There is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (03/23/1987)

Urgent Relief for the Homeless Act - Title I: Interagency Council on the Homeless Act - Interagency Council on the Homeless Act - 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.

Title II: Clarification of Use of Excess Property Under the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 - Excess Property Identification Act of 1987 - Requires: (1) each Federal agency to identify excess property under its control that would be suitable for use as a shelter or to provide services to the homeless; and (2) the Administrator of General Services to report to the Council on the availability of such property.

Title III: Shelter Program - Part A: General Provisions - Emergency Food and Shelter Act of 1987 - 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.

Part 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 limited 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.

Authorizes FY 1987 appropriations, including any amount provided under Public Law 100-6 (additional funding for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency).

Part C: Case Management - Requires the Director of FEMA, within 30 days of enactment of a law providing appropriations to carry out this part, to provide grants to the Board to be given to recipient private nonprofit organizations and units of local government under part B of this Act to provide the homeless in shelters with case management services. Requires recipients to provide or arrange for such services. Sets forth required services.

States that, if feasible in certain areas, the government or private entity operating a homeless shelter shall give preference to specified Community Services Block Grant programs in arranging for the provision of case management services.

Authorizes FY 1987 and 1988 appropriations.

Title IV: Housing Assistance - Requires a State or urban area to submit a comprehensive homeless assistance plan for approval to the Interagency Council on the Homeless in order to receive housing assistance under this Act. Sets forth required contents of such plan, including a description of the local homeless population and the existing services available to them.

Requires the Council to review and approve a plan within 30 days unless such plan fails to meet the requirements of this Act.

Requires: (1) annual performance monitoring reports to the Council; and (2) the Council to carry out performance evaluations beginning with FY 1990.

Authorizes additional FY 1987 and 1988 appropriations for: (1) the transitional housing program; and (2) the emergency shelter grant program.

Increases the minimum allocation amounts for the emergency shelter grants program. Exempts such additional emergency shelter assistance from a specified planning requirement.

Increases available budget authority for five-year contract section 8 existing housing certificates for the homeless, especially the elderly and homeless families with children. Permits such certificates to be attached to a housing unit owned by a nonprofit organization which has agreed to provide shelter and services to the homeless.

Increases available budget authority for ten-year contract section 8 single room occupancy dwellings for the homeless. Requires the installation of sprinkler systems, smoke detectors, and other fire and safety improvements. Limits rehabilitation costs to $14,000 per unit, unless local conditions such as contruction or acquisition costs or fire or building codes require increases.

Title V: Health Services and Mental Health Services for the Homeless - Health Services and Mental Health Services for the Homeless Act - Part A: Health Services - Amends title III (General Powers and Duties of Public Health Service) of the Public Health Service Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) to make grants to public and nonprofit private entities for: (1) health services for homeless individuals; and (2) mental health services for homeless individuals who do not have a chronic mental illness. Specifies services such entities are required to provide and other requirements in order to be eligible for grants. Requires the Secretary to give preference to entities which have experience in providing comprehensive primary health care services to homeless individuals and medically underserved populations.

Provides that such required services shall be provided to any homeless individual without regard to ability to pay. Specifies requirements for any fees charged by grant recipients.

Requires the Secretary to report annually to the appropriate congressional committees.

Authorizes FY 1987 and 1988 appropriations.

Part B: Mental Health Services - Amends title XIX (Block Grants) of the Public Health Service Act to authorize FY 1987 and 1988 appropriations. Prohibits the Secretary from using more than one percent of the amount appropriated for administration.

Provides a formula for allotment of funds to States, the District of Columbia, and certain U.S. territories and possessions.

Specifies how such allotments shall be used for emergency projects for homeless individuals who have chronic mental illnesses. Includes in such uses: (1) services to individuals who are homeless or who have chronic mental illness and are at risk of becoming homeless; and (2) certain training of individuals to enable them to provide services to homeless individuals. Prohibits certain uses of such allotments, including inpatient services, cash payments to recipients, and, subject to waiver by the Secretary, capital expenditures.

Prohibits more than five percent of the amount paid to a State from being used for administrative costs.

Sets forth application provisions.

Makes applicable to allotments under the Act provisions of existing law relating to adjustments of allotments under certain circumstances, reports and audits, withholding of funds for cause, discrimination, and criminal penalties for false statements.

Title VI: Assuring the Education of Homeless Children - Amends the General Education Provisions Act to require each State educational agency to adopt and implement a plan to ensure each homeless child of full and equal opportunities. Prohibits the application of State or local residency requirements so as to bar any homeless child from attending school. Sets forth requirements regarding selection of the school in which such child will be enrolled, transportation to the school selected, maintenance of the child's records, and participation in educational programs and services.

Requires the Secretary to make grants to State and local educational agencies for exemplary programs for homeless students. Sets forth eligibility and application requirements. Requires the Secretary to disseminate information on such exemplary programs to other State and local educational agencies. Authorizes FY 1987 and 1988 appropriations.

Title VII: Job Training for the Homeless Demonstration Project - Requires the Secretary of Labor to make grants for the Federal share of job training demonstration projects for homeless individuals. Authorizes the Secretary of Labor to enter into contracts to carry out this title.

Restricts eligibility for such grants to applicants located in a State which has submitted a comprehensive plan as provided for in this Act.

Specifies elements required to be included in grant applications. Sets forth the purposes for which such grants may be used.

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

Requires the Secretary to annually evaluate each demonstration project and submit a report to the Interagency Council on the Homeless. Requires the Secretary 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 project receiving assistance under this title; (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.

Authorizes FY 1988 appropriations.

Terminates such program on October 1, 1990.

Title VIII: Nutrition - Nutrition for Homeless Individuals Act of 1987 - Part A: Food Stamp Program - Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to define "homeless individual" for purposes of such Act as defined in the Urgent Relief for the Homeless Act.

Authorizes food stamp outreach for the homeless.

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.

Part 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 program (TEFAP).

Increases FY 1987 TEFAP authorizations. Authorizes FY 1988 program appropriations. States that any FY 1987 or 1988 appropriations in excess of such authorizations shall be used for the homeless.

Part C: Effective Date - Makes the provisions of this Act, with stated exceptions, effective not later than 160 days after enactment.