Military veterans are much more likely to be homeless than other Americans, according to the government’s first in-depth study of homelessness among former servicemembers.
About 16% of homeless adults in a one-night survey in January 2009 were veterans, though vets make up only 10% of the adult population, USA Today reported last week.
More than 75,000 veterans were living on the streets or in a temporary shelter that night. In that year, 136,334 veterans spent at least one night in a homeless shelter — a count that did not include homeless veterans living on the streets.
The urgency of the problem is growing as more people return from service in Iraq and Afghanistan. The study found 11,300 younger veterans, 18 to 30, were in shelters at some point during 2009. Virtually all served in Iraq or Afghanistan, said Mark Johnston, deputy assistant secretary for special needs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
“It’s an absolute shame,” he said.
To read the entire article, click here.
Maryland Legal Aid staff attorney Tabinda Riaz was quoted in the Baltimore Sun in an article about a hearing on the fate of the Madison Park North public housing project in Baltimore.
More than two dozen residents attended the hearing, saying they were worried that they would be unable to find comparable housing or afford to move if the complex, beset with violence and drug dealing, loses its multifamily dwelling license. Legal Aid represents the tenants association.
“I don’t think the city is realizing that this could result in mass homelessness,” Riaz said. “Residents have been left out of the process.”
To read the article, click here.
The question to whether there’s a right to housing in the U.S. will be answered at the second of four lectures in the Homeless Person’s Representation Project’s Speakers Series Sept. 27.
The featured speaker is Florence Roisman, the William F. Harvey Professor of Law at Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis, a nationally recognized expert in homelessness, low-income housing, and housing discrimination and segregation.
“Not only is the right to housing recognized in international law, it grows out of U.S. doctrine,” Roisman said in a phone interview for this week’s Of Service column in the Daily Record. “Franklin Roosevelt raised it in his 1944 State of the Union Address as part of his ‘Second Bill of Rights,’ and Congress established a national housing goal in the 1949 National Housing Act.” To read the column, click here.
A panel discussion follows the lecture with assistant director of advocacy for income security Peter Sabonis of Maryland Legal Aid; Jeff Singer, president and CEO of Health Care for the Homeless; and Jeremy Rosen, policy director for the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.
The free 90-minute lecture starts next Monday at 7 o’clock in the Wheeler Auditorium at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in downtown Baltimore. For more information, call (410) 685-6589, ext. 24 or visit http://www.hprplaw.org.
Baltimore City’s Homeless Services and the United Way of Central Maryland announced yesterday that $8,709,604 from the federal government’s Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program has been awarded to local organizations–including$529,593 to Maryland Legal Aid to provide legal services to prevent homelessness to low-income tenants not otherwise served facing eviction in rent court.
“In this economic environment, all resources that we have to end homelessness are greatly needed,” said Baltimore mayor Sheila Dixon. “I would like to again thank our congressional delegation for their efforts to provide this valuable resource to Baltimore’s most vulnerable residents.”
The funds being distributed to 13 organizations will be used to help advance the goals of “The Journey Home,” Baltimore’s 10-year plan to end homelessness. The remaining funds will be used for evaluation and administrative costs associated with the program that may potentially fund additional projects. United Way of Central Maryland is acting as the fiscal agent of the plan and of the federal stimulus funds.
Northeastern Maryland office (Bel Air) chief attorney Jeanette Cole launched a Q&A legal advice column, Ask Legal Aid, in Loaves & Fishes, a newspaper published bimonthly in Cecil County for homeless folks. This month’s column focuses on landlord/tenant issues. The newspaper is distributed throughout Maryland.
The John J. Leidy Foundation, Inc. in Towson awarded Maryland Legal Aid $5,000 to continue foreclosure prevention work in Baltimore City. “We thank the foundation for helping to enable the Legal Aid Bureau to respond to the foreclosure and predatory lending crisis by assisting low-income homeowners and their communities with legal services to help them to resolve these situations,” wrote Executive Director Wilhelm Joseph in a letter to the foundation. “Legal Aid wants to be at the forefront of responding to this crisis, but we couldn’t do it without your help.”
In addition, The Fund for Change awarded Legal Aid $20,000 in support of its Saving Affordable Housing for At-Risk Families and Seniors Program. “Our staff will provide outreach and information to tenants in the properties and meet with tenants to determine their interests regarding the housing,” Joseph wrote to the fund’s executive director. “We work with tenants in properties that are deteriorating or at risk of losing subsidies, to help them advocate maintaining subsidized, decent and safe housing. Our program will take place in Baltimore City and address family instability caused by poor housing or homelessness.”
Posted in consumer law, foreclosure, homeless, housing, landlord-tenant
Tagged foreclosure prevention, homelessness, John J. Leidy Foundation, low-income homeowners, Maryland Legal Aid, poor housing, predatory lending, subsidies, tenants, The Fund for Change