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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Congresswoman Beatty Continues Congressional Push to Tackle Homelessness and Keep Americans in Their Homes

Jan 16, 2020
Announcements

U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty’s (OH-03) work to ensure more hardworking families, seniors, veterans, and youth have access to safe, secure, and stable housing is making headlines this week.

On Tuesday, Beatty was invited to join a select group of three lawmakers featured at a forum entitled, ‘Right to a Roof: Tackling Homelessness.” Speaking with moderator Steve Clemons, Editor-at-Large for The Hill, Beatty said, “I absolutely believe that all Americans have a right to a roof. Unfortunately, poverty, wage depression, income inequality, and the affordable housing crisis are putting that right further out of reach for far too many people in Ohio’s Third Congressional District and around the nation.” She explained, “That is why I am leading the charge to increase federal funding to help keep families together and to expand affordable housing options. Moreover, I am continuing to work with my colleagues on pieces of legislation to reduce homelessness among seniors, veterans, aging-out foster youth, and at-risk Americans.”

Later that same day, at the Financial Services Committee’s hearing, “On the Brink of Homelessness: How the Affordable Housing Crisis and the Gentrification of America is Leaving Families Vulnerable,” Beatty reiterated her commitment to addressing homelessness and affordable housing. “I want to thank our witnesses for sharing their stories and confirming why we are all here,” Beatty said. “I am all about family, so when I first came to Congress, I asked my staff to focus on family unification policies and programs.” She continued, “Our efforts paid dividends, particularly in helping to secure $65 million in new funding for the Family Unification Program.”

At the hearing, Beatty also expounded on the compelling story of one witness—who worked full-time at $10/hourly—and his family’s struggle to find affordable housing after they were forcibly and abruptly evicted from their previous apartment. She then went on to inquire about laws and initiatives in various States to help seniors, people with disabilities, and working families manage their rising property taxes in rapidly-changing communities. A full recording of Beatty’s exchange can be viewed on her YouTube page.

{Please note: in the United States, there is nowhere in the country that a family working full-time earning minimum wage can afford a two-bedroom apartment.}

In Congress, Beatty is championing and spearheading numerous bills, programs, and policies to better assist youth and families experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness. To date, Beatty has secured $65 million for the Family Unification Program (FUP), a national initiative to prevent family separation due to homelessness among foster care, aging-out youth—the first time FUP had been funded since 2010. She also fought to get a $6.07 million grant for the City of Columbus’ Community Shelter Board, as well as more than $232,000 for the Huckleberry House, to address area youth homelessness and led efforts to leverage a $30 million grant to advance a $225 million revitalization project of Columbus’ Near East Side. This year alone, Beatty reintroduced the Homeless Veterans Legal Services ActH.R. 716, legislation to better connect homeless veterans to free legal services, and the Trafficking Victims Housing ActH.R. 508, a bill to improve housing services for victims of human trafficking. Finally, she signed on as lead Democratic cosponsor of the Housing Our Military Servicemembers (HOMES) Act, H.R. 715, a bill to make former servicemembers eligible for federal homeless assistance programs.

In November 2019, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty recognized Beatty with the prestigious 2019 Bruce F. Vento Award for her decades-long work to end and prevent homelessness. Founded in 1989, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty is the nation’s only legal group dedicated to ending and preventing homelessness, operating programs across the United States that provide assistance to America’s more than 3.5 million homeless families, children, and individuals. Past Bruce F. Vento Award recipients include former Congressman Elijah Cummings (MD-07), Senator Cory Booker (NJ), and Senator Sherrod Brown (OH).