Summary: H.R.558 — 100th Congress (1987-1988)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Conference report filed in House (06/19/1987)

(Conference report filed in House, H. Rept. 100-174)

Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act - Title I: General Provisions - States that the purpose of this Act is to: (1) establish an Interagency Council on the Homeless; (2) use public resources in a more coordinated manner to meet the needs of the homeless; and (3) provide program funds for the homeless, with special emphasis on elderly persons, handicapped persons, families with children, Native Americans, and veterans.

Defines "homeless" to include an individual: (1) who lacks a fixed nighttime residence; and (2) whose primary nighttime residence is a supervised temporary shelter, institution, or a place not ordinarily used for sleeping. Excludes prisoners from such definition. Limits homeless assistance under this Act to persons who comply with the appropriate income eligibility requirements.

Title II: Interagency Council on the Homeless - Establishes the Interagency Council on the Homeless as the successor to the Department of Health and Human Services' Federal Task Force on the Homeless. Transfers all Task Force functions to the Council and terminates the Task Force.

Sets forth Council functions, including: (1) Federal homeless program review; (2) governmental and private programs evaluation; (3) information distribution; and (4) provision of professional and technical assistance.

Requires each Federal agency to report annually (the first report due within 90 days of enactment of this Act) to the Congress and the Council regarding its programs for the homeless, any impediments including statutory or regulatory restrictions affecting such programs, and efforts made to increase food, shelter, and support opportunities for the homeless.

Requires the Council to report annually to the President and to the Congress regarding: (1) the nature and extent of the homeless problem; (2) Council activities in cooperation with governmental and private entities; (3) Federal programs for the homeless, and an assessment of necessary levels of Federal assistance; and (4) appropriate recommendations.

Authorizes FY 1987 and 1988 appropriations.

Terminates the Council three years after enactment of this Act.

Title III: Federal Emergency Management Food and Shelter Program - Subtitle A: Administrative Provisions - Establishes the Emergency Food and Shelter Program National Board, to be constituted by the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in accordance with the provisions of this Act. Directs FEMA to act as Federal liaison and provide support services to the Board.

States that each Board-designated locality shall constitute a local board for purposes of determining fund distributions.

Sets forth local board responsibilities, including: (1) coordination with other governmental assistance programs; (2) selection of grant recipients; and (3) program monitoring.

Sets forth Board recordkeeping and audit provisions, including authority for access by the Comptroller General of the United States.

Requires the Board to report annually to the Congress.

Subtitle B: Emergency Food and Shelter Grants - Requires the Director of FEMA, within 30 days of enactment of a law providing appropriations to carry out this part, to provide funds to the Board for grants to private nonprofit organizations and units of local government to: (1) provide shelter, food, and support services to the homeless, with attention given to homeless persons with mental and physical disabilities; (2) strengthen efforts to create more effective and innovative local programs; and (3) conduct minimum rehabilitation of existing mass shelter or mass feeding facilities.

Limits Board funding to only those programs carried out by nonprofit organizations and units of local government which are consistent with the purposes of this title. Prohibits the Board from carrying out programs directly. Limits administrative costs to not more than five percent of total appropriations.

Requires the Board to establish written guidelines, including: (1) methods for identifying needy localities, and determining allocations; (2) eligible program costs; and (3) guidelines specifying the responsibilities and reporting requirements of the Board, its recipients and service providers.

Subtitle C: General Provisions - Authorizes FY 1987 and 1988 appropriations to carry out this title.

Title IV: Housing Assistance - Subtitle A: Comprehensive Homeless Assistance Plan - Requires a State, city, or urban area to submit a comprehensive homeless assistance plan for approval to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in order to receive emergency shelter grants in excess of the minimum allocation provided for by this title.

Requires a comprehensive homeless assistance plan to contain: (1) a description of need; (2) a description of available facilities and services; (3) a strategy to match the needs of the homeless with such services and to meet the specific needs of such groups as the elderly, the mentally ill, veterans, and families with children; and (4) an explanation of how Federal assistance will enhance such services.

Requires the Secretary to: (1) review and approve a submitted plan within 30 days of receipt unless the plan fails to contain the necessary requirements; and (2) inform the State, county, or city within 15 days of a disapproval of the reasons for such decision and the steps necessary to make the plan acceptable. Deems a plan approved if the Secretary fails to follow such requirements.

Requires recipients to monitor their plan performance and to report to the Secretary. Makes recipients who fail to follow such requirements ineligible for further assistance under this title.

Subtitle B: Emergency Shelter Grants Program - Authorizes additional FY 1987 and 1988 appropriations for the emergency shelter grant program. Makes the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and any other U.S. territory eligible for such assistance.

Sets minimum city or urban county grant requirements at .05 percent of a fiscal year's emergency shelter grant appropriation.

Provides for the in-State reallocation of funds from a jurisdiction failing to have its plan approved within a specified time, and for the out-of-State reallocation if a State has no approved plan.

Authorizes the Secretary to waive the 15 percent limitation on locally-provided essential services.

Subtitle C: Supportive Housing Demonstration Program - Directs the Secretary to establish a program of housing and supportive services for the homeless, and especially for deinstitutionalized homeless persons, homeless families with children, and homeless persons with mental or physical handicaps.

Authorizes the following types of assistance: (1) advances for acquisition or substantial rehabilitation of an existing structure; (2) grants for moderate rehabilitation of an existing structure; (3) annual transitional housing operating expenses; and (4) technical assistance.

Requires full repayment of advance assistance if a project is not used as supportive housing for at least ten years (with reduced repayment for every year of use in excess of ten years). Provides that a project may continue to be treated as supportive housing if the Secretary approves an alternative use for low-income persons.

Sets forth application and selection criteria.

Requires transitional housing assistance recipients to provide matching funds which may include the value of donated material, buildings, or leases. Requires recipients of permanent housing for handicapped homeless persons assistance to provide matching funds that are to be used solely for rehabilitation and acquisition. Authorizes the Secretary to waive all or part of such matching requirement if a State is unable to meet such requirements and local government sources will contribute the State's share.

Limits administrative expenses to not more than five percent of project costs.

Requires an interim program report to the Congress within three months of the end of FY 1987 and a final report within six months of the end of FY 1988.

Authorizes FY 1987 and 1988 appropriations. Reserves specified amounts for: (1) transitional housing projects for homeless families with children; and (2) permanent housing for handicapped homeless persons.

Subtitle D: Supplemental Assistance for Facilities to Assist the Homeless - Authorizes the Secretary to provide supplemental homeless assistance. Sets forth eligibility and selection criteria.

Directs the Secretary, to the extent practicable, to reserve at least 50 percent of program funds for homeless elderly persons and homeless families with children (including child care facilities).

Provides for coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary of HHS) regarding outpatient health services.

Limits administrative expenses to not more than five percent of project costs.

Authorizes FY 1987 and 1988 appropriations.

Subtitle E: Miscellaneous Provisions - Amends the United States Housing Act of 1937 to increase FY 1987 and 1988 appropriations for section 8 assistance for single room occupancy dwellings. Requires funds to be allocated through a national competition based on need and program ability.

Requires proposals to contain: (1) target population size and characteristics; (2) other potential assistance sources; (3) an inventory of housing stock; and (4) a description of the interest expressed by builders and developers in program participation.

Prohibits a recipient from receiving more than ten percent of the total assistance available under such program.

Requires the installation of sprinkler systems, smoke detectors, and other fire and safety requirements. Limits rehabilitation costs to $14,000 per unit, unless local conditions such as construction or acquisition costs or fire or building codes require increases.

Amends the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 to maintain eligibility for specified urban counties under the community development block grant (CDBG) formula for allocating homeless assistance and CDBG funds.

Title V: Identification and Use of Surplus Federal Property - Directs the Secretary to: (1) collect information about Federal public buildings and other property which other Federal agencies have identified as underutilized, and identify those that would be suitable for use by the homeless; and (2) notify the appropriate agencies regarding such facilities. Requires the agency to notify the Secretary and the Administrator of General Services of its intentions regarding such facilities.

Directs the Administrator and the Secretary of HHS to take appropriate action to make the identified property available for use.

Requires that Federal buildings be made available only through lease for at least one-year, with the ownership to remain with the Federal Government.

Requires the Administrator to submit quarterly program reports, beginning within 90 days after enactment of this Act, to the Congress and to the Interagency Council on the Homeless.

Amends the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 to make surplus personal property available to nonprofit agencies.

Title VI: Health Care for the Homeless - Subtitle A: Primary Health Services and Substance Abuse Services - Amends the Public Health Service Act to direct the Secretary of HHS, acting through the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, to make grants for health care and mental health care services for the homeless.

Gives priority to applicants with experience in providing health or substance abuse services to the homeless or medically underserved populations.

Requires grantees to: (1) make health services accessible to the homeless; (2) provide 24-hour service; (3) provide in-patient referrals; (4) provide outreach services; and (5) aid homeless persons to obtain entitlements and services.

Authorizes grantees to use program funds for mental health services for the homeless.

Prohibits grantees from: (1) providing inpatient services, except for short-term substance abuse treatment; (2) giving cash payments to individuals; or (3) purchasing or improving real property, or purchasing major medical equipment.

Limits grantee service charges.

Limits Federal contributions to 75 percent of service costs.

Limits grantee administrative costs to ten percent.

Permits grants to be used to refer chronically mentally ill homeless persons to certain advocacy systems under the Protection and Advocacy for Mentally Ill Individuals Act of 1986.

Permits grantees to contract for outpatient health services with specified nonprofit self-help organizations.

Authorizes the Secretary of HHS to provide grantee technical assistance.

Requires the Secretary of HHS to report annually to the Congress on the utilization and costs of outpatient health services.

Authorizes FY 1987 and 1988 appropriations.

Makes the homeless eligible for National Health Service Corps services.

Requires the Secretary of HHS, within 18 months of enactment of this Act, to complete a study and report to the Congress regarding the extent to which State mental health deinstitutionalization policies contribute to homelessness.

Subtitle B: Community Mental Health Services - Amends the Public Health Service Act to direct the Secretary of HHS to establish a FY 1987 and 1988 block grant program for services to homeless persons who are chronically mentally ill.

Limits Federal contributions to 75 percent of service costs.

Requires grantees to provide specified services, including: (1) outreach; (2) case management; (3) community mental health services; (4) staff training; (5) health care and substance abuse referrals; and (6) support services.

Prohibits grantees from: (1) providing inpatient services; (2) giving cash payments to individuals; or (3) purchasing or improving real property, or purchasing major medical equipment.

Limits grantee administrative costs to four percent.

Allocates funds among States based upon the ratio of a State's urban population with the U.S. urban population, with a $275,000 minimum allotment.

Requires a State to submit to the Secretary of HHS a description of its intended fund use in order to quality for such assistance. Requires States, subsequent to FY 1987, to submit fiscal year program reports to the Secretary of HHS. Requires the Comptroller General to periodically evaluate State program expenditures.

Authorizes the Secretary of HHS to provide States with technical assistance.

Prohibits, and provides criminal penalties for, the making of certain false statements under this subtitle.

Sets forth nondiscrimination provisions.

Authorizes FY 1987 and 1988 appropriations.

Authorizes additional FY 1987 appropriations for community mental health services demonstration projects for homeless persons who are chronically mentally ill.

Authorizes FY 1987 appropriations for grants for community demonstration projects for alcohol and drug abuse treatment of homeless persons.

Title VII: Education, Training, and Community Services Programs - Subtitle A: Adult Education for the Homeless - Amends the Adult Education Act to make homeless adults eligible for services under such Act.

Directs the Secretary of Education to make grants to State educational agencies for literacy and basic skill training for the homeless. Authorizes FY 1987 and 1988 appropriations. Bases State allocations on the number of homeless, with a minimum allotment of $75,000.

Subtitle B: Education for Homeless Children and Youth - States that it is the policy of the Congress that State educational agencies shall assure that homeless children have access to free public education, by revising residency requirements as appropriate, among other actions.

Authorizes the Secretary of Education to make grants to States to: (1) carry out such policies and activities; and (2) establish or designate in each State an Office of Coordinator of Education of Homeless Children and Youth.

Requires the Office of Coordinator to: (1) carry out the State's education plan for homeless children; (2) gather data on such children; and (3) prepare an interim report for the Secretary by December 31, 1987, and a final report by December 31, 1988.

Requires each State to adopt a homeless children education plan.

Authorizes FY 1987 and 1988 appropriations.

Directs the Comptroller General to prepare and submit a report on homeless children to the Congress by June 30, 1988.

Requires the Secretary of Education to: (1) make grants to State and local educational agencies for exemplary programs for homeless students; and (2) disseminate information on such exemplary program to other State and local educational agencies. Authorizes FY 1988 appropriations.

Subtitle C: Job Training for the Homeless - Requires the Secretary of Labor to make grants for the Federal share of job training demonstration projects for homeless individuals.

Requires a State to describe in a comprehensive plan how it will coordinate such projects with other services for homeless individuals assisted under this Act.

Specifies elements required to be included in grant applications. Sets forth the purposes for which such grants may be used, including: (1) basic skills and literacy instruction; and (2) job search and counseling activities.

Sets the Federal share of the cost of demonstration projects at between 50 percent and 90 percent for each fiscal year. Allows the non-Federal share to be in cash or in-kind. Limits the amount of fiscal year grants to any State to 15 percent of the total amount appropriated for this title.

Requires the Secretary of Labor to evaluate each demonstration project at the end of the first fiscal year for which funds are appropriated under this title and to submit a report to the Interagency Council on the Homeless (Interagency Council). Requires the Secretary of Labor to submit a final report to the President, the Congress, and the Interagency Council.

Requires the Interagency Council to: (1) prepare and publish a report evaluating each recipient project; (2) make a determination of the relative effectiveness of such projects; and (3) make recommendations, including recommendations for legislation, to the Congress on job training programs for homeless individuals to be established on a national basis.

Requires the Secretary of Labor to conduct, directly or through grants or contracts, projects to reintegrate homeless veterans into the labor force. Requires administration of such program through the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training.

Authorizes FY 1988 appropriations for programs under this subtitle. Reserves a specified amount for veterans' reintegration projects.

Amends the Job Training Partnership Act to include homeless persons within the definition of "economically disadvantaged" for purposes of such Act.

Terminates the provision of this subtitle (except for the definition of economically disadvantaged) on October 1, 1990.

Subtitle D: Emergency Community Services Homeless Grant Program - Directs the Secretary of HHS to carry out an emergency community services homeless grant program through the Department's Office of Community Services. Sets forth program requirements. Authorizes FY 1987 and 1988 appropriations.

Subtitle E: Miscellaneous Provisions - Authorizes the Secretary of HHS to make grants for a youth homelessness study. Funds such study for FY 1987 through specified appropriations under the Social Security Act. Reserves for Indian tribes specified amounts under the job training and emergency community services homeless programs under this Act.

Title VIII: Food Assistance for the Homeless - Subtitle A: Food Stamp Program - Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to define "homeless individual" as a person: (1) who lacks a fixed nighttime residence; and (2) whose primary nighttime residence is a supervised temporary shelter, institution, temporary accommodation in another's residence, or a place not ordinarily used for sleeping.

Includes within the definition of "household" for food stamp program purposes a parent of minor children and that parent's children, notwithstanding the presence in the home of other persons who do not normally buy food and prepare meals with the parent and children. Requires reexamination of such separate household status at least every four months.

Requires annual October 1 adjustment of food stamp income eligibility standards.

Includes homeowners' costs and maintenance and repair in the annual standard deduction adjustment.

Disallows the earned income deduction with respect to earned income that, willfully or fraudulently, was not timely reported.

Increases excess shelter expense deduction caps for the 50 States and Guam and the Virgin Islands. Requires annual October 1 adjustments beginning October 1, 1988.

Provides that third party payments for temporary housing lacking cooking or refrigeration facilities shall not be considered household income for food stamp benefit purposes.

Authorizes food stamp outreach to homeless persons.

Requires States to provide food stamps within five days of application to: (1) the homeless; and (2) persons whose combined gross income and liquid resources are less than their monthly rent and utilities.

Subtitle B: Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) - Amends the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Act of 1983 to provide for an increased variety of commodities for distribution under the temporary emergency food assistance (TEFAP) program.

Extends TEFAP, including storage and distribution authorizations, through FY 1988.

Makes excess Commodity Credit Corporation flour, cheese, and cornmeal available for FY 1988.

Title IX: Veterans' Provisions - Amends the Veterans' Job Training Act to authorize appropriations through FY 1988. Extends veterans' job training application and entry deadlines.