up not counted in official statistics

The National Alliance to End Homelessness, HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: FACES OF THE
HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 96.

Every year some 600,000 families spend at least one night homeless, sleeping in shelters, cars, or
abandoned buildings. (Families without any home of their own, but doubled-up with other family
members or friends, are not typically counted as homeless, although they are certainly at risk of
homelessness.) Living in these families are mothers, fathers, grandparents, and, perhaps most
appallingly, 1.35 million children. Homeless families are scattered across the country. There is family
homelessness in every state and every community, including the nation's capital.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                   Homelessness Population is Undercounted
Counting the homeless difficult – most official estimates are conservative

John Gilderbloom, (Prof., Urban Affairs, U. Louisville), INVISIBLE CITY: POVERTY, HOUSING
AND NEW URBANISM, 2008, 30-31.

Estimates of the number of homeless are difficult to ascertain. The Los Angeles Times reported an
estimate of 744,000 homeless in 2005. This number is conservative since the count was based mostly on
homeless shelters, and many homeless do not use these services. Actual counts have been done in only a
few places, including parts of downtown Boston, Phoenix, and Pittsburgh, although the authors of such
studies even acknowledge the impossibility of adequately defining and subsequently locating homeless
people. Does one count only street people and those living in shelters as being homeless? What about
persons who are forced to live temporarily with friends or relatives or persons who live in cars or vans?
There are many homeless who are not readily visible, including those who simply want to be left alone.
Those who seek to avoid authorities, such as undocumented workers, and most of those who have "lost"
their housing wind up sleeping in cars or abandoned buildings or on friends' sofas.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                                 Homelessness is Extensive
Up to 3.5 million people are homeless over the course of a year

Bruce Jannsson, (Prof., Social Work, U. of Southern California), THE RELUCTANT WELFARE
STATE: ENGAGING HISTORY TO ADVANCE SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE IN
CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY, 6th Ed., 2009, 532.

About 744,000 people are homeless on any given night -- and between 2.5 million and 3.5 million
people experience homelessness over the course of a year.

More than 2 million Americans a year homeless at some point

D. Stanley Eitzen, (Prof., Emeritus, Sociology, Colorado State U.), EXPERIENCING POVERTY:
VOICES FROM THE BOTTOM, 2009, 133.

According to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, more than 2 million Americans experience
homelessness at least sometime during the course of a year. About 10 percent (200,000) are "chronically
homeless." The rest are homeless for a time (typically 4 months) because of a temporary situation such
as job loss, illness or accident, or domestic crisis.

Homelessness is extensive

Melissa Doak, (Staff, InformationPlus Reference Series), SOCIAL WELFARE: FIGHTING
POVERTY AND HOMELESSNESS, 2008, 12.

Homelessness is a complex social problem. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless fact
sheet "How Many People Experience Homelessness?", approximately 3.5 million Americans, 1.3
million of them children, lack a place to sleep at some time during the year. Social researchers --
educators, sociologists, economists, and political scientists -- have studied homelessness in the past and
present and have determined that homelessness is caused by a combination of poverty, misfortune,
illness, and behavior.

Millions of Americans experience some homelessness each year

John Gilderbloom, (Prof., Urban Affairs, U. Louisville), INVISIBLE CITY: POVERTY, HOUSING
AND NEW URBANISM, 2008, 30.

Martha Burt, a principal research associate at the Urban Institute, asserts that "over the course of a year
at least 2.3 million people and probably as many as 3.5 million people experience homelessness at least
for a short period (Urban Institute 2000). Sue Marshall, executive director of the Community
Partnership for Prevention of Homelessness, asserts that the fastest-growing segment of the homeless
population is women with children. Marshall estimates that "on any given day there are literally 7,500 to
8,000 people in the District of Columbia who are homeless." There have been estimates that 2.3 percent
of D.C.'s population experiences homelessness in a year's time, nearly twice the national average.



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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                                Homelessness is Extensive
Large numbers of Americans are homeless

Maria Foscarinis, (Dir., National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty), HOMELESSNESS IN
AMERICA: SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, 2008, Vol. 3, 114.

Recent estimates are that on any given night more than 800,000 people experience homelessness in the
United States, and that over the course of a year, 2.5 to 3.5 million people will experience homelessness.
A study published in 1994 indicated that 7 million Americans had experienced homelessness between
1985 and 1990, and that as many as 12 million Americans, or 6.5 percent of the U.S. resident population
in that year, had been homeless at some point in their lives.

More than 750,000 Americans were homeless on a single night in january

Philip Mangano, (Dir., U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 144.

Despite these increased resources, homelessness remains a significant problem across the U.S.
Researchers tell us that on any given night, there are between 600,000 and 800,000 Americans who are
homeless. HUD's Annual Homeless Assessment Report released earlier this year indicated that more
than 750,000 Americans were homeless on a single night in January 2005. Researchers tell us that, in
the course of a year, more than 2 million of our neighbors experience homelessness.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                             Federal Response Inadequate
HUD has retreated from its responsibility to ensure adequate supply of affordable housing

Arlene McNamee, (Board Member, Catholic Charities USA), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 164-165.

As such, we are deeply troubled by the diminishing federal commitment to serve the poorest of the poor
through desperately needed housing programs. In the face of a growing affordable housing crisis, one
which displaces over three million of our brothers and sisters into homelessness each year, HUD has
backed away from its responsibility to ensure an adequate supply of affordable housing for the
extremely low income households. Last week, for example, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
reported that about 1,800 families were in homeless shelters -- up from 1,400 in June 2006 and 1,200 in
June 2005. In fact, according to the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, more families are in
shelters now than at any time since the inception of the state's family shelter program in 1983. This is
not a function of an overabundance of shelter beds as some might argue -- this is a result of a dwindling
supply of affordable housing options for the very poor. Any ordinary citizen armed with nothing more
than a calculator could get to the bottom of this problem.

Not a single new section 8 voucher in the last 7 years

Arlene McNamee, (Board Member, Catholic Charities USA), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 165-166.

HUD's budget is roughly 65% of what it was 30 years ago. Not a single new Section 8 voucher has been
issued in nearly seven years. The impact of HUD cuts to affordable housing programs has been drastic.
In 1976 for example, HUD maintained nearly 214,000 existing housing units and built an additional
203,000 to keep pace with growing need. In 2002, HUD maintained only 26,000 units of housing and
built only 7,600 new units. According to the Interagency Council on Homelessness, the number of
single adults suffering from disabilities who experience long-term homelessness has remained around
150,000 for the past six years and yet the Section 811, "Supportive Housing for Persons with
Disabilities" program designed specifically to provide subsidized permanent housing for single, disabled
adults has been offered up by HUD for a cut of almost 50% each year for six years.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                              Federal Response Inadequate
HUD programs inadequate

Jeremy Rosen, (Dir., National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 86.

Over the next several years, HUD unveiled the centerpiece of the "long-term" homeless initiative --
significant financial incentives that have resulted in the widespread de-funding of programs serving
homeless children, youth, and families -- even in communities which had no desire to take money away
from those populations, and had little to no "long term" homelessness. Starting in the late 1990's, with
Congressional approval, HUD began setting aside 30% of homeless assistance grant funds for
permanent housing targeted to disabled individuals and families with disabled heads of household. No
duration of homelessness was required to qualify for this housing.

HUD funding increases more than offset by cuts to other low-income housing and social service
programs

Maria Foscarinis, (Dir., National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty), HOMELESSNESS IN
AMERICA: SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, 2008, Vol. 3, 123.

The commitment has also been largely rhetorical in practice. The administration initiated and supported
successful efforts to increase funds for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
McKinney programs by almost $200 million. But at the same time, the administration has taken actions
and supported legislative proposals to cut low-income housing and other social programs, exacerbating
the causes of homelessness. For example, between 2004 and 2006 funding for HUD programs declined
by $3.3 billion in real dollars, an eight percent reduction. This translates into a loss of nearly 150,000
housing vouchers.

Long waiting lists for federal housing assistance

The National Alliance to End Homelessness, HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: FACES OF THE
HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 100.

However, the demand for housing assistance far outstrips the need. Some five million families receive
federal assistance to pay for housing, but there are at least twice that many families eligible for such
subsidies that do not receive them because of lack of funding. Most cities have long waiting lists for
subsidized housing units or rent subsidies -- an average of twenty months for a public housing
apartment, or nearly three years for a housing subsidy, and often considerably longer.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                             Federal Response Inadequate
No longer significant federal funding for homeless services

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 114.

In 1990, the National Affordable Housing Act directed HUD to create a self-sufficiency program to
assist subsidized housing residents in becoming independent of public benefits. HUD gave housing
authorities grants to establish employment-focused services for families in housing voucher programs,
including the Section 8 program. There is no longer significant federal funding for these services and
most local housing authorities must rely on their own funds.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


               "Ten Year Plan" to End Homelessness Defective
Homelessness has increased under the "ten year plan" to end homelessness

Jeremy Rosen, (Dir., National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 87.

But one thing is clear -- more than halfway through this ten year initiative -- "long-term" homelessness
has not declined. In fact, it may even have increased. In 2000, the National Alliance to End
Homelessness stated that approximately 150,000 people met this definition. More recently, estimates
have ranged as high as 200,000. We do know this - no advocacy organization or federal government
agency can report an overall decline in "long-term" homelessness. This is because, for every person who
is moved off the streets and housed, another person arrives on the street, stays there for an extended
time, and becomes a part of the "long-term" homeless population. We are bailing water from a leaky
boat. However, because the Administration has chosen to fund much of their initiative by shifting
homeless assistance grant money rather than providing new funds, water is entering the boat as fast as
we can remove it.

The "ten year plan" to end homelessness reminiscent of the “just say no” program to end drug
abuse

Ralph da Costa Nunez, (Pres., Homes for the Homeless & Adjunct Prof., Public Policy, Columbia U.),
HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, 2008, Vol. 3, 27-28.

Today, there is a new response to homelessness -- a Ten-Year Plan coming out of Washington, D.C. It
purports to end homelessness by closing the so-called "front door." By closing shelters and dismantling
programs, the plan expects the homeless to be absorbed into other existing service systems. It is in fact,
reminiscent of the 1980s "Just Say No" anti-drug and teen pregnancy campaigns -- illogical approaches
that do nothing about a problem except expect it to disappear. The Ten-Year Plan is already several
years old and little has changed; the homeless keep coming, and only lip service is paid to the
development of new low-income housing. Truthfully, without a massive, immediate infusion of
affordable housing for the poor, no plan, regardless of its timetable, can succeed.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                     Mckinney-Vento Assistance Inadequate
Funding and support for Mckinney-Vento assistance has declined

James Wright, (Prof., Sociology, U. Central Florida), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: CAUSES OF
HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 43.

The only major legislative response to the scarcity of accessible and affordable low-income housing for
homeless people has been the 1987 McKinney Homeless Assistance Act. Increasing homelessness
during the 1980s prompted the passage of the McKinney Act to provide shelter and housing provisions
to homeless and near-homeless people. Amendments in 1988, 1990, 1992, and 1994 expanded the
scope, reach, and funding of the original McKinney Act so that programs reached the mentally ill,
homeless veterans and children, rural homeless persons, and other needy citizens. Currently, the
McKinney Act consists of a series of programs including emergency shelter, transitional housing, job
training, health care, education, and permanent housing. However, in recent years funding and support
for McKinney Act programs, like other low-income housing assistance programs, have decreased, and
attempts have been made to repeal the authorization of the original act.

Resources allocated to Mckinney-Vento assistance inadequate

James Wright, (Prof., Sociology, U. Central Florida), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: CAUSES OF
HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 43.

Several program evaluations of the McKinney Act conducted in 1995 and 1996 found that the programs
aided in providing permanent housing at reasonable costs for a significant number of homeless persons.
Other program evaluations, however, have noted that resources allocated to McKinney programs are
insufficient to meet demand. Moreover, the lack of stable funding severely limits the programs'
effectiveness.

20 years of Mckinney-Vento assistance have failed to reduce homelessness

 Julia Carson, (U.S. Representative, Indiana), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE Mckinney-Vento
HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007,
46.

This past July marked the 20th Anniversary of the enactment of the McKinney Vento Homeless
Assistance Act and yet the tragedy of homelessness persists. More than three million individuals
experience homelessness every year and over one million of those individuals are children. This is
unacceptable in our prosperous nation.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                         Definition of Homeless Too Narrow
Definition of homeless excludes rural homeless from assistance programs

 Moses Loza, (Dir., Housing Assistance Council), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE Mckinney-Vento
HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial Services, Oct. 16, 2007,
137.

HAC's experience is that homeless people in rural areas typically have unstable housing situations. They
move from bad housing situation to another, often doubling or tripling up in other households. While
housed in these unstable situations, rural homeless people do not meet HUD's definition of
homelessness, which is used to determine eligibility for their homeless assistance programs.

HUD’s definition of the chronic homeless unnecessarily restricts access to assistance

 Amy Weintraub, (Dir., Covenant House of West Virginia), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE Mckinney-
Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial Services, Oct. 4,
2007, 151.

HUD defines a chronically homeless person as "an unaccompanied homeless individual with a disabling
condition who has either been continuously homeless for a year or more OR has had at least four (4)
episodes of homelessness in the past three (3) years." To be considered chronically homeless a person
must have been on the streets or in an emergency shelter (i.e. not transitional housing) during these
stays. By prioritizing funds to this specific population as defined is very limited and diverts funds away
from homeless families.

HUD’s current definition excludes too many people

Maria Foscarinis, (Dir., National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 71.

HUD's current definition of homelessness is too restrictive - it excludes many persons who are living in
temporary accommodations, such as motels or doubled up with another household, even though they are
living there because they have lost their housing and have nowhere else to go. It leaves people in
unsuitable, unstable, and sometimes unsafe living arrangements. HUD's definition has been particularly
problematic in rural areas, where homelessness is more hidden.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                         Definition of Homeless Too Narrow

Many people who need housing assistance are excluded under the HUD definition

National Network for Youth, REAUTHORIZATION OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS
ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 117.

The definition of "homeless individual" in the Mckinney-Vento statute restricts the meaning of that term
to persons living on the street, emergency shelters, and other locations not fit for human habitation.
Excluded from this definition - and thus from federal homeless assistance for which eligibility is
conditioned on the individual meeting the Mckinney-Vento criteria for homelessness - are individuals
and families living in the housing of others due to loss of housing or economic hardship, and in motels,
hotels, and campgrounds when there is no adequate alternative accommodation.

HUD’s income eligibility rules too restrictive

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 104-105.

HUD sets guidelines that all housing authorities must follow, including the Area Median Income
("AMI") level, which determines income eligibility for subsidized housing programs. Public housing
income eligibility is set at eighty percent of the AMI, which is categorized as "low-income." Section 8
eligibility is set at fifty percent of the AMI, which is defined as "very low-income." For example, in
Oakland, California, the AMI for a family of three is $ 74,500. In order for a family of three to be
income-eligible for public housing, the family must have an income of less than $ 59,600. For that same
family to be eligible for Section 8, it must have income of less than $ 37,700. In addition, forty percent
of public housing units are reserved for families who have incomes below thirty percent of the AMI, or
$ 22,650 for a family of three in Oakland.




                                                                                                        19
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                        HUD Rules Inflexible and Inefficient
Targeting assistance to those defined by HUD as the “chronic homeless” not the most efficient use
of funds – many are at risk and need services

Jessica Vasquez, (Spokesperson, National Network to End Domestic Violence), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 117.

The argument that "chronically homeless" people are "the most vulnerable" among people experiencing
homelessness, and therefore deserving of greater attention and resources, is flawed. Proponents of the
chronic homelessness initiative have sought to gamer support for it by asserting that "chronically
homeless" people are "the most vulnerable" among people experiencing homelessness, and therefore
deserve a greater portion of federal resources. Such assertions unethically pit needy populations against
each other for service dollars. Moreover, the accuracy of the assertion is undermined when research on
children is considered -- research that is strikingly absent from discussion at the federal policy level.
Rarely mentioned, for example, is the finding that young children were most at risk of staying in public
shelter in New York and Philadelphia, and the younger the child, the greater the risk; indeed, infants
under the age of one had the highest rates of shelter use. To assume that these children are less
vulnerable to the ill effects of homelessness because they move through the public shelter system more
quickly is wrong. Many of the horrific conditions of homelessness directly contribute to physical,
mental and emotional harm. For example, infants and toddlers who are homeless are at extreme risk of
developmental delays and health complications. Children experiencing homelessness are diagnosed with
learning disabilities at much higher rates than other children. In addition, there is evidence that
experiencing homelessness as a child is associated with experiencing deep poverty and homelessness as
an adult. Ignoring the plight of this equally vulnerable population, under the questionable assumption
that it is "less vulnerable" than single adults with disabilities, all but guarantees the perpetuation of
"chronic" homelessness into the foreseeable future. Proponents of the chronic homeless initiative have
also called "chronically" homeless individuals the "hardest to serve" and stated that without federal
priorities, local communities would not serve them. In truth, there are many "hard to serve"
communities, including homeless immigrants, prisoners reentering the community, and teens who have
turned to drugs and violence to survive.




                                                                                                      20
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                        HUD Rules Inflexible and Inefficient
No unique justification for targeting assistance to the chronic homeless

Jessica Vasquez, (Spokesperson, National Network to End Domestic Violence), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 120.

One argument often put forth to justify the emphasis on chronic homelessness is that of cost efficacy. It
is frequently stated that chronically homeless individuals cost society significant sums of money in
emergency health care, jail and law enforcement costs, and temporary shelter. However, the same
arguments can be made for other homeless populations, particularly victims of domestic violence and
their children. The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year, $4.1 billion of which
is for direct medical and mental health care services. When property loss, lost productivity, and pain and
suffering are included, the total annual victim cost of domestic violence grows to $67 billion dollars.
These calculations do not include the enormous costs to the criminal justice system, including police
response and prosecution, which would drastically increase the totals. Domestic violence also costs U.S.
employers an estimated $3 to $13 billion annually, and 25% to 50% of domestic violence victims report
that they had lost a job due, at least in part, to domestic violence.

Current HUD rules lack flexibility to take advantage of local communities’ understanding and
knowledge

Jessica Vasquez, (Spokesperson, National Network to End Domestic Violence), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 121-122.

Communities are being forced to overlook the results of their own needs assessments in order to meet
federal mandates to serve "chronically homeless" people. As a result, federal funding is not addressing
the service gaps determined by communities. In distributing homeless assistance grants, HUD asks
communities to rank local needs and prioritize the gaps in the resources available to meet those needs. It
then awards grants based on that process, called the "Continuum of Care." Over the past few years, as a
result of the "chronic homelessness" initiative, HUD has given preference to communities that use funds
for permanent housing to "end homelessness for chronically homeless people This preference disregards
local needs, realities, and emerging trends, and is therefore in direct conflict with the stated goal of the
Continuum of Care process: rather than enabling local communities to determine their own priorities
based on local need, HUD has determined their priorities for them. Many communities have witnessed
significant growth in the scale and severity of homelessness among families with children,
unaccompanied youth, and disabled and non-disabled populations that do not fit neatly into the "chronic
homeless" paradigm. Yet these communities are being forced to overlook emerging needs in favor of a
narrowly constructed national priority. As a result, equally vulnerable populations face service gaps that,
if left unaddressed, have the potential to cause irreparable harm and even lead to "chronic
homelessness."



                                                                                                         21
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative

                         HUD Rules Inflexible and Inefficient
HUD policies don’t allow locals sufficient flexibility to address the real problems they face

Diane Ni Ian, (Pres., HEAR US Inc.), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS
ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 187.

Homeless service providers in communities of all sizes in our nation are waiting for the day that HUD
provides the opportunity for people in all homeless situations to receive the assistance they need. They
long to be free to focus on easing homelessness as it appears in their communities - on the street,
doubled-up, or in motels - instead of having their hands tied with arbitrary rules and restrictions. It is no
coincidence that the majority local service providers who have testified at these hearings support an
updated definition of homelessness. They desire federal resources to supplement local efforts to house
and assist the growing number of families, teens and adults without a place to call home.

HUD’s “one-size-fits-all” model inappopriate

Jessica Vasquez, (Spokesperson, National Network to End Domestic Violence), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 105.

HUD's policies imply a "one size fits all" solution to homelessness with little space for Continuums of
Care to assess local needs or choose responses that maximize the resources of their communities. This is
not effective in New York, where the needs of the rural upstate are often different from New York City.
However, communities across the United States are diverse beyond the simple labels of urban, rural and
suburban. Rural Wyoming and rural Alabama differ greatly, for instance, just as Boston faces different
realities than Los Angeles. Climate, culture, local infrastructure, state and local government,
transportation systems, unemployment rates, immigration, and many other factors affect how people
become and remain homeless. The responses to ending homelessness in those communities must be just
as diverse. In some areas, a strong interfaith network may provide emergency shelter to youth, while in
other communities, the only option for homeless teens is 'couch surfing" from place to place or living on
the street. Thus the two communities might prioritize their HUD funding differently, with the latter
opting to help break the cycle of homelessness by providing services and housing to homeless youth.




                                                                                                           22
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                 Welfare Program Cuts Increase Homelessness
Cuts in welfare programs increase homelessness

Jeremy Rosen, (Dir., National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 83.

In recent years, we have discovered just how "mainstream" programs can contribute directly to
homelessness. Here are some examples. When funding for Section 8 and other affordable housing
programs is reduced, and affordability requirements on other housing units are allowed to expire,
individuals and families will not find alternative affordable housing in their communities, and many will
become homeless. When eligible low-income persons are incorrectly denied Temporary Assistance for
Needy Families (TANF) "welfare" or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits, they lose
their ability to afford housing, and many will become homeless. When people are discharged from
mental health or substance abuse treatment facilities, jails, prisons, or foster care, and no provisions are
made to ensure that they receive appropriate housing and healthcare, many of them will become
homeless. And when people cannot access mental health or substance abuse treatment, they lose jobs
and other social supports. Many of these people will become homeless. Unfortunately, none of these
statements are hypothetical. Over the past 20 years, we have repeatedly seen funding cuts for affordable
housing programs, incorrect denials of eligibility for public assistance, lack of discharge planning, and
inability to access community based services -- and these failures of "mainstream" programs have
directly resulted in homelessness.




                                                                                                         23
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                          Welfare and HUD Policies Conflict
Federal welfare and housing policies have contradictory mandates concerning the role of fathers

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 128-129.

TANF's policy of forcing single mothers to include biological fathers in their families can be contrasted
with subsidized housing programs' felon exclusion rules and ban lists. While TANF requires single
mothers to involve the fathers of their children in their lives, eligibility restrictions used by subsidized
housing programs may actually prohibit single mothers who wish to include a father in their lives from
doing so. While the TANF program focuses on marriage and financial responsibility as its primary goals
and values, subsidized housing programs may break up families with the one strike policy. The policies
seem to be based on opposite assumptions: TANF rules are based on the assumption that adding a man
to the household will "save" the family from poverty and make government intervention unnecessary,
while the overbroad ban lists and exclusion policies in subsidized housing programs sweep many men
into the undesirable category of people who will "taint" family homes. This creates tension between the
policies and mechanisms of behavioral control employed by the two programs, and reveals the lack of
coherence in our social policy. For example, a woman receiving TANF benefits and living in public
housing may be forced to identify the father of her children to the welfare agency but unable to invite
him into her home.




                                                                                                         24
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                     Hope VI Housing Programs Are Flawed
Hope VI housing programs have failed to deliver in practice

James Wright, (Prof., Sociology, U. Central Florida), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: CAUSES OF
HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 40.

From 1993 to 2001, public housing authorities received $4.5 billion through HOPE VI funds. Although
the intent of HOPE VI is to improve the lives of public housing residents, research has shown that only a
few truly benefit. Former residents of a demolished public housing development in Louisville,
Kentucky, were interviewed to assess the impact that the HOPE VI reconstruction had on the quality of
their lives. Of the 1,273 households that were relocated under the program, seventeen percent were
relocated to Section 8 housing while seven percent purchased or rented better housing. For these
households, life apparently improved. However, twenty-seven percent of the households were relocated
to another public housing project, another twenty-three percent were evicted outright, and the
whereabouts of the remaining twenty-seven percent are unknown. These numbers do not add up to an
across-the-board improvement in housing, living conditions, or quality of life.

Hope VI has increased gentrification

James Wright, (Prof., Sociology, U. Central Florida), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: CAUSES OF
HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 41.

Some scholars have expressed concerns that a major effect of HOPE VI has been to stimulate
gentrification of HOPE VI neighborhoods. Traditionally, extremely dilapidated public housing
developments would virtually ensure that nearby neighborhoods would be areas of high crime, drug
dealing and addiction, and all of the other urban pathologies that result from concentrated poverty.
These developments, of course, are exactly the ones targeted by HOPE VI. Razing severely substandard
public housing units and replacing them with new mixed-income communities can make surrounding
areas suddenly attractive as gentrification opportunities -- another example of how housing policies can
create problems (like gentrification and homelessness) rather than solve them.

Hope VI depleting the stock of affordable housing

James Wright, (Prof., Sociology, U. Central Florida), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: CAUSES OF
HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 44.

Many owners of apartment units that were once part of the Section 8 supply are improving their
properties and renting them to higher income people (or converting them to condominium units).
Finally, programs such as HOPE VI are also depleting the stock of affordable housing. Under HOPE VI,
public housing developments are being torn down and are being replaced with mixed-income housing,
only a small portion of which is affordable to low-income residents. Although these programs differ, the
outcome is the same: less affordable housing for low-income people and, therefore, more people without
housing.



                                                                                                      25
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                     Hope VI Housing Programs Are Flawed
Hope VI decreased the availability of low-income housing

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 102.

The most recent subsidized housing reform effort occurred with Home Ownership for People
Everywhere (HOPE) in 1993, which Congress implemented in an effort to revitalize the public housing
stock and assist low-income families in purchasing homes. Although HOPE had laudable goals, such as
increasing family self-sufficiency and improving quality of life for public housing residents, it has
ultimately led to a decrease in the overall number of housing units available to low-income people.
HOPE was originally intended to improve public housing while maintaining the number of total units,
but the requirement that one unit be maintained for each unit that was destroyed was recently eliminated.

Hope VI goal of decreasing poverty concentration actually decreased housing options for the poor

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 132-133.

Although HUD's HOPE programs aim to benefit families by deconcentrating poverty, mixed-income
housing should not be developed at the expense of the poorest families. It is imperative that HOPE's
initial promise of one-for-one replacement of low-income units be kept. Low-income families in need
should not be refused housing in favor of middle class families. Integrating subsidized housing into
mixed-income communities, while maintaining or increasing the number of affordable housing units,
will begin to address some of the problems that plague housing projects, such as drug use and violence.
Isolation of subsidized housing developments prevents families from finding and keeping jobs, and
accessing basic necessities such as food and medical care.

Hope VI program has been consistently underfunded

Melissa Doak, (Staff, InformationPlus Reference Series), SOCIAL WELFARE: FIGHTING
POVERTY AND HOMELESSNESS, 2008, 127. HOPE VI.

As a result of the 1992 recommendations of the National Commission on Severely Distressed Public
Housing, Congress authorized $300 million for an urban revitalization demonstration program in the FY
1993 Appropriations Act. James Bovard reports in "HUD's Biggest Farce?" that the program came to be
named HOPE VI. (The acronym stands for Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere.) Up to that
point HUD had put in place four previous HOPE initiatives; no HOPE V was ever launched. In HOPE
VI Program Authority and Funding History, HUD indicates that the aim of HOPE VI was to eliminate
or upgrade the eighty-six thousand deteriorated units identified by the 1992 commission. Between FY
1993 and FY 2002 HUD reported revitalization grants totaling $5 billion and expended $335.6 million
on demolitions. Since 2002 funding for HOPE VI has dramatically declined, from $574 million in FY
2002 to just $99 million in FY 2006. Funding was down in part because the Bush administration
proposed the elimination of the program altogether.


                                                                                                      26
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative

                 Housing Assistance Subsidies Are Inadequate

Housing assistance concentrated on inadequate number of rental units

Joel Handler & Yeheskel Hasenfeld, (Prof., Law, UCLA & Prof., Social Welfare, UCLA), BLAME
WELFARE, IGNORE POVERTY AND INEQUALITY, 2007, 113.

Lack of affordable housing has become a major problem for the poor and working poor. Housing
assistance now consists entirely of rent subsidies (Section 8). Currently, there are about 3.4 million
rental units, with an annual cost of $22.4 billion (fiscal year 2004), with long waiting lists.

Housing assistance subsidies are inadequate

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 192.

HUD now professes to make ending homelessness and increasing access to affordable housing a major
goal, but recent budget reforms have actually resulted in fewer affordable housing units for families.
Although the new mixed-income developments created with HOPE funds benefit the families living
there, the projects displaced thousands of families, and HUD continues to demolish more housing than it
creates. According to HUD's own data, the number of units affordable to very low-income households
dropped by 1.14 million between 1997 and 1999. Between 2001 and 2005, HUD constructed or
redeveloped 33,002 units and demolished 42,314.

Long waiting lists for subsdized housing

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 109.

Waiting lists for subsidized housing programs are often so long that they close entirely for years at a
time. Once a waiting list becomes too long for the housing authority to administer, the housing authority
will simply stop taking names. Those on the list may wait for many years before actually getting an
apartment.




                                                                                                         27
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                          Housing Authority Rules Inflexible
Housing authority screening rules disrupt families

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 108-109.

In addition to determining initial eligibility, housing authorities apply screening rules when a current
resident of public housing wishes to add a new individual to his or her household, such as when a single
mother wishes to get married and bring her new husband to live in the public housing unit. If the
husband-to-be has a felony record, the resident is effectively forced to choose between living with her
spouse and leaving her home.

Restrictive rules in subsidized housing limit options for poor families

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 104.

Fortunately, the rules governing residents of public housing have evolved with the changing structure of
the family and increasing acceptance of families that do not fit the traditional husband and wife model.
However, some of the same conceptions of the ideal family persist. Bedroom guidelines and limitations
on foster parenting may prevent grandparents and other relatives from taking in children in times of
need. In addition, felon exclusion rules and strict occupancy guidelines limit single parents' ability to
bring new partners into their homes.

One family member can render the entire family ineligible for subsidized housing

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 107-108.

Despite inclusive eligibility guidelines, entire families may still be excluded from subsidized housing
based on the past behavior of one family member. This can occur through the screening process that
takes place once a group of people has been determined to fit within the definition of family. A finding
of unsuitability for one member will result in exclusion of the entire family. In order to avoid this result,
the family may choose to remove that family member from the application and certify that he or she will
not be allowed to visit or stay as a guest.




                                                                                                          28
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative



    Low Income Housing Tax Credits Are Defective As Currently
                           Operated

Low income housing tax credits are defective as currently operated

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 132.

Although the LIHTC has resulted in the development of up to 80,000 "affordable" housing units per
year, the families benefiting from these new units could likely afford non-subsidized housing.
Developers have no incentive to serve the lowest income families when they can generate the most
revenue by serving families of moderate income. In addition, there is currently no system in place to
ensure that developers benefiting from the LIHTC are in fact complying with fair housing laws, which
leaves them free to select tenants in a discriminatory manner. Changing the LIHTC so that developers
could only receive a credit if they comply with fair housing laws and allocate a significant portion of
housing to families below thirty percent of AMI would greatly benefit the neediest families.




                                                                                                          29
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                   Supply of Low Cost Housing is Inadequate
Lack of affordable housing drives homelessness

Nan Roman, (Pres., National Alliance to End Homelessness), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 190-191.

In January 2005, an estimated 744,313 people experienced homelessness (this expands to 2.3-3.5 million
people who experience homelessness in the course of a year). 56 percent of homeless people counted
were living in shelters and transitional housing and, shockingly, 44 percent were unsheltered. 59 percent
of homeless people counted were single adults and 41 percent were people living in families. In total,
98,452 homeless families were counted. 23 percent of homeless people were reported as chronically
homeless, which according to HUD's definition means that they are single individuals, are homeless for
long periods of time or repeatedly, and have a disability. The numbers are disturbing, but even more
disturbing is this: 1 percent of all Americans and fully 10 percent of poor Americans become homeless
each year. People who experience homelessness have a mix of characteristics, ages, and disability
statuses. The one thing that they have in common is that they cannot afford housing. Homeless people
may need access to services, but homelessness is a problem that is driven by the lack of affordable
housing.

Affordable housing for the poor in short supply

D. Stanley Eitzen, (Prof., Emeritus, Sociology, Colorado State U.), EXPERIENCING POVERTY:
VOICES FROM THE BOTTOM, 2009, 133.

What puts many people in jeopardy of homelessness is the high cost of rent. Affordable housing for the
poor is in ever shorter supply. Gentrification (the redevelopment of poor and working-class urban
neighborhoods into upscale enclaves) and other forms of urban development (building highways,
stadiums, parks, parking garages) have reduced the number of affordable rental units, previously found
in cheap residential hotels and single residence occupancy (SRO) housing, and affordable public
housing. (The government, by the way, reduced its number of public housing units in New Orleans by
5,000 after Hurricane Katrina.) In June 2005 the official government estimate was that the United States
lacked 1.6 million units of low-income housing. This squeeze on relatively cheap rentals, boosts the
rents faster than inflation and wage increases. The National Low Income Housing Coalition notes that
2005 was the first year on record, that a full-time worker at minimum wage could not afford a one-
bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States at average market rates (Urbina, 2006).




                                                                                                      30
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                   Supply of Low Cost Housing is Inadequate
High demand for public housing largely unmet

Anthony Thompson, (Prof., Clinical Law, NYU School of Law), RELEASING PRISONERS,
REDEEMING COMMUNITIES: REENTRY, RACE AND POLITICS, 2008, 71.

Increased poverty, as well as decreased political support for public housing, has led to a high demand for
public housing that is largely unmet. The relatively modest increases in the number of vouchers for
housing and in units of housing provided have not come close to meeting the need for affordable
housing units. Between 1970 and 1995, the number of low-income renters increased 70 percent, but the
total number of units available to low-income renters fell. In addition to a declining number of units
available, public housing remains segregated by race. Almost two-thirds of public housing residents are
African Americans.

Supply of low cost housing way below increasing demand

Anthony Thompson, (Prof., Clinical Law, NYU School of Law), RELEASING PRISONERS,
REDEEMING COMMUNITIES: REENTRY, RACE AND POLITICS, 2008, 74.

Profound increases in poverty have led to an extremely high demand for public housing. Even as
incomes have increased overall through the end of the last century, by the end of the 1990s over thirty-
four million people lived in poverty. Extreme poverty became concentrated in the inner cities, the same
place where housing is in great demand, and the same place where large numbers of ex-offenders return
to seek housing. This has resulted in an increased need for housing units and unexpected competition
between different groups of individuals vying for limited public housing resources. Nationally, there are
over nine hundred thousand families on waiting lists for public housing units, and about 1.4 million
waiting for housing subsidies. The average time spent waiting for a housing voucher exceeds two years.
The wait is even greater in areas with large public housing authorities; on average, an applicant will wait
five years in Chicago, eight years in New York, and ten years in Los Angeles.

Low cost housing is often of poor quality

Edward Royce, (Prof., Sociology, Rollins College), POVERTY AND POWER: THE PROBLEM OF
STRUCTURAL INEQUALITY, 2009, 226.

Low-wage workers are caught in a vicious mismatch between what jobs pay and what housing costs. It
is nearly impossible for them to find a decent place to live and harder still to find a place that is
reasonably priced and conveniently located. The unfortunate result is they often end up spending more
than they can afford for substandard housing in undesirable neighborhoods with a long commute to
work. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, approximately 95 million people live
in housing that is either beyond their financial means, physically inadequate, or overcrowded. Housing
for poor families is often unsafe, infested by insects, too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer,
and suffering from broken appliances and failing plumbing.



                                                                                                        31
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                  Supply of Low Cost Housing is Inadequate
HUD has failed to address affordable housing crisis

Arlene McNamee, (Board Member, Catholic Charities USA), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 175.

As much as we would like to boil the plan for ending homelessness down to a tag-line suitable for
printing t-shirts or bumper stickers, the reality for each family and individual who experiences
homelessness is complex, painful, and unique for them. That calls on to take a sophisticated approach
that is not always quantifiable or measurable -- and might not always cost us less money -- to ending
homelessness for them. And again, the problems of homelessness we now face are in no small part due
to HUD's inattention to America's affordable housing crisis. Indeed, HUD has failed in numerous ways,
improving its homelessness policies will be a small but vital contribution to our nation's housing
struggles.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative




                                                33
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


     Gentrification has Decreased Supply of Low-Income Housing
Gentrification driving affordable housing shortage

Edward Royce, (Prof., Sociology, Rollins College), POVERTY AND POWER: THE PROBLEM OF
STRUCTURAL INEQUALITY, 2009, 228.

A key factor underlying the housing problems of the poor is the dwindling supply of low-cost rental
units. Rental property at the low-end of the price scale is "rapidly disappearing," a product of
gentrification, abandonment, demolition, and the unwillingness of government policy makers to
replenish the stock of affordable housing. Many of the low-cost rentals remaining on the market are
located "near older city centers -- distant from the areas of most job growth."

Government policies have prompted gentrification-further eroding low income housing options

James Wright, (Prof., Sociology, U. Central Florida), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: CAUSES OF
HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 31.

There are many reasons for the increasing lack of affordable housing in America. Many government
policies that have been enacted over the last fifty years have resulted in the destruction of what was once
affordable housing. Other policies have restricted the construction of multifamily units, which typically
provide most of the affordable housing options.

Gentrification increases destruction of sro housing

James Wright, (Prof., Sociology, U. Central Florida), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: CAUSES OF
HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 36.

Housing that was once erected specifically to house low-income individuals and families has since been
torn down in various efforts at "urban renewal" and (more recently) "downtown redevelopment."
Construction of affordable replacement units has failed to keep pace with the need. Particularly pertinent
to the study of homelessness is the widespread destruction of single room occupancy (SRO) hotels.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                     Section 8 Housing Programs Are Flawed
Section 8 program flawed: long waiting lists and inadequate amount for people to stay in the
homes

James Wright, (Prof., Sociology, U. Central Florida), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: CAUSES OF
HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 39.

While Section 8 has the advantage of not concentrating poverty to the extent that public housing did, the
program is not without problems. In most cities, waiting lists for Section 8 vouchers are long, and in
some cities the lists are closed entirely. There are always more vouchers than units where they can be
used in lieu of rent. Many public housing residents who are given vouchers and moved into Section 8
units find that they cannot carry the utility and other expenses and soon move back out. Homeless
people, who are often without an income source of any sort, obviously cannot look to Section 8 for relief
because they have no way of covering the move-in expenses or utility costs.

Waiting time for section 8 vouchers more than 2 years

James Wright, (Prof., Sociology, U. Central Florida), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: CAUSES OF
HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 41-42.

The average waiting time nationwide for Section 8 housing vouchers is over two years, and many
housing agencies have much longer waits. (Indeed, many have closed their waiting lists entirely.) The
Section 8 program gives a few qualifying low-income people inadequate housing resources to compete
with other needy citizens for a dwindling supply of affordable housing. Not surprisingly, studies
throughout the country indicate that many residents fail to use their vouchers because of an inability to
locate quality housing and because there is a dearth of landlords willing to participate in the voucher
program.

Funding for section 8 housing program declining

James Wright, (Prof., Sociology, U. Central Florida), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: CAUSES OF
HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 42.

Recent trends in housing policy suggest decreasing funds and less emphasis on the Section 8 and HOPE
VI programs and even more government promotion of low-income homeownership to reduce urban
poverty, revitalize cities, and promote self-sufficiency among the poor. Over the decades, Section 8
funds have been cut while other tax subsidy programs such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
(LIHTC) program persistently fail to meet the need for rental housing assistance.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                     Section 8 Housing Programs Are Flawed
Less than 30% of those eligible receive low-income housing

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 101.

In fact, fewer than thirty percent of those eligible for low-income housing receive it, and three and a half
million Americans are homeless. The people who need affordable housing but are unable to access it
must therefore be considered in any discussion of subsidized housing programs.

Section 8 rules too inflexible

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 113.

Although most Section 8 eligibility guidelines are similar to public housing eligibility guidelines,
Section 8 standards for adding a new individual to the unit are less flexible. Families residing in a
Section 8 home only have a right to bring in a new family member if that individual joins the family by
marriage, birth, adoption, or court-ordered custody. If a family wishes to bring a foster child into the
home, they must ask the housing authority for approval.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                             Shelter Capacity is Inadequate
Many more homeless people than available shelter beds

D. Stanley Eitzen, (Prof., Emeritus, Sociology, Colorado State U.), EXPERIENCING POVERTY:
VOICES FROM THE BOTTOM, 2009, 134.

In 29 major cities, the homeless outnumber the number of beds in temporary shelters forcing many to
literally spend the night in cars, in doorways, under bridges, or in the streets. More than one-third of the
homeless are families with children. Most U.S. cities are unfriendly to the homeless with official
policies banning loitering, trespassing, panhandling, and carrying open containers of alcohol. A number
of cities conduct nightly "police sweeps" of their streets to harass the homeless. New York City requires
the homeless to work 20 hours a week in exchange for shelter. Sacramento, California pays for one-way
bus tickets out of state for homeless with family or jobs to go to. Chicago has privatized sidewalks in
front of businesses, which means that anyone who loiters there is trespassing. Thus, the homeless are
twice cursed -- they are not only without shelter, they are punished for not having a shelter.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative




                                                38
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


  Subsidized Housing Serves Mainly Single Mothers with Children
Subsidized housing serves mainly single mothers with children

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 104.

Far from being dominated by married couples living with children, subsidized housing today primarily
serves single mothers and other female-headed families. While only six percent of families living in
subsided housing are married couples with children, seventy-nine percent of households are female-
headed families. Sixty-nine percent of those living in public housing and fifty-eight percent of those
living in Section 8 programs are people of color. The population of public housing is also fairly stable;
only eleven percent of those living in public housing and fifteen percent of people living in Section 8
housing have moved in the last year. The majority of subsidized housing units are occupied by long-
term residents, while a small number of units turn over more frequently.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative




                                                40
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


              Shelter Maintenance Absorbs Too Much Funding
Lion’s share of homelessness resources go into shelters

 Donna Friedman, (Prof., Social Policy, U. Mass.), CHILD POVERTY IN AMERICA TODAY, Vol. 3,
2007, 91.

The lion's share of resources to fight homelessness in the United States is nonetheless tied up in
maintaining and expanding the country's residential emergency shelter system. Housing assistance
resources, on the other hand, have been inadequate for over 40 years and subject to relentless cuts, even
though having a housing subsidy or access to low-cost housing clearly prevents families from falling
into homelessness or returning to the shelter system.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                     Tax System Biased Toward the Wealthy
Home interest tax deductions cost $115 billion compared to $30 billion spent on low-income
housing assistance

D. Stanley Eitzen, (Prof., Emeritus, Sociology, Colorado State U.), EXPERIENCING POVERTY:
VOICES FROM THE BOTTOM, 2009, 133-134.

Less than 30 percent of low-income renters receive any housing subsidy, leaving only about 1.3 million
poor families receiving vouchers -- a government rent subsidy that pays the difference between 30
percent of their income and market rents anywhere they choose to live. Federal money for housing has
declined every year since 2000. The government's housing policies to aid the poor, by the way, cost
about $30 billion a year, while at the same time another government housing policy allows homeowners
to save $115 billion a year by allowing interest and taxes on houses to be tax deductible.

Affluent homeowners primary beneficiaries of us housing policy

Edward Royce, (Prof., Sociology, Rollins College), POVERTY AND POWER: THE PROBLEM OF
STRUCTURAL INEQUALITY, 2009, 228.

Though low-income Americans are the primary victims of the nation's housing problems, affluent
homeowners are the primary beneficiaries of housing policy. Indeed, more than one-third of the
approximately $150 billion spent annually on housing subsidies goes to households in the top income
quintile, mainly in the form of tax deductions for mortgage interest payments and property taxes. The
cost of these housing-related tax expenditures far exceeds housing assistance outlays for the poor,
including "Section 8" housing vouchers. Low-income housing programs are not only less generous, but
less widely available as well.

Research confirms that homeownership tax credits benefit the wealthy

John Gilderbloom, (Prof., Urban Affairs, U. Louisville), INVISIBLE CITY: POVERTY, HOUSING
AND NEW URBANISM, 2008, 39.

As mentioned above, one common misconception about the homeownership tax credit is that it
overwhelmingly benefits the poor as compared to the wealthy, but according to research conducted by
Bourassa and Grigsby, this assertion is not true. Congress intended for low- to moderate-income
families to benefit the most from the homeownership tax incentives, but 90 percent of the tax benefit
goes to homeowners who have incomes over $50,000 annually.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                                       Harms -- Poverty
Undeniable connection between homelessness and poverty

Melissa Doak, (Staff, InformationPlus Reference Series), SOCIAL WELFARE: FIGHTING
POVERTY AND HOMELESSNESS, 2008, 105.

There is an undeniable connection between homelessness and poverty. People in poverty live from day
to day with little or no safety net for times when unforeseen expenses arise. If a family's resources are
small, expenditures on necessities such as food, shelter, or health care have to be carefully decided and
sometimes sacrificed. Should one spend money on food, a visit to the doctor, buying necessary
medicines, or paying the rent? In 2007 a full-time job paying minimum wage for forty hours per week
provided an income of just $10,712 annually. (The federal poverty guideline for 2007 for one person
was $9,800, and for two people it was $13,200; see Table 1.1 in Chapter 1.) Being poor often means that
an illness, an accident, or a missed paycheck can be enough to cause homelessness.

Poverty greatest among the homeless

D. Stanley Eitzen, (Prof., Emeritus, Sociology, Colorado State U.), EXPERIENCING POVERTY:
VOICES FROM THE BOTTOM, 2009, 5.

Poverty is greatest among those who do not have an established residence. People in this category are
typically the homeless and migrant farm workers. The homeless, estimated at about 1 million, are those
in extreme poverty. Migrant workers -- adults and children who are seasonal farm laborers working for
low wages and no benefits -- are believed to constitute about 3 million. Latinos are overrepresented in
this occupation.

6% of people living in poverty are homeless

Jesse Milby, (Prof., Psychiatry, U. Alabama at Birmingham), CONTINGENCY MANAGEMENT IN
SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT, 2008, 162.

A population-based survey of homeless prevalence in the United States, using the 1990 census, suggests
there were about 500,000-650,000 homeless persons at any time in the United States during the early
1990s. Another census-based study estimates homelessness affected 3.5-6% of Americans during their
lifetime, with prevalence estimated at 1% of the general population, and about 6.3% of those living in
poverty. In 1998, the U.S. Conference of Mayors reported that in 1994 there were between 4.95 and 9.32
million persons homeless in the United States. Families with children comprised 37%, the fastest-
growing segment.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                                        Harms -- Poverty
Homeless people are the poorest of the poor

 Morley Glicken, (Prof., Emeritus, Social Work, California State U. at San Bernardino), SOCIAL
WORK IN THE 21ST CENTURY: AN INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL WELFARE, SOCIAL
ISSUES, AND THE PROFESSION, 2007, 75-76.

People who are homeless are the poorest of the poor. In 1996, the median monthly income for people
who were homeless was $300, only 44% of the federal poverty level for a single adult. Decreases in the
numbers of manufacturing and industrial jobs, combined with a decline in the real value of minimum
wage because of inflation, have left large numbers of people without a livable income.

Overriding characteristic of homeless families is extreme poverty

The National Alliance to End Homelessness, HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: FACES OF THE
HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 96.

Families that become homeless share certain characteristics. It is important to recognize what these
characteristics are because they can be considered to be risk factors for, or predictors of, homelessness.
However, it is also important to recognize that these characteristics are not necessarily what cause
families to become homeless. Indeed, many characteristics of homeless families are shared by poor
families who do not become homeless. Not surprisingly, the overriding characteristic of homeless
families is their extreme poverty.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                                  Housing Costs Too High
Millions of people severely burdened by housing costs –can take up to 80% of a minimum wage
worker’s pay

D. Stanley Eitzen, (Prof., Emeritus, Sociology, Colorado State U.), EXPERIENCING POVERTY:
VOICES FROM THE BOTTOM, 2009, 133.

The government assumes that the poor should not pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing,
yet according to the American Housing Survey, 7.5 million households were "severely burdened" by
their housing costs, meaning that more than half their income went for rent or mortgage payments.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates more than 6 million poor families
spend more than half their income on housing. In 2007 the national median rent was $943 a month.
Even at the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour set for 2008, a full-time worker would spend 81 percent of
their income on this median rental.

More than 1 in 7 poor people spend more than 50% of their income on housing

Deborah DeSantis, (Pres., Corporation for Supportive Housing), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 66.

According to the Harvard Joint Center on Housing Studies' State of the Nation's 'lousing 2007, one in
seven Americans, most of whom fall under the federal poverty line, spend more than 50% of their
incomes on housing. In recognition of this significant and growing unmet need for affordable housing,
the Financial Services Committee recently completed work on landmark legislation to strengthen and
expand the Section 8 housing voucher program and to establish a National Housing Trust Fund. S. 1518
would also create a new grant program to fund relocation, stabilization, rental assistance, and supportive
services for families and individuals precariously housed or at risk of homelessness. If enacted and
adequately funded, these policy reforms will do much to end and prevent homelessness for many
Americans living in doubled-up, substandard, or unstable housing.

In no part of the us can a minimum wage worker find “affordable” housing

 Donna Friedman, (Prof., Social Policy, U. Mass.), CHILD POVERTY IN AMERICA TODAY, Vol. 3,
2007, 89.

By 2006, more poor U.S. families did indeed have a head-of-household in the workforce; however, the
squeeze between housing costs and incomes continues to threaten the housing stability of large numbers
of working poor households. In no part of the United States can a full-time minimum wage worker pay
for private market housing with just 30 percent of his/her income, a HUD standard for housing
affordability.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                                 Housing Costs Too High
5 million households pay more than 50% of their income for housing and have no housing
assistance

 Donna Friedman, (Prof., Social Policy, U. Mass.), CHILD POVERTY IN AMERICA TODAY, Vol. 3,
2007, 89.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, nearly 5 percent of all
households in the country (5.1 million households) have worst case housing needs, that is, they pay
more than 50 percent of their income for housing; they have no housing assistance, are renters, and have
incomes below 50 percent of the area median income (AMI). Most of these households have extremely
low incomes (below 30% of AMI) and pay an average of 76 percent of their incomes for rent; many
adults heading these households work in low-wage jobs. Households headed by persons of color, elders,
sole women with children and, renters are more affected by the income-housing squeeze than are others.

Housing costs consume at least half 30% of low-income working families’ income

 Jason Furman, (Sr. Fellow, Brookings Institution), POVERTY: OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS SERIES,
2008, 136-137.

Housing cost burdens for poor families are often severe, and the cost of housing is likely to take far
more than 30 percent of most low-income working families' incomes -- the government's standard for
housing affordability -- even after the minimum-wage increase takes effect. Nationwide, the average
cost of a modest two-bedroom apartment in 2006 was $821 per month, or $9,852 per year, according to
the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). At this cost, rent and utilities consume
nearly half (48 percent) of the income of a family of four at the poverty line.

Number of poor people paying more than half their income in rent is rising

 Morley Glicken, (Prof., Emeritus, Social Work, California State U. at San Bernardino), SOCIAL
WORK IN THE 21ST CENTURY: AN INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL WELFARE, SOCIAL
ISSUES, AND THE PROFESSION, 2007, 76.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimated 5 million households in the U.S.
with incomes below 50% of the local median who pay more than half of their income for rent or live in
severely substandard housing. This is worsened by an increase in the cost of housing in some urban
locations since 2001 of 200% to 300% and a significant increase in the cost of rentals.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                                  Housing Costs too High
Several workers working full time for the minimum wage needed to afford housing

The National Alliance to End Homelessness, HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: FACES OF THE
HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 99.

As we have seen, homeless people have very low incomes, often too low to afford either low-income
housing or the more costly housing that is available. How much income do families need to pay for
housing? Using the federal standard of thirty percent of income for housing, and considering the typical
cost of an affordable, two-bedroom unit, nationally an average family would have to earn $15.37 per
hour (or approximately $30,000 per year) to afford housing. In the Washington metropolitan region,
such a unit would require an income of $22.83 per hour -- over $45,000 per year. We have seen that the
average income of a homeless family is more in the range of $5,000 per year. Even working full time at
$5.15 per hour -- the minimum wage since the mid-1990s -- would require a family to have several full
time workers to be able to afford housing.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                     High Housing Costs Exacerbate Poverty
High housing costs require families to forego other necessities

Edward Royce, (Prof., Sociology, Rollins College), POVERTY AND POWER: THE PROBLEM OF
STRUCTURAL INEQUALITY, 2009, 227.

With housing absorbing so much of their income, millions of households experience material
deprivation. They do not have enough money to adequately cover the cost of other necessities, including
food, clothing, child care, transportation, and health care. Michael Stone calls this circumstance "shelter
poverty." A household is "shelter-poor" "if it cannot meet its nonhousing needs at some minimum level
of adequacy after paying for housing." In 2001, according to Stone's calculations, approximately 32
million households in the United States were shelter poor, up from 19 million in 1970. The incidence of
shelter poverty is significantly worse for some types of households than others: renters; larger
households, particularly families with children; minority households; and female-headed families, which
make up almost half of the shelter poor.

High housing costs forces the poor to forego heat and food

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 103.

In addition to the millions of homeless individuals in need of affordable housing, nearly five million
low-income American households pay more than fifty percent of their income for rent. Low-income
families who spend half of their income on housing costs are forced to make hard choices between heat,
food and rent. The risk of homelessness among families with severe rent burdens is high, and the
number of homeless families is rising in the United States. In 2004 alone, the demand for shelter rose
fourteen percent. The homeless and rent-burdened populations represent those who are most obviously
in need of government-subsidized housing. In addition, significant numbers of families living in
overcrowded or otherwise unsafe conditions may not be represented in these already staggering
numbers.

Severe shortage of affordable housing fuels poverty harms

D. Stanley Eitzen, (Prof., Emeritus, Sociology, Colorado State U.), EXPERIENCING POVERTY:
VOICES FROM THE BOTTOM, 2009, 134.

The shortage of affordable housing leaves the poor with three unappealing options -- paying excessively
high rents, living in substandard housing, or homelessness. Sometimes the choice is forced, since the
poor are only an economic disaster brought on by theft, fire, illness, or job loss away from being evicted
and the resulting homelessness. When homeless is the only option, there will be a continual struggle
with finding food, warmth, and a place to clean up.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                     High Housing Costs Exacerbate Poverty
Lack of affordable housing traps families in poverty

Edward Royce, (Prof., Sociology, Rollins College), POVERTY AND POWER: THE PROBLEM OF
STRUCTURAL INEQUALITY, 2009, 229.

Poor people, as we have seen, cannot afford decent housing, and the lack of adequate and affordable
housing, as John Yinger argues, keeps poor families mired in poverty. First, households burdened by
high mortgage or rental costs have less money to devote to education, training, child care, health care,
job searches, transportation, and other investments that might enable them and their children to escape
poverty. Second, low-income families are forced into decrepit, dangerous, and overcrowded living
circumstances. The poor quality of their housing exposes them to a range of health problems, including
asthma, lead poisoning, stress, and injuries. These health hazards impose immediate costs for medical
expenses and they take a long-run toll on the physical and psychological well-being of the poor, making
it even more difficult for them to succeed in schools and in the labor market.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


  Housing Programs Exacerbate Poverty-Discourage Employment
Federal housing programs create significant disincentives to work

Ron Haskins, (Analyst, Brookings Institution), OPPORTUNITY 08: INDEPENDENT IDEAS FOR
AMERICAS NEXT PRESIDENT, 2008, 216.

Each year, 4.8 million housing units involve some type of federal subsidy, at a total cost of $30 billion.
Only units that are in public housing projects impose a work requirement; even there the requirement is
just eight hours a month, and it is observed in the breach. Worse, most housing programs actually
contain substantial work disincentives: the general rule that beneficiaries must pay 30 percent of their
income toward the cost of their unit means that, if they accept a job, their rent goes up by as much as 30
cents for each dollar of earnings. When this obligation is added to FICA and state taxes, many workers
in low-wage jobs pay 50 percent or more of their earnings in taxes and extra housing payments. It would
be challenging to envision a system that would discourage work more effectively.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


    Public Housing Programs Discourage Independence/Working
Public housing programs discourage efforts at economic self-sufficiency

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 114-115.

Normally, if a resident of Section 8 housing increases her income, her rent also increases, because
Section 8 residents pay rent based on their income. Residents must pay at least thirty percent of their
income for rent. Although participants in the self-sufficiency program are still responsible for paying the
same percentage of their income for rent, they are rewarded if they increase their income through
employment. The program works by helping participants save money as their rent increases. Each
month the Housing Authority deposits a portion of the participant's rent increase into an escrow account,
which the participant can access upon graduating from the program.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


         Homeless Children - Lack of Services Drive Adolescent
                             Homelessness
Lack of social services increases adolescent homelessness

William Armaline, (Prof., Justice Studies, San Jose State U.), CHILD POVERTY IN AMERICA
TODAY, Vol. 4, 2007, 14.

As already suggested, it is possible to include adolescents who are removed from their home as part of
the homeless adolescent population in their (often) sharing of the overlapping experiences of state
custody and literal homelessness. Therefore, in an effort to "protect" adolescents from inappropriate
living conditions the state, by removing adolescents from the home, while cutting antipoverty/economic
welfare programs, may actually create adolescent homelessness.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


        Services for Kids Escaping Abusive Families Inadequate
Inadequate services available for kids escaping abusive families

Jessica Vasquez, (Spokesperson, National Network to End Domestic Violence), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 98.

Children and youth who flee violent homes with their abused parent, and become homeless as a result,
face many barriers. In addition, many young people become homeless to escape abuse in the home,
particularly sexual abuse, and find few resources once they have left. These children and young people
who flee violent homes are at heightened risk for emotional and behavioral problems. They are more
likely than their peers to experience or participate in emotional or physical abuse themselves. These
effects can have a pronounced impact on children's performance in school, including their ability to
learn and their concentration levels.

Many runaways are escaping violence and need services

Josephine Ensign, (Prof., Nursing, U. Washington-Seattle), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: FACES
OF THE HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 158-159.

The most common proximal causes of youth homelessness in the United States include family conflict,
physical and sexual abuse in their families of origins, as well as multiple foster care and other out-of-
home placements. Family conflict leading to youth running away from home can stem from divorce and
blended family stresses, as well as parental substance abuse and/ or mental illness. Conflict can occur
over parental expectations for academic performance that differ from a youth's, or over a young person's
use of drugs and alcohol. Researchers and service providers have pointed out that running away can be
an adaptive strategy in some situations, and that the youth who run away often fare better than youth
who stay in severe abusive situations. An additional reason for youth homelessness in many large
metropolitan areas of the United States is the unique stress on recent refugee and immigrant families,
with the faster acculturation of their children and the resulting family discord.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


    Current Programs Ignore Unique Needs of Homeless Children
Federal homeless policies have not focused on children and youth

Pittre Walker, (Homeless Liaison, Caddo Parrish Schools, Shreveport, LA), REAUTHORIZATION OF
THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 131.

Tragically, children and youth have not been a focus of federal homelessness policy -- except in the area
of education. We are extremely grateful for the leadership and commitment of Congresswoman Judy
Biggert (R-13th/IL), whose work on the education provisions of the Mckinney-Vento Act has increased
the stability and success of homeless children and youth in school. Congresswoman Biggert's
amendments have helped to change the very fabric of the public school system, so that our schools are
more inclusive and supportive of homeless children and youth. Indeed, school has become a safety net
and safe harbor for hundreds of thousands of children and youth who do not have a safe, adequate,
permanent place to call home.

HUD definition of homeless excludes children and youth

Pittre Walker, (Homeless Liaison, Caddo Parrish Schools, Shreveport, LA), REAUTHORIZATION OF
THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 132.

The current HUD definition of homelessness -- which encompasses those in shelters or literally on the
streets -- disproportionately excludes children and youth. The streets are untenable for families because
living on the streets puts children at unthinkable risk -- it means child welfare involvement and the
separation of the family. Many homeless families, unaccompanied youth, and single adults have no
choice but to stay temporarily with other people or in motels, often in overcrowded and unsafe
circumstances. In many places across the country, there are no shelters, or shelters are may be full,
forcing people into other homeless situations. In addition, many shelters will not accept families with
older children and/or boys over the age of 10, so the family must split up or find another unstable
arrangement if they wish to stay together. Thus, the current HUD definition of homelessness does not
match the reality of who is homeless in my community, or communities nationwide.

HUD policies ignore the needs of children

Pittre Walker, (Homeless Liaison, Caddo Parrish Schools, Shreveport, LA), REAUTHORIZATION OF
THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 140.

The current HUD approach to homelessness is not working -- certainly not for children and youth. All
too often, it places the needs of adults before the needs of children. In what other area of social policy do
we allow ourselves to say: "Let's take care of the adults first -- the kids can wait"?




                                                                                                          54
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


       “Right to Schooling” Alone Inadequate for Homeless Kids
Right to schooling not enough for homeless kids

Pittre Walker, (Homeless Liaison, Caddo Parrish Schools, Shreveport, LA), REAUTHORIZATION OF
THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 131.

Yet educators have learned that without the involvement and cooperation of other community service
providers, educational efforts are much less likely to succeed. A child without housing - hungry, sick,
scared - faces greater barriers to academic success than just the barriers that exist inside the school itself.
Homelessness affects all aspects of a person's life, and an effective and humane response brings together
myriad appropriate systems to address them - including education. Public schools are the cornerstones of
communities; no other entity has the same level of daily contact with children, youth, and families.
Schools see the scope and the depth of housing problems in every community in the nation and,
therefore, are among the most accurate barometers of family and youth homelessness. Increasingly,
educators are getting involved in housing and homelessness initiatives as way to stabilize the lives of
children and youth, so that they can come to school ready and able to learn.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


              Homelessness Increases Health Problems for Kids

Homeless children suffer more health problems

Karen Seccombe, (Prof., Community Health, Portland State U.), FAMILIES IN POVERTY, 2007, 74.

One of the most rapidly growing segments of the homeless population is families with children. A recent
survey of 27 U.S. cities found that in 2004 families with children accounted for 40 percent of the
homeless population. Homelessness severely affects the health and well-being of all family members. In
particular, homeless children suffer more physical health problems than do children with homes (e.g.,
asthma, ear infections, stomach problems), and more mental health problems (e.g., anxiety, depression,
withdrawal). They are also more likely to experience hunger, and they often have delayed development.

Homelessness increases chronic illnesses for kids

Susan Whitelaw Downs, (Prof., Social Work, Wayne State U.), CHILD WELFARE AND FAMILY
SERVICES: POLICIES AND PRACTICES, 8th ed., 2009, 5.

Thousands of children experience the phenomenon of "homelessness," as their parents can no longer
find nor sustain affordable housing. Many live in cars, shelters without privacy, rat-infested hotel rooms,
or abandoned buildings. The effects on children and family life have been devastating. These families
lack basic health care; the children develop chronic illnesses as a result of nutritional deficits and poor
sanitation. Many of the children are deprived of regular school attendance. Homelessness has become a
precipitating factor in foster care placements and a barrier to family reunification.

Children in homeless shelters less healthy

The National Alliance to End Homelessness, HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: FACES OF THE
HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 103.

Even if the family is not separated, the effects of homelessness can be severe. For the parent, the
experience of homelessness and the associated stress that results from economic, social, and
psychological dislocations can negatively affect health and well-being. The effect on children, although
often temporary, is heartbreaking. Children in homeless households are less healthy. They more often go
to hospital emergency rooms than their poor, housed counterparts. They experience more health
problems, including asthma, diarrhea, and ear infections. Children in homeless families have higher
exposures to stress and experience more disruptions in schooling and to friendships. Pre-school aged
homeless children are more likely to have one or more developmental delays than poor, housed children.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


             Homelessness Increases Health Problems for Kids
Homeless youth have more difficulty accessing quality health care

Josephine Ensign, (Prof., Nursing, U. Washington-Seattle), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: FACES
OF THE HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 167.

Homeless people, including adults and adolescents, are characterized as having inadequate access to
primary health care, and as seeking care at emergency departments (EDs) only after they are no longer
able to ignore their health condition. Being homeless creates health problems and makes health care
more difficult to obtain, especially since basic needs such as food and shelter understandably take
priority over health care. Homeless youth have greater problems with access to care than do homeless
adults or non-homeless adolescents, including a more profound lack of insurance/payment source,
greater anxiety over confidentiality, more confusion over ability to consent for their own care, less
tolerance of lengthy waiting times and intake forms, and previous negative experiences within the health
care setting. They suffer from disrupted and incomplete formal educations that negatively impact their
future socioeconomic stability as well as complicate their interactions with the health care system. An
oftentimes overlooked barrier to health care for homeless youth is the fact that they often lack a past or
current adult role model to help them learn how to navigate our increasingly fragmented health care
system.




                                                                                                       57
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


           Homelessness Increases Education Problems for Kids
Homelessness significantly disadvantages kids in education and development

Maria Foscarinis, (Dir., National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty), HOMELESSNESS IN
AMERICA: SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, 2008, Vol. 3, 114-115.

Homelessness has a devastating effect, and it is particularly damaging to families and children. A recent
survey found that in fifty-five percent of major U.S. cities surveyed families may have to break up in
order to be sheltered. Homeless children suffer several additional harms. Because they lack a permanent
address, homeless children may be illegally denied access to school, and many do not attend school
regularly or receive appropriate educational services. Numerous studies document the serious emotional
and developmental problems that these children suffer, which may persist long past the period of
homelessness and increase the risk of adult homelessness.

Homelessness significantly compromises the foundation of child development

Pittre Walker, (Homeless Liaison, Caddo Parrish Schools, Shreveport, LA), REAUTHORIZATION OF
THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 130.

Homelessness compromises the very foundation of child development. Homeless children face loss,
trauma, instability, and the deprivation of extreme poverty. They suffer physically and emotionally.
Infants and toddlers who are homeless are at extreme risk of developmental delays and health
complications.' School-age children experiencing homelessness are diagnosed with learning disabilities
and chronic and acute health conditions at much higher rates than other children. They struggle
academically, and many fall behind in school.

Homeless children fact multiple physican, emotional, behavioral and cognitive development
problems

Ellen Bassuk, (Prof., Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 72-73.

Understandably, given their circumstances and the unrelenting stresses they experience, including the
stress of homelessness itself, many homeless children face physical, emotional, behavioral, and
cognitive development issues. Compared to their housed counterparts, homeless children have more
acute and chronic medical problems, four times the rate of developmental delays, three times the rate of
anxiety, depression and behavioral difficulties, and twice the rate of learning disabilities. By age 8 years,
approximately one in three homeless children has at least one major psychiatric disorder. It is not
surprising that they struggle in school and have difficulty learning. Almost three-quarters perform below
grade level in reading and spelling. An estimated one-third have repeated a grade. Despite their
extensive needs, most are not receiving appropriate special educational services or treatment when
needed.


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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative

          Homelessness Increases Education Problems for Kids
Homeless children subject to many academic setbacks

Ralph da Costa Nunez, (Pres., Homes for the Homeless & Adjunct Prof., Public Policy, Columbia U.),
HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, 2008, Vol. 3, 19.

In New York City, over half of homeless children change schools at least once a year, resulting in
months of academic setbacks. They miss weeks of classes because of homelessness and are held back
and wrongfully placed in remedial programs. Moreover, many of them spend over an hour traveling to
and from school, and many are regularly taunted by their classmates for being homeless. These are
hardly the ingredients for a child's success.

Homeless children face many developmental and educational challenges

William Armaline, (Prof., Justice Studies, San Jose State U.), CHILD POVERTY IN AMERICA
TODAY, Vol. 4, 2007, 2.

Children make up 40 percent of the nation's "literally" homeless population, and for the time they
remain without homes or families, and for indeterminate periods of time after, homelessness may be the
defining feature of their lives. Studies of homeless families by the Department of Education and by
those in the field of social work suggest that homeless children face a number of challenges both
academically and socially. These challenges include "exhaustion, lack of time and a place to do
homework, coordinating school schedules with work schedules, instability, out of school periods,
frequent changes of school, and stigmatization," not to mention any number of potential problems
associated with extreme poverty (such as not having resources for nutrition or medical care).




                                                                                                    59
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


        Homeless Children Need Some Structure in Environment
Homelessness particularly disruptive to kids- creates sense of chaos

Ellen Bassuk, (Prof., Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 71.

Homelessness for a child is more than the loss of a house. It disrupts every aspect of life. It separates
children from their belongings, beloved pets, reassuring routines, friends, and community. At a time
when children should be developing a sense of safety and security, trust in their caregivers, and freedom
to explore the world, they are severely challenged and limited by unpredictability, dislocation, and
chaos. They begin to learn that the world is in fact unsafe, that their parents are understandably stressed
and preoccupied, and that scary and often violent things happen around them. These experiences are not
lost on children -- even the youngest. Ongoing, chronic stress can have profound and lasting effects that
may still be manifested in adulthood.

Homeless children need some structure in environment

William Armaline, (Prof., Justice Studies, San Jose State U.), CHILD POVERTY IN AMERICA
TODAY, Vol. 4, 2007, 7.

The basis for addressing the problems of homeless adolescents according to Faulk House is not only to
supply physical necessities (food, shelter, etc.), but also to provide the "structure" that adolescents may
not have experienced in their previous environments. As the shelter social worker explained, "a lot of
the kids really have not had that (structure) through a lot of the placements they've lived, either there
hasn't been good family life or good supervision in the home." Faulk House shelter provides "structure"
through operating as a "quasi-total institution": providing routinization, strict boundaries, and evaluation
of individual behavior within the institution without providing complete, or "total" social control.




                                                                                                         60
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


              Homeless Children Create Cycle of Homelessness
Homeless kids more likely to become homeless adults

Jeremy Rosen, (Dir., National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 91.

We cannot afford to turn our backs on these children and youth, particularly if we look at the long term
costs to society: today's homeless children and youth are at high risk of becoming tomorrow's homeless
adults. If we do not make policies that are responsive to their needs, we will be perpetuating
homelessness indefinitely.

Homelessness creates a lifetime of trauma on kids

Ellen Bassuk, (Prof., Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 73.

Homelessness is traumatic for children and its effects can last a lifetime. It is not just the children who
lose out. Our society as a whole faces a profound moral dilemma and pays a high economic price for
this tragedy. Efforts must be made to strengthen the federal response to family homelessness before the
homeless children of today become the chronically homeless adults of tomorrow. Permanent housing
with transitional supports is the basis for the solution and can pave the way to ending homelessness.
With children in such dire circumstances, we either pay now or pay later.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                         Homelessness Increases Child Abuse
Homelessness increases child abuse

William Armaline, (Prof., Justice Studies, San Jose State U.), CHILD POVERTY IN AMERICA
TODAY, Vol. 4, 2007, 11.

Even forms of maltreatment such as physical, mental, or sexual abuse may be primarily connected to
poverty and access to resources -- the same factors that contribute to literal homelessness. For instance,
"poor parents can't afford to seek counseling, hire a nanny, or take a vacation" in order to alleviate stress
(only made worse by poverty), or to treat psychological conditions that may contribute to such abuse.
One's socioeconomic condition (affected by class inequality and through structured racial and gender
inequality) affects the likelihood of abuse to take place, and state reaction to that abuse.




                                                                                                           62
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


            “Doubling-Up” Housing Magnifies Harms for Kids
"Doubling up" housing even more harmful to kids

Jessica Vasquez, (Spokesperson, National Network to End Domestic Violence), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 113.

Across the country, housing is unaffordable, and in many communities emergency shelters are full or
nonexistent. Families and youth in doubled-up and motel situations are among the most vulnerable
segments of the homeless population. Homelessness directly contributes to physical, mental and
emotional harm to children and youth. In addition, there is evidence that experiencing homelessness as a
child is associated with experiencing deep poverty and homelessness as an adult. Doubled-up and motel
living situations can be less safe and less stable than shelters, involving more uncertainty, frequent
moves and disruptions known to be harmful to child development. Yet despite their desperate need for
HUD-funded housing and supportive services, these families and youth cannot access that assistance
because HUD does not consider them to be homeless.




                                                                                                      63
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                     Foster Children Often Become Homeless
Those exiting foster care face housing instability and homelessness

The National Alliance to End Homelessness, HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: FACES OF THE
HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 101.

Thirty percent of children in the foster care system have a homeless or unstably housed parent. In
addition, young people who exit foster care at age eighteen have high rates of housing instability and
later homelessness. It appears that parents who were placed in foster care as children are at greater risk
of experiencing homelessness than other poor parents. It should also be noted that a housing subsidy, at
a cost of $6,805 per year, is a significantly more cost-effective way of dealing with lack of housing than
placing children in foster care at approximately $17,000 per year.

30% of the homeless graduated from foster care

Bruce Jannsson, (Prof., Social Work, U. of Southern California), THE RELUCTANT WELFARE
STATE: ENGAGING HISTORY TO ADVANCE SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE IN
CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY, 6th Ed., 2009, 533.

About 20,000 of the nation's 500,000 foster children "graduate" from foster care each year at age 18 --
only to encounter a difficult transition into life in the community. About 30 percent of America's
homeless people were once in foster care.




                                                                                                          64
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                           Runaways are a Major Problem
Runaways at bigger risk of homelessness

Josephine Ensign, (Prof., Nursing, U. Washington-Seattle), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: FACES
OF THE HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 158.

In the United States, it is estimated that there are 1.6 million homeless youth each year, and that young
people ages twelve to seventeen years are more at risk for homelessness than are adults. Recent research
in the United States indicates that one in ten teens between the ages of sixteen and nineteen years, and
one in six young adults eighteen to twenty-four years are disconnected youth.

Runaways more likely to experience homelessness, violence and poverty

Robert Hartmann McNamara, (Prof., Political Science, Citadel), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA:
FACES OF THE HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 141.

Each year as many as two million children leave home without a destination in mind. Tens of thousands
of other children are pushed out of the house or abandoned by parents or guardians. Caretakers may be
aware of where the youth are located, but do not want to find them and bring them back home. Since not
all runaways leave home because of family problems, some youth find they prefer to be on their own
because of the independence they feel. However, rarely do they find a better life in the streets. Most
become involved in a cycle of poverty, drugs, prostitution, and various forms of victimization including
sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and crime.




                                                                                                       65
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


            Shelter Based Educational Programs Help Children
Focus on needs of kids in shelters results in academic, social and emotional gains

Ralph da Costa Nunez, (Pres., Homes for the Homeless & Adjunct Prof., Public Policy, Columbia U.),
HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, 2008, Vol. 3, 19.

However, there is proof that focusing on the needs of these children results in remarkable academic,
social, and emotional gains. A recent study of a New York City shelter-based after-school program
found that children made significant academic gains in as little as six months, with fifty-nine percent
improving their overall grade point average and sixty and fifty-six percent showing increases in their
reading and math scores, respectively. Not only do children's grades improve, their self-esteem and
behavior positively change as well; over three-quarters of these children report increased confidence in
their own abilities since attending the program and eighty-three percent are demonstratively more
cooperative.

Shelter based educational programs positively impact school attendance and parental involvement

Ralph da Costa Nunez, (Pres., Homes for the Homeless & Adjunct Prof., Public Policy, Columbia U.),
HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, 2008, Vol. 3, 19.

Furthermore, shelter-based educational enrichment activities have a positive impact on school
attendance and parental involvement. One study found that ninety-two percent of homeless children in
after-school programs have a high rate of daily school attendance, compared to only sixty-three percent
of those not attending such programs. In addition, these programs have proven beneficial in helping
homeless parents form partnerships with their children's schools -- almost all of those with children
enrolled in these programs visit their children's schools frequently, whereas only one-quarter of those
with children not attending do the same.

Homeless children receiving shelter-based educational services demonstrate improved academic
achievement

Ralph da Costa Nunez, (Pres., Homes for the Homeless & Adjunct Prof., Public Policy, Columbia U.),
HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, 2008, Vol. 3, 19-20.

For younger children, preschool programs in shelter communities have had an enormous impact on their
social, emotional, and developmental growth. In as little as eight weeks, homeless children attending
preschool have demonstrated dramatically improved language skills, longer attention spans, more
cooperative behavior, and greater self-confidence. Although it is widely acknowledged that preschool
programs are an important precursor for academic success, for many of these children, this is the first
time they have had access to it, because it is more readily available to them in a shelter community than
in their former neighborhoods.




                                                                                                       66
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                          Programs for Runaways Can Solve
Programs for runaways can solve

Josephine Ensign, (Prof., Nursing, U. Washington-Seattle), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: FACES
OF THE HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 163.

Evidence indicates that homeless and disconnected youth want to be taught knowledge and skills in self-
care, empowerment, and in how to navigate the health care system. Studies from different areas of the
United States have found that homeless and disconnected youth want health education that is culturally
appropriate, builds on positive aspects of their survival skills, and deals realistically with the presence of
violence in their lives.




                                                                                                           67
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


Inadequate Services Exist for Homeless Domestic Violence Victims
Shelter based services for domestic violence victims inadequate

Jean Williams, (Prof., Political Science, California Polytechnic State U.), HOMELESSNESS IN
AMERICA: CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 61.

Similar findings surfaced in the in-depth interviews with thirty-three women and long-term participant
observation with 100 women that I completed in the mid-1990s at both domestic violence and homeless
shelters. Many women in both types of shelters described multiple reasons for entering a shelter,
including domestic violence, poverty, and ongoing struggles to locate low-income housing. Services at
the shelters differed rather dramatically, however, with domestic violence shelters doing little to assist
women with housing needs and homeless shelters virtually ignoring battering as a reason for
homelessness.

Shelter services fail because they ignore the links between domestic violence and homelessness

Jean Williams, (Prof., Political Science, California Polytechnic State U.), HOMELESSNESS IN
AMERICA: CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 71.

Likewise, for shelters to understand, address, and respond to women's homelessness, it is imperative to
examine the role of domestic violence. A significant number of women -- perhaps as high as fifty
percent -- become homeless at least in part because of domestic violence; abuse is one immediate cause
of their homelessness. According to some shelter directors, an additional twenty-five percent of women
in their programs experienced abuse in the past. For these women, domestic violence figures into their
life histories in important ways that at least partially explain their current homelessness, even if abuse
does not appear to be an immediate precipitating factor. When this particular group of women enters
shelters, they may be in domestic violence or homeless shelters.

Insufficient shelter capacity for homeless domestic violence victims

Jessica Vasquez, (Spokesperson, National Network to End Domestic Violence), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 98.

Victims of domestic violence struggle to find permanent housing after fleeing abusive relationships.
Many have left in the middle of the night with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and now must
entirely rebuild their lives. As long-term housing options become scarcer, battered women are staying
longer in emergency domestic violence shelters. As a result, shelters are frequently full and must turn
families away. This can cause disastrous and deadly consequences: in 2005, 29% of the requests for
shelter by homeless families went unmet due to the lack of emergency shelter beds available. The
National Census of Domestic Violence Services found that in one 24-hour period 1,740 requests for
emergency shelter and 1,422 requests for transitional housing went unmet due to lack of resources.




                                                                                                          68
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


Inadequate Services Exist for Homeless Domestic Violence Victims
Inadequate services forces domestic violence women back to their abuser or into homelessness

Jessica Vasquez, (Spokesperson, National Network to End Domestic Violence), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 98.

Nationwide, the number of families in need of housing is greater than ever: requests for emergency
shelter by homeless families with children increased in 56% of U.S. cities surveyed in 2005, with 87%
of cities reporting an increase in the number of children in emergency shelter. Because of this lack of
resources and increase in needs, victims of domestic violence often have no choice but to return to their
abusers or be forced into homelessness.

Lack of adequate shelters force domestic violence victims into homelessness with tragic results

Jessica Vasquez, (Spokesperson, National Network to End Domestic Violence), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 99.

A recent tragic story illustrates this point, In Boston, Massachusetts this winter, a woman fled from her
abuser. The domestic violence shelters were full. We do not know if local homeless shelters were full or
if the woman didn't consider them a viable option. Regardless, she apparently had no where else to go,
and she was living on the street. Two weeks after she had left her abuser, she was found frozen to death.
It had been the coldest night of the year. In conducting the state's domestic violence fatality review, a
local police officer recounted the story. Should he count her death as due to domestic violence or
homelessness, he wondered? But we know such questions are irrelevant -- as long as domestic violence
exists, women and children will be forced to flee their unsafe homes and will desperately need shelter,
housing and services. All homeless people are equally deserving of resources to prevent them from
dying in the streets.

Shelter space for domestic violence victims and their children inadequate

Jessica Vasquez, (Spokesperson, National Network to End Domestic Violence), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 106-107.

Despite the number of domestic violence beds available, many survivors of domestic violence have not
had access to a shelter bed; in 2006 New York State was unable to meet the shelter needs of over 22,000
adults and children. In 2006, 68% of the individuals leaving our transitional housing system entered the
homeless shelter system (80 of the 117) and 59% of those leaving went to live with friends or family due
to the inaccessibility or lack of affordable permanent housing. Therefore, it is not uncommon for
survivors of domestic violence to live doubled up with friends or family or sleeping from house to house
prior to entering shelter or even after leaving shelter.



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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative

Inadequate Services Exist for Homeless Domestic Violence Victims
Lack of services for homeless domestic violence victims creates cycle of future violence and
homelessness

Jessica Vasquez, (Spokesperson, National Network to End Domestic Violence), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 117.

If we don't assist victims of domestic violence, they will be trapped between life with their abusers and
life on the streets. Rather than preventing homelessness, victims may be driven into "chronic"
homelessness, and their children may repeat the cycle of violence and homelessness. The same is true of
many other populations who will eventually become chronically homeless if there are no interventions
to assist them, particularly homeless children and youth.




                                                                                                       70
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                            Homelessness Disrupts Families
Homelessness tremendously destructive to families

The National Alliance to End Homelessness, HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: FACES OF THE
HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 95.

Homelessness among families is tremendously destructive and exacts enormous human, social, and
economic costs. Parents and children alike suffer negative mental and physical health consequences.
Families can be torn asunder, with fathers living on the streets, mothers in shelters, and children in foster
care or with relatives. And, accompanied as it is by increased utilization of public resources such as
shelter, hospitals, child welfare services, and mental health treatment, allowing families to become
homeless exacts a substantial public cost.

Homeless kids more likely to be placed in foster care

The National Alliance to End Homelessness, HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: FACES OF THE
HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 103.

Although most families' experience of homelessness is relatively short, it can be devastating.
Homelessness increases the likelihood that families will separate or dissolve. Children in homeless
families are more likely than other children to be taken away from their parents and placed in foster
care. In fact, in one metropolitan study, children born to women who experienced homelessness were
four times more likely to be involved in the child welfare system before the age of five than children in
other poor families.

Homeless children at much higher risk of foster care placement

Ellen Bassuk, (Prof., Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 72.

Homelessness is also marked by family separations and disruptions. Homeless children are at high risk
for out-of-home placement: 22% live apart from their immediate family at some point; 12% are placed
in foster care, compared to just over 1% of other children. The impact of family separation is significant.
Caring attachments between adults and children are fundamental to human development. When a child's
bond with her mother or mother figure is precipitously disrupted or inconsistent, the child is likely to
suffer long-term negative effects such as behavioral difficulties and an inability to form supportive,
trusting relationships that may extend into adulthood.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


               Domestic Violence is Connected to Homelessness
Domestic violence inextricably linked to homelessness

Ellen Bassuk, (Prof., Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 71.

Based on a longitudinal study we conducted, The National Center on Family Homelessness has
documented that residential instability, interpersonal violence, and family separation and disruption are
inextricably linked.

92% of homeless mothers have been subject to physical or sexual abuse

Ellen Bassuk, (Prof., Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 72.

The pervasiveness of victimization in the lives of homeless mothers is staggering: 92% of homeless
mothers have been severely physically or sexually assaulted during their lives -- and their average age is
27 years. 63% of homeless mothers have been violently abused by a male partner, with 27% requiring
medical treatment. 25% of homeless mothers have been victims of random violence. These findings are
particularly pertinent considering that a mother's emotional status is often the most important mediating
factor determining the outcomes for her children -- especially younger children.

Homeless children highly likely to have been exposed to family violence

Ellen Bassuk, (Prof., Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 72.

Homeless children are also exposed to extreme levels of violence. For example, although difficult to
document accurately due to under-reporting, we know from a recent study of homeless children aged 8
to 17 years: 62% have been exposed to at least one form of severe violence, 37% reported two or more
events, and 23% reported three or more. 13% reported that grown-ups at home had hit each other. 53%
reported hearing gunshots, 17% said they had seen someone shot, and 17% said they had seen a dead
body. 8% report that someone had threatened to kill them. This exposure to violence was a salient
predictor of children's mental health over and above other explanatory factors.




                                                                                                        72
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


              Domestic Violence is Connected to Homelessness
Domestic violence victims fill both domestic violence and homeless shelters

Jean Williams, (Prof., Political Science, California Polytechnic State U.), HOMELESSNESS IN
AMERICA: CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 60-61.

Unlike most studies, a 2006 study by Stainbrook and Hornik directly compared women in homeless
shelters and domestic violence shelters, finding "many more similarities than differences between the
populations." Seventy-three percent of the women they interviewed in a homeless shelter vs. ninety-two
percent of women in a domestic violence shelter had experienced violence by a partner in their lifetimes,
but twenty-one percent of women in the homeless shelter and seventy-three percent of women in the
domestic violence shelter had experienced such violence in the three months before entering the shelter.
Women in both types of shelters also shared financial difficulties such as a shortage of money to pay
rent and utilities and purchase food and other necessities like diapers or prescriptions. The authors
contend that women in both kinds of shelters have similar service needs, including economic support,
housing assistance, and a staff schooled in the dynamics of domestic violence and abuse.

Undeniable link between domestic violence and homelessness

Jessica Vasquez, (Spokesperson, National Network to End Domestic Violence), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 97-98.

The interrelated nature of domestic violence and homelessness is undeniable: 92% of homeless women
have experienced severe physical or sexual abuse at some point in their lives, and 63% have been
victims of intimate partner violence as adults. This is not because homeless women are more likely to be
victims of domestic violence, but rather because experiencing domestic violence or sexual assault often
forces women and children into homelessness. One study found that 38% of all victims of domestic
violence become homeless at some point in their lives, while another found that 50% of all homeless
women and children are so because of domestic violence.

Can’t separate the categories of domestic violence and homelessness

Jessica Vasquez, (Spokesperson, National Network to End Domestic Violence), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 99.

Because so many women and children become homeless as a result of domestic violence, it is
impossible to separate the two issues into distinct categories. To advocate for victims of domestic
violence, we must advocate for all homeless individuals and families. If we do not address domestic
violence, women and families will be forced into homelessness and children will continue to grow up in
fear and poverty, likely to repeat the cycles of homelessness.




                                                                                                      73
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                     Domestic Violence Causes Homelessness
Escape from domestic violence often results in homelessness

Deborah Widiss, (Prof., Law, Brooklyn Law School), FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY LAW
REVIEW, Spr. 2008, 678.

Victims who lack independent income and do not return to abusers often end up homeless. In the U.S.
Conference of Mayors annual survey of mayors of large cities, many identify domestic violence as one
of the primary causes of homelessness in their cities. A survey of homeless parents confirmed this
reality; 57 percent of those who had lived with a spouse or partner left their last home because of
domestic violence. To save victims from the unconscionable choice of returning to an abusive partner or
becoming homeless, domestic violence service providers increasingly see helping victims obtain
economic security as an essential part of their mandate.

Domestic violence is often a precipitating factor in homelessness

Jean Williams, (Prof., Political Science, California Polytechnic State U.), HOMELESSNESS IN
AMERICA: CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 59.

A growing body of research indicates that many low-income women who become homeless have
contended with domestic violence, some as an immediate precipitating factor to their homelessness and
others in prior relationships. In 1991, Joan Zorza published an article decrying the lack of attention to
domestic violence as a reason for women's homelessness, and the practice of excluding battered
women's shelters from studies of homeless women. She cites a report that indicates that fifty percent of
homeless women and children are "fleeing domestic violence."

Domestic violence is a primary cause of homelessness

Kristen Ross, (J.D. Candidate, Hastings School of Law, U. of California), HASTINGS WOMENS
LAW JOURNAL, Summer 2007, 250-251.

Having already been victimized by domestic violence and housing discrimination, many survivors face a
third blow: Homelessness. Domestic violence is such a prevalent cause of homelessness that forty-four
percent of the nation's mayors identified domestic violence as a primary cause of homelessness in 2004.
In 2003, one in three homeless women in Minnesota was homeless as a result of domestic violence, and
fifty-six percent of homeless women in Chicago were survivors of domestic violence. Those who choose
not to become homeless make the difficult decision of returning to their abusive partner.




                                                                                                        74
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                    Domestic Violence Causes Homelessness
Battering pushes many women into homelessness

 Lisa Goodman, (Prof., Educational Psychology, Boston College), LISTENING TO BATTERED
WOMEN: A SURVIVOR-CENTERED APPROACH TO ADVOCACY, MENTAL HEALTH AND
JUSTICE, 2008, 107.

Battering also pushes many women into homelessness: Across the United States, between 22% and 57%
of homeless women identify partner abuse as the immediate cause. More indirectly, battering can force
women into a social isolation so extreme that they are cut off from family and friends who otherwise
could have provided them with financial or material help. Many women are evicted from their homes or
denied access to housing on the basis of the crimes their abusive partners have committed against them.




                                                                                                    75
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


        Inadequate Housing Options Increase Domestic Violence
Lack of affordable housing traps women in violent households

Dona Playton & Stacey Obrecht, (Dir., U. of Wyoming Domestic Legal Assistance Project/Assistant
Attorney General, State of Wyoming), WYOMING LAW REVIEW, 2007, 304.

The "lack of affordable housing can dramatically reduce options for women experiencing domestic
violence, trapping them in abusive situations or forcing them and their children to become homeless if
they leave."




                                                                                                         76
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


            “Doubling Up” Increases Risk of Domestic Violence
"Doubling up" increases risk of domestic violence

Jeremy Rosen, (Dir., National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 90.

Doubled-up and motel situations are damaging. They are crowded and unstable, making it difficult for
parents to work and children to attend school. These living situations can also be unsafe. And in the case
of doubling up they create specific child welfare concerns, when children continuously stay with
strangers. Plus, there are few services for families and youth living doubled up or in motels. Finally,
because battered women's shelters nationwide turn away nearly as many women as they serve, victims
of domestic violence and their children often have no other option but to live doubled-up, which exposes
them to greater risks of returning to an abusive situation or being found by an abuser.




                                                                                                       77
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                     One-Strike Rules Increase Homelessness
One-strike rules so broad that entire families can be evicted for the actions of one person

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 117.

In addition to authorizing housing authorities to take families' housing vouchers when they fail to
become independent of welfare, the "one strike" rule mandates eviction for entire families when one
member of the household breaks the law. The one strike rule originated with the 1988 Anti-Drug Abuse
Act, which was passed in order to combat a highly publicized increase in drug activity and violence in
public housing developments. As later amended, the Act included a provision providing that if a public
housing tenant, resident family member, guest or person "under the tenant's control" was found engaging
in criminal activity on or near public housing premises, the tenant and all residents of the unit could be
evicted. In 1996, the provision was expanded to apply to criminal activity occurring anywhere on or off
the property.

Evictions based on one-strike rule frequently cause homelessness

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 124.

Because eviction is a sentence of homelessness for many families, the one strike policy destroys the only
hope troubled families have of achieving stability. While another family coping with drug addiction can
move or seek professional assistance, public housing residents' choices are constrained by their poverty.
Current policies also permit public housing and law enforcement officials to abuse their power because
decisions to evict or ban are entirely discretionary. Individuals who have not been convicted of any
crime can be banned or evicted, and basic standards of due process, such as clear notice and opportunity
for appeal, are often absent. In order to avoid discriminatory exercise of discretion, there should be a
clearer standard requiring a conviction, which must be met before a family is penalized.




                                                                                                       78
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


  One-Strike Rules Cause Victims of Domestic Violence to Become
                            Homeless
One-strike rules increases evictions of victims of domestic violence

Kristen Ross, (J.D. Candidate, Hastings School of Law, U. of California), HASTINGS WOMENS
LAW JOURNAL, Summer 2007, 249-250.

Survivors of domestic violence often suffer a wide array of physical and psychological effects. Common
physical injuries include lacerations, bruises, broken bones, head injuries, and internal bleeding.
Psychological effects such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder are also common.
Additionally, many survivors face the horror of being victimized yet again through the discriminatory
practices of landlords, housing authorities, employers, and child protective service agencies. At their
jobs, survivors may be disciplined or terminated for missing work as a result of the domestic violence
committed against them. In custody disputes, survivors may be looked at unfavorably as unfit parents,
even when compared to the abusive parent. Survivors are denied the opportunity to escape from abusive
partners when they are refused available housing because of the domestic violence committed against
them. Survivors of domestic violence are even evicted from their own homes because of the domestic
violence committed against them. Housing discrimination is in many ways a second level of betrayal.

Widespread problem of evictions for domestic violence victims

Kristen Ross, (J.D. Candidate, Hastings School of Law, U. of California), HASTINGS WOMENS
LAW JOURNAL, Summer 2007, 250.

The discrimination uncovered by the Anti-Discrimination Center is not exclusive to New York. A 2005
survey of legal service providers around the country found 150 documented cases of people being
evicted in the past year because of their status as a domestic violence survivor. In addition,
approximately 100 people were denied housing because of their status as a domestic violence survivor.
These documented cases are compounded by the number of victims who fail to report the discrimination
against them. A 2002 study by the Urban Institute for the United States Department of Housing and
Urban Development found that eighty-three percent of people who believed they were victims of
housing discrimination never made a claim.

One-strike policy has made domestic violence the number one cause of homelessness

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 121.

In addition to sanctioning the eviction of individuals involved in drug crimes and their innocent family
members, the one strike policy has been used to evict victims of domestic violence because of the
criminal abuse they suffer. The original one strike policy's broad language mandated eviction for anyone
who resided with an individual involved in criminal activity, and made no exception for victims of
domestic violence. The one strike policy contributed to making domestic violence the number one cause
of homelessness nationally by requiring housing authorities to treat domestic assaults as "strikes" and
evicting the victims.
                                                                                                        79
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative

  One-Strike Rules Cause Victims of Domestic Violence to Become
                            Homeless
Domestic violence victims evicted when they try to take action against their abuser

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 121.

In one well-publicized case, a public housing resident suffered a concussion and a broken cheekbone at
the hands of her husband. She immediately obtained a restraining order against him. Instead of being
supported in her effort to remove her violent partner from her home and from housing authority grounds,
this tenant was rewarded with a twenty-four hour eviction notice when she brought the restraining order
to the housing authority management. The housing authority stated that her husband's violence was the
reason for her eviction. In effect, she was punished for being beaten by her husband despite her best
efforts to keep herself and other residents safe.




                                                                                                    80
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


     “Ban" Lists and One-Strike Rules in Public Housing Disrupt
                             Families

Ban lists prevent public housing residents from having their family visit

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 122-123.

In addition to implementing the one strike policy, housing authorities across the country are attempting
to fight crime by implementing ban lists. Ban lists are lists of individuals who are not residents of the
housing development and whom the housing authority declares to be a threat to the safety of the
residents. Individuals on the list are not allowed on housing authority property and can be arrested for
trespassing if they enter the property. Housing authorities often work closely with law enforcement
officials to create these lists. Although at common law there is an exception to trespass for individuals
invited onto private property as guests, housing authorities even ban invited family members from
entering the property. There are often no strict criteria for being put on the ban lists; police and housing
authority managers add names at their discretion, even if the individual was not actually doing anything
illegal.

"Ban" lists in public housing have been upheld in the courts

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 123.

Ban lists have been upheld by several courts, even when they interfere with family relationships. In
Richmond, Virginia, a father was put on a ban list because he frequently visited the Housing Authority
property to see his children and mother. Although he committed no crime, he was charged with
trespassing on several occasions and then finally arrested and jailed when he entered the property to
bring diapers to his baby. After the Virginia Court of Appeals found the use of the ban list
unconstitutional, the Virginia Supreme Court reversed and found that the Fourteenth Amendment did
not protect the defendant when he committed "intentional acts of criminal trespass."

"Ban" lists have been upheld in the courts

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 123.

The Washington Supreme Court also upheld a ban list that was challenged on First Amendment grounds
by a man who was arrested for trespassing when visiting his fiance at a public housing development.
The court reasoned that, unlike the marriage relationship, the right to intimate association does not
protect couples who are merely engaged. Although there are no clear statistics, the prevalence of single
mothers in public housing makes it very likely that there are numerous nonresident fathers who may be
subject to bans.


                                                                                                          81
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


     “Ban" Lists and One-Strike Rules in Public Housing Disrupt
                             Families
One-strike rules cause profound harms to families

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 118.

The one strike policy and use of ban lists have profound effects on families residing in public housing
and their family relationships. In effect, housing authorities enlist families to control their members,
forcing them to ostracize troubled family members when they are most in need. While a family living in
private housing might respond to a child's involvement in illegal activity by confining her to the house
during after-school hours or by seeking the help of a professional counselor, families in public housing
may find themselves homeless as a result of a child's behavior.

Ban lists and one-strike policies enforced in draconian ways

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 119.

As a result of Rucker, entire families can be evicted from public housing for the criminal activity of one
member, regardless of the head of household's lack of knowledge or active attempts to prevent the
criminal activity. In Oakland, families may be able to avoid eviction with the assistance of an attorney,
by agreeing not to allow the offending family member into the home. Other housing authorities have
adopted similar polices. These agreements often include provisions authorizing the housing authority to
make random unannounced inspections of the home to ensure the excluded individual has not been
allowed to return. Housing authorities have attempted to evict families under these agreements when the
excluded individual is found on housing authority property, even when the individual was not allowed
into the family's apartment.

One-strike rules result inappropriately intrude on family privacy

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 119-120.

Rucker exposes one of the false promises of public housing: although nontraditional families may be
included in the expansive definition of family that appears in the eligibility guidelines, the realities of
their lives have no bearing on the policies that housing authorities impose. It is unlikely that an elderly
grandparent residing in private housing would be evicted for the criminal behavior of her grandchildren.
Basic concerns about family privacy and the realities of teenage behavior make such a policy untenable
when applied to private housing residents, yet it is imposed on public housing residents simply because
they are poor. Unlike the Rucker plaintiffs, caregivers who can afford private housing can react to the
criminal behavior of a child with the discipline they feel is appropriate, and assist the child in making
better choices.



                                                                                                         82
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


     “Ban" Lists and One-Strike Rules in Public Housing Disrupt
                             Families
One-strike rules undermine family care-giver relationships

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 120.

Policymakers should be concerned with the protection of those who are caring for the young, the ill, and
the distressed individuals in our society. Although it is understandable for housing authorities and
families living in public housing to want to ostracize individuals who use drugs, particularly because of
the violence often associated with drug use, the one strike policy fails to account for the individuals who
are evicted. The family unit is the traditional place where a distressed individual can gain support and
strength in combating a substance abuse problem, and neither evicting the family-a penalty that nearly
guarantees homelessness-nor forcing the family to evict the offending individual from the home allows
the family to heal.

One-strike rules undermine efforts of mothers and grandparents to steer kids away from
destructive behavior

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 120.

However, the one strike policy is not the solution to ridding public housing developments of crime and
does not serve the interests of single mothers. Integrating public housing developments into the
community where there are jobs and resources rather than locating them in isolated areas would be far
more effective in lowering crime rates. Living in an area of concentrated poverty exponentially increases
the risk of adverse outcomes such as TANF receipt and failure to graduate from high school. Until
integration can be accomplished, there must be more creative approaches to fighting crime. Evicting
troubled individuals and their families further marginalizes them and does not solve the problem. A
more narrowly tailored eviction policy would more effectively target serious criminals without leaving
so many families homeless. The one strike policy only undermines the ability of single mothers and
grandmothers to guide children away from criminal activity and other destructive behaviors. Children
with minor involvement in crime lose the chance to make better choices when they are separated from
their families and face homelessness.




                                                                                                        83
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


     “Ban" Lists and One-Strike Rules in Public Housing Disrupt
                             Families
Harsh eviction policies undermine efforts to broadly define the “family”

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 131.

The broad definition of family utilized in subsidized housing eligibility guidelines allows low-income
individuals in a nontraditional family structure to share a home. This functional definition of family does
not impose a moralistic vision of who must be included in a family unit, and does not force single
mothers to include fathers in their lives. However, this flexibility is severely undercut by harsh eviction
policies and rigid occupancy guidelines. The one strike policy undermines the ability of subsidized
housing residents to care for their families in times of crisis. Similarly, rigid occupancy guidelines and
ban lists may actually prevent single mothers who wish to involve fathers in their lives from doing so.

One-strike rules force decisions that tear families apart

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 134.

The home is both the center of family life and a building block of the community. Protection of families'
right to access and maintain housing is essential. The government must take an active role in facilitating
the integration of marginalized families into the broader community. Currently, struggling families may
find that the public housing system fails to serve them in moments of crisis, when a policy violation by
one family member causes an entire family to be evicted, or when a mother must evict her child in order
to maintain her home. Reasonable eviction policies, increased supportive services, and integration into
the larger community would allow subsidized housing programs to give low-income families a real
chance at self-sufficiency.




                                                                                                        84
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


 Cuts in Services have Increased Number of Homeless Mentally Ill
                              Persons
Cuts in social security and ssi benefits correlated with increase number of homeless persons with
mental illness

Jesse Milby, (Prof., Psychiatry, U. Alabama at Birmingham), CONTINGENCY MANAGEMENT IN
SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT, 2008, 164.

A significant proportion of homeless persons have serious mental illness (SMI). In spite of their
eligibility for housing, medical, social and mental health services, they tend to move from one shelter or
marginal housing situation to another, swelling the ranks of the chronically homeless. Homeless persons
with SMI and alcohol abuse or dependence appear to have increased at least 500% between 1980 and
1987. Access to social security income and social security disability income was cut during this period,
and the value of these benefits and federal general assistance decreased for those who qualified for them.




                                                                                                       85
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


   One Strike Rule Increases Homelessness for Substance Abusers
One-strike rules increases homelessness among those with substance abuse problems

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 134.

Evicting public housing residents who are struggling with drug or alcohol problems has long-term
implications beyond the initial risk of homelessness. Eighty-six percent of homeless adults have
experienced a drug or alcohol problem, or mental illness, in their lifetime. This should serve as a strong
reminder of what can happen to families who are evicted from the only housing they can afford instead
of being allowed a chance to recover.




                                                                                                        86
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                  Many of the Homeless have Mental Illnesses
Clear majority of homeless are mentally ill and/or substance abusers

John Gilderbloom, (Prof., Urban Affairs, U. Louisville), INVISIBLE CITY: POVERTY, HOUSING
AND NEW URBANISM, 2008, 31.

Displacement, shortages of affordable rental housing, sluggish economic growth, and the
deinstitutionalization of mental patients all contribute to the worsening problem. It is estimated that a
"clear majority of the homeless are chronically disabled" by mental illness, alcoholism, or a combination
of the two. The remainder of the homeless population suffers from temporary personal distresses that
include loss of employment, eviction or other loss of housing, and marital distress. In general, the
homeless are now younger and more likely to be in families than was the case two decades ago.

Over half of the homeless have mental illnesses

John Gilderbloom, (Prof., Urban Affairs, U. Louisville), INVISIBLE CITY: POVERTY, HOUSING
AND NEW URBANISM, 2008, 31-32.

It is estimated that more than half of the homeless suffer from some form of mental illness, and an
estimated 25 to 33 percent of the homeless who use shelters have been in a psychiatric hospital at least
once. A survey of homeless studies provides the following summary: In Philadelphia, of 179 shelter
users given psychiatric examinations, 40 percent were found to have major mental disorders. In
Washington, D.C.'s House of Ruth shelter for women, 48 percent needed psychiatric treatment;
Community Service Society studies of New York homeless in 1981 and 1982 indicated that as many as
half had serious psychiatric disorders; In San Francisco, a study of 103 homeless people found that 57
"could recall" at least two visits to psychiatric hospitals or mental health facilities; In Phoenix, two
studies of homeless food-line patrons found that 30 percent had at one time lived in mental institutions;
In Boston, a study of Shattuck Shelter by Harvard Medical School professor Ellen Bassuk found that 40
percent suffered from psychotic mental illness and 33 percent had a history of psychiatric
hospitalization. Bassuk termed the shelters "open asylums" or substitutes for the mental hospitals of old.




                                                                                                        87
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                   Many of the Homeless have Mental Illnesses
The “chronic homeless” more likely to suffer from mental illnesses and/or substance abuse

Nancy Carter, (Spokesperson, National Alliance on Mental Illness), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 93.

As studies by Dennis Culhane and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania have demonstrated over
and over again, when individuals with serious mental illness, co-occurring substance abuse disorders
and other co-morbid chronic health conditions (including HIV-AIDS and hepatitis) fall into
homelessness, they tend to stay homeless much longer. These studies show that a significant sub-
population of about 200,000 homeless individuals experience extended or repeated episodes of
homelessness. Most bounce between the streets, emergency shelters, emergency rooms, inpatient
general and psychiatric hospitals and the criminal justice system. This tragic cycle is extremely costly,
both in terms dollars and wrecked human lives. Dr. Culhane's data demonstrates that it costs the City of
New York on average $40,500 a year to keep people with mental illness homeless, 86% of those costs
borne by the mental health and public systems. In NAMI's view, individuals with untreated (or poorly
treated) severe mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse disorders are the predominant
population among this phenomenon of chronic homelessness.

Deinstitutionalization increased number of homeless mentally ill persons

Robert Coates, (San Diego Superior Court Judge), UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO LAW
REVIEW, Fall 2007, 430.

Beginning in the 1960s, another wave of individuals became homeless due to the deinstitutionalization
of state mental hospitals. Several factors led to deinstitutionalization: legal advocacy by civil libertarians
on behalf of people "warehoused" in state mental hospitals, the development of more effective
psychotropic drugs promising better symptom control, and federal legislation that shifted the burden
from the government to the community with the establishment of "Community Mental Health Centers."
As a result, state governments released a large number of mentally-ill patients and closed down many
state mental hospitals during the 1970s and 1980s. Tragically, the communities were unprepared to
handle this burden and lacked the resources to effectively assist this population. While mental patients'
freedoms were allegedly advanced, for many - for example, by eliminating involuntary
institutionalization - this freedom came at the price of living and dying as forgotten outcasts in the
streets.




                                                                                                           88
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


     Inadequate Services for Homeless People with Mental Illness
Promised mental health services have never materialized

Nancy Carter, (Spokesperson, National Alliance on Mental Illness), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 93.

The prevalence of individuals with mental illness in the homeless population has been a black mark on
our society ever since we undertook the social experiment known as "deinstitutionalization" back in the
1960s and 1970s. As NAMI members know from personal experience, the promise of community-based
housing and supportive services promised to so many people with serious mental illness as an alternative
to placement in long-term state psychiatric hospitals never materialized.




                                                                                                     89
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


           Homeless have Substance Abuse Disorder Problems
High levels of substance abuse among homeless populations

Jesse Milby, (Prof., Psychiatry, U. Alabama at Birmingham), CONTINGENCY MANAGEMENT IN
SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT, 2008, 165.

Estimates for the prevalence of substance abuse disorders among the homeless range widely. A recent
review found estimates ranging between 20 and 75%. Estimates vary depending on the source of case
identification and epoch. However, most reports range between 30 and 65%, and they tend to be higher
if the study's focus is alcohol dependence and lower if it is dependence on other illicit drugs. The
prevalence of substance abuse disorders among men exceeds that for women. For example, Geissler,
Borman, Kwiatkowski, Brancht, and Reichardt studied 323 homeless persons and found 71% of the men
and 33% of the women reported problems with drugs, with crack cocaine the primary abused drug.

Substance abuse disorder problems increase risk of being homeless

Jesse Milby, (Prof., Psychiatry, U. Alabama at Birmingham), CONTINGENCY MANAGEMENT IN
SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT, 2008, 165.

Though more homelessness is found among those living in poverty, presence of a substance use disorder
adds additional risk for becoming homeless. Toro et al. randomly sampled currently homeless,
previously homeless, and never homeless poor. They found the currently homeless almost twice as
likely to have a lifetime substance abuse disorder as the never homeless. When lower-income women
were compared for the prevalence of drug dependence and other mental disorders, Bassuk and Weinreb
found more of both among homeless women than among housed women.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                            Quincy Mass Plan is a Model
Quincy mass developed zero-tolerance policy for discharging people from mental hospitals to
homeless shelters

Mary Cunningham, (Dir., Homelessness Research Institute), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA:
SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 3, 2008, 6.

Quincy, Massachusetts' plan to end chronic homelessness serves as a model example of a plan that
addresses systems prevention. According to the plan, an average of twenty-five to thirty youth,
individuals with mental health needs, or former prisoners who are discharged from systems of care --
including discharges from the Department of Youth Services, Department of Corrections, Department of
Mental Health, regional hospitals, and regional courthouses -- are ending up in emergency shelters.
Local city officials plan to work with state agencies to create a "zero-tolerance policy" toward
discharges into homelessness. Quincy's goal is to reduce inappropriate discharges by ten percent each
year until they reach zero.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                           Homeless Have Health Problems
Homelessness suffer many more health problems

John Gilderbloom, (Prof., Urban Affairs, U. Louisville), INVISIBLE CITY: POVERTY, HOUSING
AND NEW URBANISM, 2008, 31.

The homeless also face significantly greater health problems. A New York City study by the National
Ambulatory Medical Care Survey found that the homeless suffer from a considerably higher incidence
of virtually all forms of ailments. For example, in comparison with the general population, the homeless
experience: Twice the number of traumatic injuries (fractures, wounds, cuts); Four times the number of
colds; Five times the number of lung disorders; Fifteen times the number of limb disorders; Three times
the number of skin problems; Six times the number of nerve disorders; Four times the number of
nutritional disorders

Tb much higher among the homeless

Jesse Milby, (Prof., Psychiatry, U. Alabama at Birmingham), CONTINGENCY MANAGEMENT IN
SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT, 2008, 164.

Respiratory diseases, especially bronchitis, asthma and tuberculosis (TB), are prominent among the
homeless. Of 185,870 cases of TB reported in the National TB Surveillance System from all states and
the District of Columbia in 1994-2003, 11,369 were among homeless persons. Compared to the
nonhomeless, homeless persons with TB had a higher prevalence of substance abuse. In addition, TB
among homeless persons was more likely to be infectious, and 34% had co-infection with HIV (human
immunodeficiency virus). TB is also prominent, especially among those incarcerated. Sexually
transmitted disease rates are elevated among homeless persons but are even higher among those who are
incarcerated, as are rates of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis A and C.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


             Shelter Programs Spread Communicable Diseases
Shelter programs spread communicable diseases

Amy Donley, (Doctoral Candidate, Sociology, U. Central Florida), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA:
FACES OF THE HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 43.

Homeless shelters are often viewed as dangerous places. Tuberculosis and other infectious and
communicable diseases are often associated with homeless shelters. Indeed, if one were looking to
design a system that was optimal for the transmission of communicable diseases, it would be homeless
shelters. In most shelters, debilitated men (and women) sleep in close, poorly ventilated quarters. What
more could an aggressive bacterium want? In addition to infectious disease, the shelters are also often
hotbeds of various social pathologies including drug use and crime.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                     HIV/AIDS is Connected to Homelessness
Hiv/aids is 3-9 times higher among the homeless

Virginia Shubert, (Founder, AIDS Project of the Coalition for the Homeless), HOMELESSNESS IN
AMERICA: CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 143-144.

The co-occurrence of homelessness and HIV/AIDS has long been recognized and is well documented.
The prevalence of HIV/AIDS is three to nine times higher among persons who are homeless or unstably
housed compared with persons with stable and adequate housing, depending upon the population and
geographic area studied. Rates of HIV infection among homeless populations range from three to ten
percent or higher. An analysis of administrative data revealed that the rate of new HIV diagnoses among
users of the New York City shelter system is over sixteen times the rate among the city's general
population.

Lack of stable housing increases risk factors for hiv/aids

Virginia Shubert, (Founder, AIDS Project of the Coalition for the Homeless), HOMELESSNESS IN
AMERICA: CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 145.

Several longitudinal studies have shown that among persons at the highest risk of HIV infection due to
injection drug use or high-risk sex, those without a stable home are significantly more likely than others
to become infected, with lack of stable housing associated with high rates of drug and sex risk
behaviors. Important new research demonstrates a direct relationship between housing status and risk
behaviors among extremely low-income HIV positive persons with multiple behavioral issues and
shows that change in housing status is strongly associated with risk behavior change, suggesting that
housing status has an independent causal role in HIV infection.

Homeless women at much higher risk of contracting hiv/aids

Virginia Shubert, (Founder, AIDS Project of the Coalition for the Homeless), HOMELESSNESS IN
AMERICA: CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 145.

Appropriate housing appears to provide protection from "exposure" to several individual and public
health threats, including HIV, violence, harmful drug use, and incarceration. One ongoing study of
indigent women has examined a range of health risks, including violence, drug use, sex exchange, and
HIV, comparing homeless women in public shelters with a comparable group of very low-income
housed women. Controlling for demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, the study found that
homeless women are at much greater risk for all health problems examined, including HIV infection.




                                                                                                        94
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                     HIV/AIDS is Connected to Homelessness
Homelessness is a barrier to effective care and treatment for hiv/aids

Virginia Shubert, (Founder, AIDS Project of the Coalition for the Homeless), HOMELESSNESS IN
AMERICA: CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 146.

Recent research also demonstrates a strong correlation between the provision of housing and improved
access to health care, ongoing engagement in care, and treatment success among PLWHA. Being
homeless is a barrier to starting outpatient care, staying in care, and starting ART. The all-cause death
rate among homeless HIV positive persons has been found to be five to seven times the rate of death
among housed PLWHA. The death rate due to HIV/AIDS is nine times higher among single homeless
women in New York City shelters, making HIV the leading cause of death among sheltered women in
that city.




                                                                                                        95
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                  Housing Problems Worsen Health Problems
Inadequate housing increases health problems

Edward Royce, (Prof., Sociology, Rollins College), POVERTY AND POWER: THE PROBLEM OF
STRUCTURAL INEQUALITY, 2009, 258.

Third, poverty is unhealthy because many poor people, 2.5 million according to one estimate, live in
overcrowded and physically inferior housing that has inadequate ventilation, pest infestation, and faulty
plumbing and heating. Poor children are commonly exposed to mold and mildew, rats and mice,
cockroaches and dust mites in their homes -- all of which increase the risk of infectious disease and
asthma. Children living in older housing are also in danger of lead poisoning, harmful especially
because it can impair cognitive development. Substandard housing increases the likelihood of fire and
other residential accidents as well, one of the leading causes of injury and death among children. The
high cost of housing affects the health of low-income families also, as they are left with less money to
cover other necessities essential to healthy living, including regular medical care.

Housing is an important indicator of health

James Krieger, (Prof., Public Health, U. Washington), URBAN HEALTH: READINGS IN THE
SOCIAL, BUILT, AND PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENTS OF U.S. CITIES, 2009, 101.

Housing is an important determinant of health, and substandard housing is a major public health issue.
Each year in the United States, 13.5 million nonfatal injuries occur in and around the home, 2900 people
die in house fires, and 2 million people make emergency room visits for asthma. One million young
children in the United States have blood lead levels high enough to adversely affect their intelligence,
behavior, and development. Two million Americans occupy homes with severe physical problems, and
an additional 4.8 million live in homes with moderate problems.

Housing problems exacerbate many health problems

James Krieger, (Prof., Public Health, U. Washington), URBAN HEALTH: READINGS IN THE
SOCIAL, BUILT, AND PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENTS OF U.S. CITIES, 2009, 102.

An increasing body of evidence has associated housing quality with morbidity from infectious diseases,
chronic illnesses, injuries, poor nutrition, and mental disorders. We present some of this evidence in the
following section.




                                                                                                        96
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                  Housing Problems Worsen Health Problems
Housing problems increase risk of chronic health problems

James Krieger, (Prof., Public Health, U. Washington), URBAN HEALTH: READINGS IN THE
SOCIAL, BUILT, AND PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENTS OF U.S. CITIES, 2009, 102.

In more recent years, epidemiological studies have linked substandard housing with an increased risk of
chronic illness. Damp, cold, and moldy housing is associated with asthma and other chronic respiratory
symptoms, even after potentially confounding factors such as income, social class, smoking, crowding,
and unemployment are controlled for. Water intrusion is a major contributor to problems with
dampness. In 1999, eleven million occupied homes in America had interior leaks and 14 million had
exterior leaks. Overcrowding and inadequate ventilation also increase interior moisture. Damp houses
provide a nurturing environment for mites, roaches, respiratory viruses, and molds, all of which play a
role in respiratory disease pathogenesis. Cross-sectional epidemiological studies have also established
associations between damp and moldy housing and recurrent headaches, fever, nausea and vomiting, and
sore throats.

Inferior housing impacts multiple dimensions of health

James Krieger, (Prof., Public Health, U. Washington), URBAN HEALTH: READINGS IN THE
SOCIAL, BUILT, AND PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENTS OF U.S. CITIES, 2009, 104.

In summary, substandard housing affects multiple dimensions of health. There is evidence that, in part,
poor housing conditions contribute to increasing exposure to biological (e.g., allergens), chemical (e.g.,
lead) and physical (e.g., thermal stress) hazards, which directly affect physiological and biochemical
processes. In addition, concerns about substandard housing and fear of homelessness are psychosocial
stressors that can lead to mental health problems.




                                                                                                         97
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


             Stable Housing Decreases HIV/AIDS Transmission
Stable housing is a structural intervention to reduce the spread of hiv

Virginia Shubert, (Founder, AIDS Project of the Coalition for the Homeless), HOMELESSNESS IN
AMERICA: CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 145.

HIV/AIDS and housing and homelessness experts point to a body of research confirming that the
condition of homelessness and its attendant perils, rather than any particular characteristics of homeless
individuals, can lead to risky behaviors that can result in the transmission of the virus. Stable housing
has a role as a "structural intervention" to diminish the spread of the virus.

Stable housing increases hiv testing and care

Virginia Shubert, (Founder, AIDS Project of the Coalition for the Homeless), HOMELESSNESS IN
AMERICA: CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 146.

As discussed below, improved housing status also facilitates engagement in health services, including
HIV testing and care, which in turn impacts rates of transmission. Persons who do not know their HIV
status and therefore are outside of care present by far the greatest risk of new infections; the twenty-five
percent of persons with HIV who do not know they are infected transmit at an annual rate of
approximately 10.79 percent, compared to approximately 1.7 percent for persons who are aware of their
status. Improved access and adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) is particularly significant because
HIV treatment itself is a promising prevention intervention, since ART has been demonstrated to reduce
viral load, which could reduce transmissibility.

Housing hiv-infected homeless people cost effective

Virginia Shubert, (Founder, AIDS Project of the Coalition for the Homeless), HOMELESSNESS IN
AMERICA: CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 146.

Aside from the value of reducing transmissions of the virus for individual and community health, the
economic benefits of preventing transmission are well documented. The estimated lifetime medical
treatment cost of each new infection is $303,000, whereas the annual cost of providing supportive
housing is $14,000. Housing HIV-infected homeless people could generate savings to offset the cost of
medical care. More study is required.




                                                                                                         98
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


             Stable Housing Decreases HIV/AIDS Transmission
Stable housing reduces risky behavior that spreads hiv

Virginia Shubert, (Founder, AIDS Project of the Coalition for the Homeless), HOMELESSNESS IN
AMERICA: CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 149.

A growing body of practice-based evidence shows that housing interventions enable homeless and
unstably housed persons to achieve and maintain stability, and that for PLWHA, improved housing
status is directly related to reduced risk behaviors, improved access to health care, higher levels of ART
adherence, lowered viral loads, and reduced mortality. New reporting tools for the federal Housing
Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program show that each type of HOPWA housing assistance
enables homeless and unstably housed persons to achieve high levels of stability at relatively low per-
unit costs.




                                                                                                        99
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


              Hate Crimes Against The Homeless Are Growing
Public prejudice against the homeless is dangerous

Shirley Howell, (Prof., Law, Faulkner U. School of Law), THE MODERN AMERICAN, Spr. 2007, 18.

The homeless are a class defined by their abject poverty, and that state of poverty frequently bears no
relationship to an actual inability to contribute to society. Many of the homeless have strong work
histories and were rendered homeless by events beyond their control. One has only to review the acts
perpetrated against the homeless in Miami and San Francisco to be persuaded of the dangerous prejudice
of the public against the homeless.

Hate crimes against the homeless burgeoned into nationwide problem

Amy Donley, (Doctoral Candidate, Sociology, U. Central Florida), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA:
FACES OF THE HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 51.

Hate crimes against homeless people have burgeoned in recent years and have become a nationwide
problem. Since 1999, the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) has issued an annual report on
these trends. The most recent in the series is Hate, Violence, and Death on Main Street USA. According
to this report, "over the past seven years (1999-2005), advocates and homeless shelter workers from
around the country have seen an alarming, nationwide epidemic in reports of homeless men, women,
and even children being killed, beaten, and harassed." The report documented 472 violent hate-crime
attacks against the homeless resulting in 169 deaths. In 2005, Florida led the list of states in the total
number of attacks.




                                                                                                       100
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                      Racism -- Child Removal Policy Racist
Child removal driven by structural racism and discriminatory tax laws

William Armaline, (Prof., Justice Studies, San Jose State U.), CHILD POVERTY IN AMERICA
TODAY, Vol. 4, 2007, 12.

We must also consider how the reduction of social services and public assistance may also decrease
many parents' ability to care for their children or deal with environments and effects of abuse. The
connection between systemic/institutional racism, socioeconomic inequality and patterns of child
(including adolescent) removal goes beyond the policies of the child welfare system to include recent
cuts and revisions of welfare benefits by the state: The federal welfare law contains funding provisions
that are more likely to disrupt than strengthen poor families. It leaves federal funds for foster care and
adoption assistance as an uncapped entitlement while reducing and capping federal funds for cash
assistance to families and for child welfare services that support families ... A child welfare agency
faced with a family whose TANF benefits have expired may choose to place the children in out-of-home
care rather than find the funds needed to preserve the family.




                                                                                                      101
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


            Race Discrimination in Housing is a Major Problem
Public housing residents disproportionately are people of color

Anthony Thompson, (Prof., Clinical Law, NYU School of Law), RELEASING PRISONERS,
REDEEMING COMMUNITIES: REENTRY, RACE AND POLITICS, 2008, 72.

Today's public housing residents are some of the poorest in history; the median income for a household
in public housing is $5,850, about 19 percent of the national median income. This poverty is
disproportionately borne by people of color -- especially Latinos and African Americans. The disparity
between the groups varies regionally, but there is no urban area where the Black poverty rate is less than
or equal to the poverty rate for Whites.

Poverty impacts in public housing especially acute for people of color

Anthony Thompson, (Prof., Clinical Law, NYU School of Law), RELEASING PRISONERS,
REDEEMING COMMUNITIES: REENTRY, RACE AND POLITICS, 2008, 72.

The intersection of poverty and segregation is amplified nationally. Poverty and race intersect most
dramatically in public housing. Racial minorities living in public housing are even more likely than
Whites to earn extremely low incomes. Consequently, the effects of poverty in public housing are
especially acute for African Americans who reside there. Black public housing residents live in
neighborhoods populated by large concentrations of poor African Americans; this is markedly different
than for Whites living in public housing. The average African American household living in family
public housing resides in a project that is 85 percent Black and 8 percent White, with 80 percent of
tenants below the poverty level. The neighborhoods surrounding the developments in which typical
African American public housing families live are similar: the census tract is 68 percent Black, 25
percent White, and 47 percent below the poverty level. Because of discrimination patterns in public
housing, very low-income people of color have been concentrated in specific urban areas. The situation
for White-dominated public housing offers a stark contrast. In general, Whites in public housing live in
conditions that seem to realize "the promise of decent, safe, and sanitary housing."




                                                                                                      102
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


            Race Discrimination in Housing is a Major Problem
Race discrimination in housing is a major problem

Anthony Thompson, (Prof., Clinical Law, NYU School of Law), RELEASING PRISONERS,
REDEEMING COMMUNITIES: REENTRY, RACE AND POLITICS, 2008, 83.

A number of instances of housing discrimination documented by solid empirical evidence continue to
surface. Housing discrimination creates a uniquely damaging harm. The consequence of allowing this
insidious form of bias to persist creates a range of deeply rooted social problems. Because this nation
has allowed poverty to be so closely linked to housing, if discrimination and segregation are allowed to
persist, poverty will inevitably deepen and become more persistent within a large share of the Black
community, crime and drugs will become more firmly rooted, and social institutions will fragment
further under the weight of deteriorating conditions. With continued separation of the races, racial
inequality will continue, racial prejudices will be reinforced, and hostility toward people of color will
increase, making the problems of racial justice and equal opportunity even more insoluble. Housing
affects access to good schools, exposure to clean and safe environmental conditions, and access to
employment.




                                                                                                      103
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


         Housing Discrimination Perpetuates Structural Racism
High concentration of people of color in subsidized housing contributes to structural racism

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 98.

In order to exclude all low-income families, wealthy communities may use zoning restrictions to
exclude both shared family homes and affordable housing developments. As a result, subsidized housing
developments are often located in remote and undesirable locations, and low-income families of color
are segregated from wealthier, whiter communities. The high concentration of people of color in
subsidized housing developments has contributed to racially motivated, punitive eviction policies. The
disproportionate representation of people of color in both the criminal justice system and the subsidized
housing system interact to further the cycle of poverty, isolation, and imprisonment.

Poverty concentration magnifies harms for people of color

Susan Neuman, (Prof., Educational Studies, U. Michigan), CHANGING THE ODDS FOR CHILDREN
AT RISK: SEVEN ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLES OF EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS THAT BREAK
THE CYCLE OF POVERTY, 2009, 152.

Low-income and neighborhood poverty together pose near-lethal risks for children and their families.
When economic conditions bode ill, unemployment rises, the real value of the minimum wage declines,
and -- as most of society's ills -- it hits the poorest hardest. Our nation has seen an alarming growth in
the ratio of poor families living in concentrated poverty, increases that have been even more dramatic
for black and Hispanic children.




                                                                                                       104
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                   Justice Requires Solution to Homelessness
Every person is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect – homes are a critical aspect

Arlene McNamee, (Board Member, Catholic Charities USA), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 174.

Although my testimony suggests otherwise, I am in favor of a one-size-fits all approach to ending
homelessness - and it is a prescription that I borrow from Catholic Social Thought and the National
Association of Social Workers - that every person is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.
Catholic Social Teaching emphasizes the dignity of the human person and the value of the family. The
home is the very foundation for raising children, for seeking comfort, and for preparing oneself to
participate in broader society through work, education and civic engagement. The teaching of the
Church informs Catholic Charities' century-old commitment to safe, decent, affordable housing. We take
very seriously our commitment to building, rehabilitating and preserving affordable housing. But we are
equally motivated by our commitment to ensure that all Americans have access to the social and
emotional support necessary to escape homelessness and to be successful in permanent housing.




                                                                                                   105
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


          The U.S. Has a Formal Goal of Decent Housing for All
The u.s. has a formal goal of decent housing for all

James Wright, (Prof., Sociology, U. Central Florida), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: CAUSES OF
HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 31.

In 1949, Congress passed the Housing Act of 1949, which declared that every American deserves a
"decent home and a suitable living environment." Nearly sixty years later, many Americans continue to
struggle with finding, obtaining, and keeping housing they can afford.




                                                                                                  106
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


           Homelessness Has Been Criminalized in Many Areas
Many cities criminalize behavior caused by homelessness

Robert Coates, (San Diego Superior Court Judge), UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO LAW
REVIEW, Fall 2007, 441.

Presently, many cities try to solve the problem of homelessness by issuing citations for minor infractions
such as sleeping on the sidewalk or trespassing on private property. In other words, cities attempt to
solve the problem by criminalizing the behavior caused by homelessness. This is not a workable long-
term solution. Presumably, homeless people are on the streets because they are (1) mentally ill, (2)
substance abusers, or (3) poverty-stricken. Mentally ill, intoxicated, or poor individuals will not have the
mental capacity to timely appear in court or the financial means to pay for their fines. Regardless of why
these individuals fail to appear, their nonappearance precludes the court from helping them access
desperately needed services such as employment, housing, public assistance, and treatment programs.

Compassion fatigue toward the homeless has increased criminalized responses

Shirley Howell, (Prof., Law, Faulkner U. School of Law), THE MODERN AMERICAN, Spr. 2007, 15.

Years before Hurricane Katrina created the largest homeless population in American history, the public
had developed "compassion fatigue" with homelessness. San Francisco enacted a series of ordinances
through its so-called Matrix Program to criminalize sleeping in a park, begging near a highway, or
blocking a sidewalk. Eleven thousand of San Francisco's poorest people were incarcerated as a result of
the Matrix Program. In Santa Anna, the homeless were rounded up, transported to a football stadium,
physically marked with numbers, chained for hours, and ultimately released to a different location.
Massachusetts has imposed criminal sanctions upon those who "move about from place to place
begging." Alabama has made it a criminal act to wander about "in a public place for the purpose of
begging."

Cities criminalizing homeless behaviors and giving money to the homeless

Shirley Howell, (Prof., Law, Faulkner U. School of Law), THE MODERN AMERICAN, Spr. 2007, 15.

In response to increasing homelessness in 1984, during which thousands of individuals were sleeping in
Bicentennial Park and other public venues, Miami police were directed "to identify food sources for the
poor and to arrest and/or force an extraction of the undesirables from the area." To keep the homeless
moving and effectively "sanitize" the parks and streets, police were relentless in raiding the campsites of
the homeless, summarily destroying all on-site belongings. History is repeating itself. In July 2006, Las
Vegas enacted an ordinance to ban the giving of food to the homeless. A violation of the ordinance can
be punished by a maximum fine of $ 1,000 and a jail term of up to six months.




                                                                                                        107
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


           Homelessness Has Been Criminalized in Many Areas
Growing number of cities are criminalizing homelessness

Maria Foscarinis, (Dir., National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 72-73.

A growing number of cities are enacting or enforcing ordinances or policies that penalize homeless
persons for engaging in necessary, life-sustaining activities in public spaces even when they have
nowhere else to go. These ordinances include anti-sleeping, anti-sitting, and anti-camping ordinances.
More recently, we have seen an increasing number of ordinances prohibiting public feeding as well,
even though mobile soup kitchens are the only daily source of food for some homeless persons. In most
cities, there are not enough shelter beds to meet the need, and homeless persons have no choice but to be
in public spaces. Unsheltered persons are the most vulnerable to these types of ordinances. These
ordinances and actions criminalize the condition of homelessness and are harmful to the goals of the
McKinney Act. For example, such ordinances and policies hinder the movement of persons out of
homelessness by: Creating unnecessary arrest records; Requiring fines that homeless persons are unable
to pay and resulting in bench warrants for the arrest of those persons; and Driving homeless persons
away from services intended to address their homelessness. These ordinances are also expensive. The
costs of incarceration can exceed the costs of providing housing and services.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                 Criminalizing Homelessness is a Bad Solution
Criminalizing acts such as “sleeping in the park” probably violates the 8th amendment

Shirley Howell, (Prof., Law, Faulkner U. School of Law), THE MODERN AMERICAN, Spr. 2007, 15.

The most sensitive issue in homelessness litigation concerns the voluntariness of the homeless
defendant's actions. Purely involuntary acts cannot properly or morally be condemned as crimes under
the Eighth Amendment. To punish a person for his or her involuntary act would be cruel. The question
then is whether a homeless person's acts are voluntary. A homeless person who commits rape cannot
reasonably assert homelessness as justification for the misdeeds. In that case, status as a homeless
person is irrelevant, and society cannot reasonably be expected to tolerate such behavior. The question is
more complex when a homeless defendant with nowhere else to go is prosecuted for harmless acts such
as sleeping in a park. Is a public action "voluntary" when the homeless defendant must perform it to
survive, and he has no private place in which to perform the action?

Incarceration much more expensive than shelter beds

Robert Coates, (San Diego Superior Court Judge), UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO LAW
REVIEW, Fall 2007, 441.

The cost of an emergency shelter bed can range from three dollars a night to forty dollars a day for the
average transitional shelter bed with support services. In contrast, incarceration in the city jail costs an
estimated sixty to seventy dollars per night. A survey of nine cities showed that on average, jail costs
were two to three times the cost of supportive housing. If the inmate requires mental health services, the
cost of incarceration increases.

Jails inappropriate place to provide necessary services for the homeless

Robert Coates, (San Diego Superior Court Judge), UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO LAW
REVIEW, Fall 2007, 443.

As with many other jails in the United States, the San Diego County Jail is by far the largest "mental
health institution" in the county. While the jail boasts an excellent in-custody mental health clinic, there
is a lack of support services for mentally-ill offenders exiting jail. Without such services, mentally-ill
offenders, particularly the chronically homeless, seem inclined to repeat the offenses that caused them to
go to jail in the first place. Hence, once again, the revolving door problem rears its ugly head.




                                                                                                         109
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                   Solvency -- Increased Social Services Solve
Policies critical in shortening shelter stays

Dennis Culhane, (Prof., Social Welfare Policy, U. Pennsylvania), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 100.

Research has provided ample evidence that homelessness is harmful to children and families. Federal
policy and resources should therefore be used to assure that state and local programs are working to
assure that families and children are homeless for as brief periods as possible, and do not promote
unnecessarily long shelter stays. Recent research by my colleagues and me shows that most families
with very long shelter stays do not have more substantial barriers to housing stability as compared to
families with short shelter stays, suggesting that policies and programs rather than families'
characteristics contribute significantly to long shelter stays.

Need increased funding for mainstream services

Jeremy Rosen, (Dir., National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 83.

Most people who become homeless do so because of the failure of federal and state "mainstream"
programs or systems of care to meet their needs. These "mainstream" programs and systems can be
defined as interventions designed to assist all low income Americans -- not just persons experiencing
homelessness. Funding for these programs, while wholly insufficient, is far greater than funding for
HUD's homeless assistance programs. To truly end homelessness in this country, we must ensure that
"mainstream" programs keep low income children, youth, and families stably housed, fed, insured, and
employed or in school.

Need to develop and fund an adequate package of services to end homelessness

Jeremy Rosen, (Dir., National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 80.

We will not end homelessness in the United States without a major commitment to the development and
preservation of affordable housing that goes far beyond the current investment made by federal, state,
and local governments. As an extremely small percentage of the current federal housing budget, HUD's
homeless assistance grant programs were never designed to end homelessness in this country, and they
are incapable of doing so. Nevertheless, it is our collective responsibility, in reauthorizing the
Mckinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, to design an effective and efficient program that provides a
full range of housing and services to as many homeless children, youth, families, and single adults as
possible.



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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative

                   Solvency -- Increased Social Services Solve
Increased funding for mckinney vento vital to reducing homelessness

Ellen Bassuk, (Prof., Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 73.

This national crisis demands immediate action. Unfortunately, much of the current policy discussion
centers around how to allocate scarce resources among equally deserving and needy subgroups. These
efforts pit one subgroup against another. This is counter-productive. The National Center on Family
Homelessness fully recognizes the complex needs of single adults who are chronically homeless and we
support efforts to overcome the widespread stigma that has led to substandard services or no services at
all. We must continue to address the needs of disabled adults and provide permanent supportive housing
for these individuals. We also believe that current policy is unbalanced and has inadvertently limited
communities' efforts to address and prevent homelessness among children and their families. While
insufficient resources have been committed to adequately address the needs of all homeless people, the
solution is not to support one group to the exclusion of others. We strongly advocate for adequate
funding of Mckinney-Vento to meet the needs of all people experiencing homelessness.

Services critical to help families transition out of homelessness

Mary Cunningham, (Dir., Homelessness Research Institute), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA:
SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 3, 2008, 8.

Families experiencing homelessness need and benefit from services. Services can help families access
and maintain stable housing as well as increase economic self-sufficiency and improve family and child
well-being. Because families who experience homelessness have different needs, there is no cookie-
cutter service delivery model that works for all families. Although some families are able to transition
out of homelessness with minimal supportive services, others require more intensive supportive services
to exit the homeless assistance system and remain stably housed. Once back in housing, links to
mainstream services -- for example, mental health counseling, child development services, or
employment training -- are important for building strong families that are no longer at risk of
homelessness. With these considerations in mind, communities and programs that show promise are
targeting services to meet the unique needs of each family.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                   Solvency -- Increased Social Services Solve
Homeless families need variety of services to transition out of homelessness

Mary Cunningham, (Dir., Homelessness Research Institute), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA:
SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 3, 2008, 8.

One of the primary tasks in working with a homeless family is helping them get back into housing -- this
means services to help the family overcome barriers to accessing housing, which helps families prepare
for a successful transition into housing by resolving issues that might threaten housing stability. Services
include helping families successfully manage conflicts with landlords, manage unanticipated expenses
and their budget, and providing assistance to help families access and sustain employment. For example,
a Housing First program in state-funded shelters in Massachusetts assigns caseworkers to help each
family develop a service plan to move back into housing; this plan outlines the family's services needs
along different outcomes.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                Should Increase Funding of Preventive Services
Must increase commitment to prevention services

Philip Mangano, (Dir., U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 146.

We now understand the priority that needs to be placed on prevention. For too long we bailed the
leaking boat of homelessness, some moved out, more moved in. Again, research helped us understand
that, without prevention strategies, especially focused on effective discharge planning protocols from
mainstream systems of dare, incarceration, and services, our intervention efforts would not create the
results we expect. Prevention strategies, including initiatives to ensure adequate and appropriate
discharge planning, need to be equal in prioritization to intervention initiatives to ensure that our efforts
result in a reduction of homelessness.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                        Supportive Housing Programs Solve
Financial assistance for the homeless critical to transitioning out of shelters

Mary Cunningham, (Dir., Homelessness Research Institute), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA:
SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 3, 2008, 6.

Often homeless individuals and families need help paying for housing, particularly in Housing First
programs. Some can move out of a homeless shelter with minimal financial assistance, for example, a
security deposit and first month's rent. Others need slightly more assistance -- perhaps a short-term
subsidy that helps households pay for housing for several months or a shallow subsidy of $100$300 that
lasts for a year or more. Short-term assistance is often coupled with intensive services designed to help
the household increase their income so they will be able to continue to pay for housing after the subsidy
ends.

Research demonstrates effectiveness of supportive housing programs

Deborah DeSantis, (Pres., Corporation for Supportive Housing), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 62.

Research documenting the effectiveness of supportive housing has, in fact, bolstered the ever- increasing
momentum of government, corporate and philanthropic investment in supportive housing. To date, these
studies indicate: More than 80% of people who enter supportive housing are still in housing a year later;
Formerly homeless residents of supportive housing achieve decreases of more than 50% in emergency
room visits and hospital inpatient days, and decreases in emergency detoxification services of more than
80%; Supportive housing leads to improvements in neighborhood safety and beautification that helps
stabilize property values; and Tenants are able to increase by 50% their earned income and by 40% their
employment rates when employment services are provided in supportive housing, reducing their reliance
on public assistance,

Permanent supportive housing ends homelessness

Nan Roman, (Pres., National Alliance to End Homelessness), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 193-194.

Permanent supportive housing (housing with services) ends homelessness for people with disabilities,
including families with children, and single adults. Without supportive housing, this sub-population of
disabled homeless people tends to stay homeless for long periods of time, at great public expense.
Supportive housing is proven effective. Communities that are making progress in reducing homelessness
among people with disabilities and chronically homeless people are doing so through the expansion of
their well-targeted supportive housing programs.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative

                        Supportive Housing Programs Solve
Supportive housing programs provide families with the assistance they need to get back into
houses

Nan Roman, (Pres., National Alliance to End Homelessness), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 197.

Most families are homeless because they have fallen out of housing and do not have the resources to get
back in. When asked, these families request assistance getting back into housing and such assistance is
sufficient to successfully end their homelessness. This is not to say that the families do not have serious
service needs. They do. Homeless assistance programs should provide them with crisis services and then
connect them to mainstream service programs in their communities. Finally, there are some families that
need much more assistance. These are chronically homeless families and supportive housing may be a
successful intervention for them.

Substantial research demonstrates effectiveness of supportive housing programs

Nancy Carter, (Spokesperson, National Alliance on Mental Illness), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 93.

Fortunately, there are proven solutions to address chronic homelessness and break the costly cycle
associated with keeping individuals homeless over an extended period of time. We now have substantial
research demonstrating the effective of permanent supportive housing as proven, effective model.
Formerly homeless residents of supportive housing achieve decreases of more than 50% in emergency
room visits and inpatient hospital days and an 80% drop in emergency detoxification services. This
translates into savings of $16,282 in health care costs per unit per year. Further, more than 80% of
people who enter supportive housing are still in housing a year later.

Supportive housing programs effectively combine housing and services to reduce homelessness

The National Alliance to End Homelessness, HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: FACES OF THE
HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 105.

Families with housing they can afford seldom become or remain homeless. The addition of social
services takes the next step by helping families increase their economic self-sufficiency and well-being.
For those families for whom affordable housing, alone, is not sufficient, more intensive services are
necessary to help them stay stably housed. Housing models such as permanent supportive housing and
service-enriched housing combine housing and services so that families can maximize their potential.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


           Comprehensive Solution to Homelessness is Required
Homelessness is solvable with a combination of housing plus services

Mary Cunningham, (Dir., Homelessness Research Institute), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA:
SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 3, 2008, 3-4.

More importantly, although many think that homelessness is an unsolvable problem, recent research
shows that housing linked with the appropriate services can help even the hardest to house individual or
family back into permanent housing. During the past few years, communities have adopted a major
paradigm shift in responding to homelessness. Although emergency shelters are necessary to ensure that
individuals and families are not literally sleeping on the street, it is not an ideal environment for
families, children, and adults and many may spend months, even years, living in temporary living
conditions. Recognizing this, many communities are reorganizing their response to homelessness to
minimize the time people spend homeless and in shelter. This response, called "Housing First" is an
approach that puts an immediate and primary focus on helping individuals and families quickly access
and then sustain housing. It is designed to help individuals and families transition more rapidly out of
the shelter system and includes crisis intervention, rapid rehousing, follow-up case management, and
housing support services to prevent the reoccurrence of homelessness.

Ending homelessness requires permanent housing and supportive services

Mary Cunningham, (Dir., Homelessness Research Institute), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA:
SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 3, 2008, 4.

Ending chronic homeless requires permanent housing with supportive services, and implementing
policies to prevent people who are at high risk from becoming chronically homeless. The most
successful model for housing people who experience chronic homelessness is permanent supportive
housing using a Housing First approach. Permanent supportive housing combines affordable rental
housing with supportive services such as case management, mental health and substance abuse services,
health care, and employment. The Housing First approach is a client-driven strategy that provides
immediate access to an apartment without requiring initial participation in psychiatric treatment or
treatment for sobriety. After settling into new apartments, clients are offered a wide range of supportive
services that focus primarily on helping them maintain their housing and improve their lives.

Public housing programs should also provide other social services

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 133.

Second, the needs of the single mother-headed families that predominate in subsidized housing should
guide subsidized housing policies. This approach would involve providing high quality, on-site child
care, and job training programs that prepare mothers for well-paying jobs. In addition, providing drug
treatment programs and after-school programming at public housing developments would assist single
mothers in keeping their children safe and healthy. Although these programs would create large up-front
costs, the long-term benefit would be immense.

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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative

          Comprehensive Solution to Homelessness is Required
Comprehensive solution to homelessness is required

Robert Coates, (San Diego Superior Court Judge), UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO LAW
REVIEW, Fall 2007, 434.

One can analogize the current state of the justice system's work with chronic homelessness to a lifeboat
suffering with dozens of holes in its bottom. Success for those in the lifeboat can be achieved only by
plugging all of the holes, and keeping them closed. One open hole can conceivably sink the entire boat.
Thus we must take a comprehensive approach to actually plug the present holes in the justice system, by
which people become, or remain, homeless.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


   Should Expand and Reform Federal Housing Assistance Funds
Should target Mckinney-Vento funding to the literally homeless

Nan Roman, (Pres., National Alliance to End Homelessness), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 195.

So, while prevention makes sense, the Mckinney-Vento programs cannot address the precarious housing
situations of millions of Americans. We recommend that while the bulk of assistance under this bill be
well-targeted to those with the most severe needs -- people who are literally homeless -- it should also
provide resources to meet the natural and sensible desire of homeless assistance providers to identify
and help those people most likely to become homeless, before they fall over the brink.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


     Should Revise HUD Definitions for Eligibility for Assistance
HUD must expand the definition of homeless to include those who are doubling up

Arlene McNamee, (Board Member, Catholic Charities USA), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 171.

Finally, we know that children living in families who are doubled-up or living in motels for lack of other
options suffer in unimaginable ways and are at risk of similarly poor outcomes to those of homeless
children. Congress MUST expand HUD's definition of homelessness to include persons who are sharing
the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reasons, and those who are
staying in motels because of a lack of adequate alternative accommodations.

Must expand HUD definitions

Arlene McNamee, (Board Member, Catholic Charities USA), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 169.

Perhaps, the most important thing that we have learned over the years is that the unique experience and
the untidy details of real life are such that each family and individual does not neatly into HUD's rigid
categories. HUD must expand its definition of homelessness to include families who are doubled-up and
living in motels for lack of other options. HUD's narrow definition of homelessness is limiting our
ability to alleviate unimaginable suffering -- even as we sit here today.

Should align HUD’s definition of homeless with that of doe and dhhs

Ellen Bassuk, (Prof., Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 73.

First, we urge aligning the HUD definition of homelessness with those used by the Departments of
Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice. Families, children, and youth who are doubled up
or living in hotels or motels and do not have a fixed, regular and adequate living situation are homeless.
These families live in overcrowded, unsafe, and unstable living situations with entire families often
having to live in a single room with no access to cooking facilities or play spaces. Not only are these
situations emotionally damaging for children they also can be physically damaging as children in these
situations are at increased risk for physical and sexual abuse. These families are homeless and in need of
services and safe, stable housing.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


           Flexibility is Needed in Federal Homelessness Funds
Should increase local flexibility in how to allocate homelessness assistance

Jessica Vasquez, (Spokesperson, National Network to End Domestic Violence), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 115.

Local service providers who are on the ground, in communities, are best equipped to analyze the needs
of homeless individuals and develop effective responses. Currently, HUD sets aside at least 30% of
funds for permanent housing for single adults with disabilities, and awards points to Continuum of Care
applications based on HUD priorities such as serving chronically homeless individuals. When
Continuums of Care pick other priorities, they frequently lose some or all of their funding. Decisions
made from "inside the beltway" in Washington, D.C. are rarely as informed as those made by on-the-
ground practitioners who are experts in the dynamics of local homelessness. Reauthorization of
Mckinney-Vento must return the decision-making power to local communities who know which
populations are most in need and know which interventions are most effective for their communities.

Should give maximum flexibility to locals to allocate homelessness assistance in most appropriate
way

National Coalition for the Homeless, REAUTHORIZATION OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS
ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 52.

Current HUD practice requires that 30 percent of funds appropriated to the Mckinney-Vento account be
used for the development of new permanent supportive housing units targeted to "chronically homeless"
persons. NCH prefers instead that geographic areas be given maximum flexibility in the use of HUD
Mckinney-Vento funds for all eligible purposes, depending on the housing and service gaps in their
community. We urge Congress to refrain from establishing national set-asides of funds for permanent
housing, or other eligible activities, in the HUD Mckinney-Vento statute.

Flexibility is needed in federal homelessness funds

 Dora Gallo, (CEO, A Community of Friends), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE Mckinney-Vento
HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial Services, Oct. 16, 2007,
108.

There are many in this country who are one paycheck or one health diagnosis away from homelessness.
A number of short-term expenditures can make a big difference in helping families maintain their
housing or accessing housing. Some of the more important activities that should be eligible expenditures
under the Emergency Solutions Grants Program include: rental payments, security deposits, mortgage
payments, utility deposits, and payment for short term housing while waiting for permanent housing.
This includes assistance to individuals who are being discharged from a publicly funded facility,
program or system of care. These types of activities can rapidly re-house someone who encounters
short-time financial difficulties.


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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative

               Housing Voucher Program Should Be Expanded
Expanded housing vouchers can help reduce homelessness

Mary Cunningham, (Dir., Homelessness Research Institute), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA:
SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 3, 2008, 7.

Communities have used various federal, state, and local funding streams to help homeless people pay for
housing. The extent and source of the funding typically determines how communities design the
subsidies that help pay for housing. Federal housing assistance, including housing vouchers that can be
used to subsidize the cost of private rental housing and subsidized or public housing, allows low-income
households to pay thirty percent of their income for rent and the subsidy is typically not time-limited.
There is strong evidence that indicates that the vast majority of homeless families who are offered a
federal housing subsidy will exit homelessness and not re-enter shelter. Unfortunately, federal housing
assistance is in critically short supply and waiting lists extend for years.

Vouchers are the best answer for helping the poor attain affordable housing

James Crone, (Prof., Sociology, Hanover College), HOW CAN WE SOLVE OUR SOCIAL
PROBLEMS, 2007, 75.

Currently, giving poor people vouchers so that they have choice and the ability to move to various
places could be the best answer for helping poor people to attain adequate housing. However, because 5
million families still live in inadequate housing, we could expand this program so that more poor people
could have adequate housing. If we do not provide enough Section 8 funding for poor people, it seems
that the only other alternative to provide enough adequate housing for poor people is for the government
to get back in the business of building low-income housing. The problems with this are that the
government adds more bureaucracy in building and maintaining such housing and that the poor end up
living in areas of the government's choosing where there are higher concentrations of poor people and
fewer chances for employment. Given these problems, the Section 8 program seems to be a better idea.

Improving efficiency of housing voucher programs would help more families

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 132.

Even without an increase in overall funding, many more families could be assisted if housing programs
used resources more efficiently. Simply adjusting the formula by which housing voucher funds are
distributed could increase access to subsidies. Current housing policy leads to inexcusable waste and
inefficiency on every level. For example, many cities are forced to rent motel rooms for homeless
families because shelters are full. This practice does not serve families well and is extremely wasteful of
public funds. Those same dollars could be used to fund mobile voucher programs and emergency
assistance to help families avoid eviction in situations of temporary income loss.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


              Housing Voucher Program Should Be Expanded

Providing housing ends homelessness

The National Alliance to End Homelessness, HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: FACES OF THE
HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 101.

Lack of housing causes families to become homeless. Conversely, research has clearly demonstrated
that providing housing will end homelessness. According to two extensive multi-city studies, even the
most troubled families escaped homelessness and stayed in housing when they received a housing
subsidy, regardless of whether or not they received services. In another study, this one of New York
City, families that left homeless shelters with a housing subsidy were twenty-one times more likely to be
stably housed five years later than other previously homeless families. Those that remained stably
housed included families in which the parent had a history of mental illness, substance abuse, health
problems, or a criminal record. Access to a housing subsidy, assuring housing affordability, is also
effective at preventing homelessness for low-income families who have not been homeless before.

Providing affordable housing ends homelessness

The National Alliance to End Homelessness, HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: FACES OF THE
HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 101.

Lack of affordable housing is clearly the driving force behind family homelessness. Conversely,
providing affordable housing ends homelessness for the vast majority of families, despite almost any
personal characteristic or problem. Housing can be paid for through income from work or benefits, or it
can be subsidized by government housing programs or supported through government service programs.




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                                                123
Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


              Section 8 Housing Vouchers Should Be Expanded
Expanded housing subsidies necessary to shorten shelter stays

Dennis Culhane, (Prof., Social Welfare Policy, U. Pennsylvania), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 100-101.

Further, this research shows that long shelter stays are very costly, with a typical episode of a year to
fourteen months equal in cost to four of five years of a federal housing subsidy. Given the evidence of
the negative impact of homelessness on child health, school outcomes, and family functioning, and
given the high cost of long-term shelter, federal resources should be used to assure that families are
rehoused as quickly as possible, with appropriate support by mainstream TANF and child welfare
agencies, health and mental health services, and employment and child care agencies. At the very least,
federal policy should not promote unnecessarily long shelter stays. As some homeless families (25% by
our conservative estimate) will have substantial barriers to self-sufficiency, state and federal housing
subsidy programs, such as Section 8, must expand to meet this need.

Section 8 program funding should be increased

Mary Cunningham, (Dir., Homelessness Research Institute), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA:
SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 3, 2008, 13-14.

Some government programs, such as Section 8 vouchers and public housing, help low-income people
pay for housing. However, at current funding levels federal programs cannot close the gap between
those who can afford housing and those who cannot. Only one in four households who are eligible for
housing assistance currently receive a subsidy. Most cities have long waiting lists -- from two to five
years -- for housing units or rent subsidies. Without a housing subsidy a family has to make $15.78 an
hour ($32,822 annually) to afford housing at the national fair market rent; the hourly rate is much higher
in higher cost rental markets like Washington, D.C.; Boston, Massachusetts; and Alameda County,
California.

Section 8 housing vouchers should be expanded

Mary Cunningham, (Dir., Homelessness Research Institute), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA:
SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 3, 2008, 14.

Because housing is the key to ending homelessness, federal programs -- both mainstream housing
programs and homeless assistance programs -- should follow the lead of the communities showing
promise and focus on getting people housed as quickly as possible. To help communities do this, the
federal government needs to significantly expand affordable housing programs, particularly programs
like the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, and target federal housing programs to the families
who need them the most. These programs help households afford housing and avoid the devastating
consequences of homelessness.



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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


               Should Focus Assistance on Residential Stability
Should focus services on supporting residental stability

Scott Allard, (Prof., School of Social Service Administration, U. Chicago), OUT OF REACH: PLACE,
POVERTY, AND THE NEW AMERICAN WELFARE STATE, 2009, 180.

Housing stability is equally critical to establishing connections to service providers, schools, and
employers. Although difficult to verify, it is estimated that a large percentage of poor households make
at least one residential move each year. Some of these moves are to better housing or neighborhoods, but
many moves are from one low-quality housing situation to another. Volatility in housing arrangements
weakens ties to employers, schools, and service providers. Although most housing assistance focuses on
enhancing residential mobility or providing low-cost housing opportunities and less attention is given to
promoting stability, there is reason to believe that supporting residential stability also may help poor
families.

Housing services should be targeted toward residential stability

Mary Cunningham, (Dir., Homelessness Research Institute), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA:
SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 3, 2008, 9.

Most families who experience homelessness are extremely poor and have service needs that go beyond
the homeless assistance system, which does not have the capacity to fulfill all service needs. Linking to
mainstream public services, such as child care, employment, TANF benefits, and Medicaid, is often
critical to promoting housing stability and is important for ensuring child and family well-being.
Furthermore, although housing is critical to ensuring family well-being, it is not the panacea. If policy-
makers and program administrators want to help families move up the economic ladder, services should
focus specifically on job-skill enhancing programs, employment, and job retention programs.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                                      Hearth Act Solves
Need to expand preventive services to increase effectiveness of hearth bill

Ellen Bassuk, (Prof., Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 74.

Second, we support provisions in the HEARTH Bill that allow communities the flexibility to implement
a range of housing and service options based on local needs. These strategies are more likely to be
responsive to local needs and allow the possibility of supporting preventive services. Only by further
developing preventive strategies, which are now only in a rudimentary stage, can we hope to close the
front door to homelessness. We are hopeful that the proliferation of local 10-Year Plans to end chronic
homelessness indicates sufficient community momentum to allay concerns about discrimination against
individuals with severe disabilities.

Hearth act is a critical first step to reducing homelessness—makes necessary reforms to
destructive HUD policies

Jeremy Rosen, (Dir., National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 81.

Enacting the HEARTH Act is a critical first step in meeting our moral obligation to these Americans.
HEARTH will consolidate and simplify HUD's homeless assistance grant programs, align HUD's
definition of homelessness with the definition used by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice,
eliminate administratively created set-asides and incentives that hamper local efforts to prevent and end
homelessness, better support rural communities, and provide new opportunities to fund homelessness
prevention. This will give local service providers, advocates, and government officials -- working
together -- with the flexibility they need to respond to homelessness as it appears in their urban,
suburban, and rural communities.

Hearth act addresses many of the problems with HUD’s current approach

Maria Foscarinis, (Dir., National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty), REAUTHORIZATION
OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on
Financial Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 71.

The HEARTH Act would more closely align HUD's definition with that of the Department of Education
and allow grantees to serve the many homeless households who are excluded by HUD's current
definition, such as homeless families and individuals living doubled up. It would reduce problems that
service providers currently experience with dual definitions, such as being able to obtain McKinney
education funded tutoring for homeless children in a doubled-up family but not being able to help that
family to find stable and secure housing with HUD McKinney funds. It would also help homeless youth
who may be selling their bodies in return for housing each night.


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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative

                   Status Quo Programs Should be Expanded
Assertive community treatment teams effective

Barbara Hodas, (Sr. Associate, Diana T. Myers & Associates), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA:
FACES OF THE HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 31.

There needs to be a full array of services available to homeless individuals and those at risk of
homelessness to assist them in: addressing health, mental health, and addiction needs; accessing
appropriate housing; preparing for and obtaining employment; and developing the skills needed to
remain in their home. An Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team has been identified as an
especially effective system of service delivery for homeless individuals with serious mental illness or
co-occurring mental illness and substance-addiction, and who have not responded well to traditional
services. This interdisciplinary approach includes a team of professionals who work together to provide
case management, psychiatric services, substance abuse services, employment and housing assistance,
family support and education, and other services to support an individual in living successfully in the
community.

Act demonstrating effectiveness

Emily Spence-Almaguer, (Prof., Social Work, U. Texas, Arlington), HOMELESSNESS IN
AMERICA: SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, 2008, Vol. 3, 107.

It is important to note that there are contemporary intervention models that seem to acknowledge the
factors that influence individuals to avoid assistance services and make efforts to minimize them. Two
of the more prominent include the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) model and the Housing First
supportive housing model. These approaches are demonstrating their effectiveness with people who are
homeless and mentally ill through their emphasis on client-choice, collaborative partnerships, and
streamlined access to services. The Housing First model has placed homeless individuals into housing at
a higher rate and demonstrates higher retention rates than more conventional linear treatment models.
This model also appears to contribute to a decrease in psychiatric symptoms due to an increase in
perceived choice.

Act demonstrates higher client satisfaction, less time homeless and increased use of community
resources

Emily Spence-Almaguer, (Prof., Social Work, U. Texas, Arlington), HOMELESSNESS IN
AMERICA: SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, 2008, Vol. 3, 107.

Similarly, ACT is demonstrating higher client satisfaction levels, less time homeless, increased use of
community resources, and larger social networks that include social service professionals. This model
also confronts longstanding notions regarding agency-based services and a train place approach to
housing and employment; notions that remain very entrenched in some approaches to independent
housing and supportive services. In practice, ACT places an emphasis on providing a comprehensive
range of services using interdisciplinary teams that maintain small caseloads. Acknowledging the need
to promote service use through streamlined access and an in vivo approach to service provision, the
ACT teams work in the community and actively prioritize advocacy in linking clients to services.
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                   Status Quo Programs Should be Expanded

Act services particularly helpful for mentally ill persons

Patrick Kindade, (Prof., Sociology, Texas Christian U.), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: CAUSES
OF HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 137.

It should also be noted that the use of outreach programs and Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)
show immense promise in managing the mentally ill homeless population. The community outreach
philosophy suggests the mental health worker should meet the homeless mentally ill where they are
rather than expecting them to seek out services for themselves. Outreach programs also work to provide
for the immediate needs of their target populations. This usually means providing the individual with
food, clothing, and shelter. Outreach programs are most successful when they remain flexible in terms
of the goods and services they can provide and in the manner in which they provide them. By
maintaining an ongoing presence in the lives of the homeless mentally ill and by doing it in a very
nonthreatening manner, trust can be built to allow for more intrusive but potentially more life-impacting
intervention. ACT as an approach to the case management of the homeless mentally ill has been in
existence since the late 1970s and has been demonstrated to provide positive outcome for this population
in a variety of ways. It is, in other words, an intervention strategy that can work to truly impact lives.
Through ACT the homeless mentally ill spend less time hospitalized, show reduced symptoms of both
mental illness and substance abuse, and tend to stabilize in terms of community presence. ACT involves
a variety of social service experts who provide for a small number of clients in an intensive round-the-
clock manner. A large proportion of the time spent and services provided are given in the community
where those in need reside.




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                         Gatreaux Project in Chicago Solves
Gatreaux project in chicago solves

Susan Neuman, (Prof., Educational Studies, U. Michigan), CHANGING THE ODDS FOR CHILDREN
AT RISK: SEVEN ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLES OF EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS THAT BREAK
THE CYCLE OF POVERTY, 2009, 130.

The first experiment, known as Gautreaux, occurred as part of a court-ordered settlement of a racial
discrimination lawsuit against the Chicago Housing Authority. From 1976 to 1998, the housing
authority moved nearly 25,000 poor African Americans from crumbling public housing to subsidized
housing in suburbs where no more than 30% of the population was African American. Studies led by
James Rosenbaum, sociology professor at Northwestern, showed that heads of households were more
likely to be employed than their inner-city counterparts, although they still earned poverty-level wages.
But their children did even better. They were much more likely than their inner-city colleagues to be
successful on educational measures, to graduate from high school, and to get good jobs. These new
suburbanites were much more likely to interact with both whites and blacks. As one student reported to
the researchers, "We went into a new school and had the opportunity to be with white people, Indian
people, just a mix of races and actually get to know people and have people get to know you."




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                   Should Reform Public Housing Regulations
Should narrowly tailor one-strike rules and ban lists

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 123.

In order to serve the interests of resident safety in public housing while protecting families' right to
maintain their homes and relationships, both the one strike policy and ban lists should be more narrowly
tailored to restrict only those individuals who actually endanger other residents. Clear standards for who
can be put on a ban list would make them more effective, alleviate the due process concerns they raise,
and prevent them from unnecessarily interfering with family relationships. At a minimum, invitees of
public housing residents should not be banned without a formal written warning, written notice of the
reason for the ban if the warning is violated, and opportunity for a prompt informal hearing. Individuals
who are not invited should also receive a written warning and, upon a violation, a written notice
including reasons for the ban. In addition, housing authorities should have clear standards listing reasons
for which an individual may be banned, and the reason for the ban should be presented to the individual
in writing before the ban goes into effect.

Should narrow focus of one-strike rule and ban lists

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 124.

Like the ban list, the one strike policy is too broad to serve the interests of public housing residents.
Although protecting residents from violence and criminal activity is clearly important, the current policy
harms too many innocent victims. It is highly over-inclusive in that it results in the eviction of victims of
crime, and innocent family members, along with those who are actually involved in criminal activity.
Housing authorities should be required to consider whether the head of household was aware of the
illegal activity, or was attempting to stop it before initiating eviction proceedings. Using a two strike
policy where families would be given a written warning at the first offense before being evicted would
be more humane and reasonable. This would allow those involved in drug activity the chance to obtain
treatment for their addiction. Even after the second strike, only the offending individual should be
evicted.




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                  Should Reform Public Housing Regulations
One-strike rules and ban lists should be less punitive and more supportive of families

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 133-134.

Finally, regulations that govern subsidized housing residents should be less punitive and more focused
on supporting families. Specifically, rules that condition continued occupancy on the head of
household's control over other family members should be tailored to avoid evicting entire families for
one family member's mistake. The one strike policy should be changed into a two strike policy with
added supports, such as on-site drug treatment, so that families can help struggling members escape
further involvement with the criminal justice system. The staggering number of men of color involved in
the criminal justice system has deprived many young men of color of positive role models and fathers.
The one strike policy exacerbates this trend by preventing single mothers and grandmothers from
protecting and guiding their children away from drugs and violence. While the TANF program touts
marriage as the cure for single black mothers' poverty, many black men have limited or no earning
potential because they are, or have been, under the supervision of the criminal justice system. The
hypocrisy of these interacting systems would be comical if it were not so tragic.




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               Should Revise Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
The low income housing tax credit should be revised to increase housing availability

 Madeline Howard, (J.D. Candidate, U. of California, Berkeley School of Law), BERKELEY
JOURNAL OF GENDER, LAW & JUSTICE, 2007, 131-132.

First, the most basic and obvious goal of any program that seeks to promote the welfare of low-income
families should be increased funding for the development of subsidized housing. There is simply not
enough housing for families who cannot afford market rent. Increasing the availability of affordable
housing would help families in need, and save public funds by unburdening other costly social supports
such as emergency medical care and shelter. In order to accomplish an increased level of affordable
housing stock without politically unattractive direct costs, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit
("LIHTC") should be adjusted to meet the needs of very low-income families. The LIHTC works by
rewarding developers for building or rehabilitating affordable housing. It has the potential to shoulder
some of the burden for providing affordable housing with relatively low cost to the government, but
currently does not meet the needs of the poorest families. This is because the requirements for the credit
do not incentivize developers to build housing for the poorest families. In order to earn the credit,
owners must either set aside twenty percent of units for families with less than fifty percent of Area
Median Income, or forty percent of units for families with less than sixty percent Area Median Income.
In Oakland, a family of three with an income of $ 44,700 could qualify for this affordable housing. This
is currently the most significant federal expenditure towards the development of affordable housing, yet
it primarily serves relatively affluent families.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


            Should Reform Judicial Treatment of the Homeless
Homeless persons should be designated a "suspect" class

Shirley Howell, (Prof., Law, Faulkner U. School of Law), THE MODERN AMERICAN, Spr. 2007, 19.

As America's most vulnerable population, the homeless must be afforded a "suspect class" designation.
They are easily identified and despised for characteristics they cannot readily change. They have
suffered the deprivation of the most fundamental rights because their very existence frightens the greater
population on a visceral level. The goal, however, is not only to place the homeless in a better position
to defend their constitutional rights, but to create a society that rejects "compassion fatigue" in favor of
indefatigable compassion and commitment to the welfare of even its poorest citizen.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                           Spending Disadvantage Answers
Homelessness public costs are high

The National Alliance to End Homelessness, HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: FACES OF THE
HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 103.

The human toll on adults and children is not the only cost of homelessness. The economic cost is also
high and surprisingly may even exceed what it would cost to provide the family with housing. The cost
to the nation of sheltering homeless families is estimated to be between $1.9 and $2.2 billion annually.
And this is only the direct cost. A study in Toronto, Canada, found that the cost of delays in returning
children to their families because of lack of housing was $2.9 million per year in that city, alone. The
cost of placing two children of a homeless family in foster care is about $34,000 per year. Nationally,
the monthly cost of emergency shelter for a homeless family is $1,255 and the cost of transitional
housing for that family is $1,411. The cost of a stopgap motel room in Massachusetts is $3,000 per
month.

Homelessness very costly now

Virginia Shubert, (Founder, AIDS Project of the Coalition for the Homeless), HOMELESSNESS IN
AMERICA: CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 151.

Homelessness is not only an individual human crisis; it appears to be extremely costly for communities
as a whole. A recent analysis revealed that the annual costs of service use by each chronically homeless
person ranges from $12,000 per year for each sheltered homeless person, to over $20,000 annually for
homeless persons living on the street or other places not intended for sleeping.




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               Providing Permanent Housing is Cost Beneficial
Providing supportive housing is a more cost-effective way to address homelessness than shelters

Mark Johnston, (Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban
Development), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT,
PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 126.

Research shows that while representing just over 20 percent of the homeless population, chronically
homeless persons consume up to 50 percent of all emergency shelter resources. Instead of having these
individuals cycling through the various public systems such as hospitals and prisons and using these
emergency resources, this Administration has focused on providing permanent supportive housing as a
way to improve cost effectiveness for the community and quality of life for the individual. As a result,
$286 million, or 24 percent of I-RJD competitive homeless assistance funds, were awarded to projects
targeting the chronically homeless in 2006.

Providing permanent housing is cost beneficial

Mary Cunningham, (Dir., Homelessness Research Institute), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA:
SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 3, 2008, 4-5.

A landmark study of homeless people with serious mental illness in New York City found that on
average, each homeless person utilized over $40,000 annually in publicly funded shelter, hospital
(including U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals), emergency room, prison, jail, and outpatient
health care resources. Much of the cost was for psychiatric hospitalization, which accounted for an
average of over fifty-seven days and nearly $13,000. When people were placed in permanent supportive
housing, the public cost to these systems declined dramatically. The documented cost reductions --
$16,282 per unit of permanent supportive housing -- were nearly enough to pay for the permanent
supportive housing. If other costs, such as the costs of police, court, and homeless services were
included, the cost savings of providing people with permanent housing and services would likely have
been higher. In other words, the study found that it cost the public the same amount to house a person
with serious mental illness as it did to keep that person homeless. But although the costs were the same,
the outcomes were much different. Permanent supportive housing results in better mental and physical
health, greater income (including income from employment), fewer arrests, better progress toward
recovery and self-sufficiency, and less homelessness.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


              Providing Permanent Housing is Cost Beneficial
Providing permanent housing is cost beneficial

Virginia Shubert, (Founder, AIDS Project of the Coalition for the Homeless), HOMELESSNESS IN
AMERICA: CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 2, 2008, 151-152.

In contrast, as noted above, supportive housing for homeless persons with special needs has been shown
to promote stability while substantially reducing utilization of costly emergency and inpatient health
care services. These studies build on earlier findings that the costs of mental health housing
interventions are clearly offset by service cost savings. A 2002 evaluation of mental health supportive
housing in New York City found that the total annual services cost savings (emergency shelter, health
care utilization, criminal justice system, etc.) associated with each supportive housing unit were over
$16,000, whereas the annual cost of the housing services was just $17,000; thus ninety-five percent of
supportive housing costs were offset by service reductions.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                               States Counterplan Answers
State programs fail without increased federal support

 Donna Friedman, (Prof., Social Policy, U. Mass.), CHILD POVERTY IN AMERICA TODAY, Vol. 3,
2007, 97.

Some states and local communities are mobilizing to put an end to homelessness through system-wide
prevention efforts that seek to enable families to hold on to their housing before they lose it. Such efforts
will fail to be successful without substantially higher federal investments in low-cost housing, housing
assistance, and income supports for low-income households, as well as effective workforce development
and education initiatives.

Increased federal assistance vital to effectiveness of state and local efforts

Mary Cunningham, (Dir., Homelessness Research Institute), HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA:
SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS, Vol. 3, 2008, 14.

The number of homeless people is going down in a handful of communities, but in many more the
numbers are increasing. What is clear is that homelessness is a solvable problem, but it will take all
hands on deck. State and local governments will need to continue to adopt innovative, public policy
interventions that demonstrate successful outcomes. Nonprofit and faith-based organizations must
continue to test solutions and overcome the hurdle of implementing a new way of approaching
homelessness -- one that focuses on permanent solutions. Communities cannot end homelessness on
their own. The federal government needs to significantly increase the supply of affordable housing and
recast a safety net.

Federal source of funding vital to expanding affordable housing supply

Arlene McNamee, (Board Member, Catholic Charities USA), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 166-167.

HUD must turn its attention back to the successful federal housing policies which already exist in this
country in order to create housing options for extremely low- income families such as Section 8, CDBG,
HOME, HOPE VI, 811, and 202. Moreover, we MUST enact a National Housing Trust Fund to bring
these solutions to scale. Without a national, dedicated source of funding to construct, rehabilitate, and
preserve housing affordability, we will never reach the reasonable goals established in the National
Housing Act of 1949 of "eliminating housing shortages through housing production and related
community development," and providing the opportunity of "a decent home and suitable living
environment for every American family." Instead HUD has set out to achieve the more modest, if
elusive goal of ending homelessness for single disabled adults, only when these adults have endured
homelessness continuously for one year or four times in three years. HUD has labeled these Americans
"chronically homeless."



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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative

                              States Counterplan Answers
State programs are inadequate

The National Alliance to End Homelessness, HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA: FACES OF THE
HOMELESS, Vol. 1, 2008, 101.

In addition to providing income, TANF can assist families to find and pay for housing. Yet only a few
states have invested in meeting the housing needs of their homeless families.

Congress must take the lead in expanding affordable housing

Shirley Howell, (Prof., Law, Faulkner U. School of Law), THE MODERN AMERICAN, Spr. 2007, 19.

As America's homeless population reaches five million after Hurricane Katrina, Pottinger-type abuses
such as those in Las Vegas are to be anticipated unless society becomes proactive. Congress must
reinforce incentives for constructing affordable housing and raise the minimum wage. Meanwhile, "safe
areas" must be available to those who have nowhere else to go, and human resources must be provided
to patrol those areas to protect homeless men, women, and children from the violence of the streets.

Federal leadership is needed to solve homelessness

Nan Roman, (Pres., National Alliance to End Homelessness), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 192.

The Right Mix: In reauthorizing the HUD Mckinney-Vento programs, you face a difficult task.
Emergency needs must be met, but permanent solutions must also be promoted. Housing ends
homelessness, but it does not meet service needs: what is the right combination of housing and services?
Rural communities, cities, states, homeless families, mentally ill adults, youth, and children all have
different requirements: how can they be addressed by a single program? Local and state flexibility is
important, but federal leadership is needed to protect the most vulnerable and difficult to serve: what is
the proper mix of federal priorities and local flexibility? These are the questions you face and the
answers that help us make progress are the answers that achieve the proper balance.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                                  Universal Counterplan
Federal leadership has driven local community efforts

Dennis Culhane, (Prof., Social Welfare Policy, U. Pennsylvania), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 102.

The role that the federal government has played in promoting efforts to address chronic homelessness
offers a model that the Committee should consider as it develops legislation to reauthorize the
Mckinney-Vento Act. Federal leadership, as exemplified by the efforts of the United States Interagency
Council on Homelessness working with governors, mayors and county executives, has been responsible
for more than 300 localities and their states in developing "10-year plans" to end homelessness,
including chronic homelessness. While quite variable in their scope and detail, these planning efforts
have been responsible for the leveraging of significant new state and local government resources, as well
as private contributions, to the cause of ending homelessness and chronic homelessness. The Mckinney-
Vento Act resources alone are insufficient to address the problem of chronic homelessness, and state and
local partners will be required as active partners for progress to be made.

Targeted funds justified

Deborah DeSantis, (Pres., Corporation for Supportive Housing), REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT, PART I, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial
Services, Oct. 4, 2007, 63.

Given the facts, McKinney reauthorizing legislation should provide incentives to create more permanent
housing by: Targeting at least 30% of funds to permanent housing for homeless people with disabilities
(individuals and families with a head of household with a disability); Providing incentives through
bonus funding to encourage grantees to invest in cost-effective interventions, including permanent
supportive housing for those experiencing long-term homelessness, for people who are most likely to
remain homeless and least likely to be served by other programs; and Allowing grantees to use funds for
permanent housing as an eligible activity for other homeless individuals and families, with substantial
flexibility to respond to locally identified needs, including short or medium term assistance to help
people find and keep stable independent housing.




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                                   Blaming Kritik Answers
Present system blames the poor for their fate

Anthony Thompson, (Prof., Clinical Law, NYU School of Law), RELEASING PRISONERS,
REDEEMING COMMUNITIES: REENTRY, RACE AND POLITICS, 2008, 74-75.

As public housing and other resources have become progressively more limited, the political leadership
in this country increasingly blames the poor for the conditions they face. It has become a standard
political trope to suggest that poor people are responsible for their own fate and that it is a reflection of
their own failings that they are poor. As part of this new, harsh philosophy, policy makers have made
explicit their intention to provide affordable housing only to those deemed the "deserving poor."
Coupled with this shift in terminology has come a change in identification of the poor. Politicians coined
the phrase "welfare queen" and focused the lens of poverty on the African American community. The
obvious intent was to create code words to invoke stereotypes of race and prejudice while at the same
time attacking some of the neediest in our society. Notwithstanding this nation's social, economic, and
political debt to redress harm to people of color, the rhetorical and policy damage had been done.
Instead of pursuing a housing policy that put forth the notion that every human being has a right to a
home -- not just shelter -- at an affordable cost or, in the case of the destitute, no cost at all, communities
and individuals have been pitted against each other.

HUD’s categories of homeless people have increased blaming

National Network for Youth, REAUTHORIZATION OF THE Mckinney-Vento HOMELESS
ASSISTANCE ACT, PART II, Hrg., House Comm. on Financial Services, Oct. 16, 2007, 118.

Current federal homeless assistance policy (evidenced by the chronic homelessness initiative, the 30
percent set-aside, and the permanent housing bonus) has created both a perception and practice of
favoritism of some people experiencing homelessness over others. This direction is leading both
lawmakers and the general public to differentiate in a practically and emotionally damaging way
between the "deserving poor" and the "undeserving poor." The consequences of homelessness do not
discriminate based on one's disability status. Exposure to inclement weather, physical and verbal abuse,
theft of one's belongings, communicable diseases, and loss of esteem affect all people without safe
places to live. All homeless persons need permanent places to live for their survival, safety, stability,
economic viability, and quality of life. And no homeless subpopulation has easier access to mainstream
housing assistance than other subpopulations - it is extremely difficult for all people experiencing
homelessness.




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Planet Debate 2009 – Homelessness Affirmative


                               Topicality -- Social Services
Housing programs are not cash assistance

Melissa Doak, (Staff, InformationPlus Reference Series), SOCIAL WELFARE: FIGHTING
POVERTY AND HOMELESSNESS, 2008, 125.

Most government housing programs are targeted to poor or low-income households. For this reason
subsidized housing is means-tested, meaning that the income of those receiving help must be below a
certain threshold. The qualifying income level -- much like the definition of poverty -- changes over
time. Beneficiaries of housing assistance never receive cash outright. The benefits are therefore labeled
"means-tested noncash benefits."




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                             Topicality -- Living in Poverty
Public housing residents are living in poverty

Anthony Thompson, (Prof., Clinical Law, NYU School of Law), RELEASING PRISONERS,
REDEEMING COMMUNITIES: REENTRY, RACE AND POLITICS, 2008, 72.

The intersection of poverty and segregation is amplified nationally. Poverty and race intersect most
dramatically in public housing. Racial minorities living in public housing are even more likely than
Whites to earn extremely low incomes. Consequently, the effects of poverty in public housing are
especially acute for African Americans who reside there. Black public housing residents live in
neighborhoods populated by large concentrations of poor African Americans; this is markedly different
than for Whites living in public housing. The average African American household living in family
public housing resides in a project that is 85 percent Black and 8 percent White, with 80 percent of
tenants below the poverty level. The neighborhoods surrounding the developments in which typical
African American public housing families live are similar: the census tract is 68 percent Black, 25
percent White, and 47 percent below the poverty level. Because of discrimination patterns in public
housing, very low-income people of color have been concentrated in specific urban areas. The situation
for White-dominated public housing offers a stark contrast. In general, Whites in public housing live in
conditions that seem to realize "the promise of decent, safe, and sanitary housing."




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