National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty Endorses Denham Legislation

Washington, D.C. – February 18, 2016 – (RealEstateRama) — In a letter sent to the chairmen and ranking members of two House committees, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP) yesterday announced their support for U.S. Representative Jeff Denham’s Federal Asset Sale and Transfer Act (FAST Act) and the changes it contains to Title V of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.

The NLCHP wrote to Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster, Ranking Member Peter DeFazio, Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings to highlight the efforts made in Rep. Denham’s legislation to preserve and enhance Title V as it applies to the ways federal property disposal law impacts the homeless.

As noted in the letter, Title V requires federal agencies to report excess, surplus, unutilized, or under-utilized government property and provides homeless assistance organizations with a right of first refusal to acquire the excess property to provide housing and other services to the homeless. Under this provision, which has been in place since President Reagan signed it into law in 1987, more than 2.4 million Americans receive assistance annually through the nearly 500 federal properties transferred since the law’s inception.

Rep. Denham’s bipartisan FAST Act alters the process for the selling of federal properties, shrinking the size of government, eliminating waste, and saving taxpayers billions of dollars. The bill establishes an independent board to identify federal properties to be sold and consolidated.

“My legislation brings much-needed change to the current process of selling off unused and under-utilized federal properties, ending a multi-billion dollar drain on taxpayers,” said Rep. Denham. “We worked extensively with the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty to ensure that the changes we make maintain the ability of the homeless to be served by unnecessary federal property. Homelessness is a serious problem in this country and the NLCHP is a strong advocate in helping our most vulnerable members of society get off the street. I’m happy to have their support as we move this important bill forward – for the homeless in my community and across the nation.”

The NLCHP’s full letter can be found here. More information on the Federal Asset Sale and Transfer Act, including full bill text, can be found here.

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