One Dem lawmaker is circulating her own legislation to combat homelessness following the Assembly’s passage of four GOP bills last week.
Rep. Lisa Subeck, the author of five bills she’s calling the “Housing First Package,” was a vocal critic of the Republican legislation; she’s previously said the GOP package doesn’t go far enough to address the issue’s causes.
Still, the bills passed by the the Assembly received bipartisan support, including two that passed unanimously. Of those, one would create an interagency council to find ways for state agencies to collaborate on addressing homelessness, while the other is aimed at freeing up state resources that are underutilized and putting them in areas with greatest need.
But the Madison Dem today said while Republicans have been giving the issue “a lot of lip service,” they took a “backwards approach” to addressing homelessness by not focusing on provisions aimed at securing and maintaining housing long-term.
“We prevent homelessness first and foremost by providing housing,” she said.
Subeck’s legislation is based off various amendments she proposed to the four GOP bills last week. Her bills would:
*Require WHEDA to set up a program aimed at eliminating the wait lists for the federal housing vouchers program. The additional vouchers would be funded by $2.75 million in WHEDA bonding.
*Create an eviction-prevention program that WHEDA would administer and pay for. The program would be funded through $1 million of WHEDA bonding.
*Allocate $2.5 million in funding for housing grants to cover programs aimed at keeping formerly homeless individuals in permanent housing.
*Expand case management services for housing voucher recipients and formerly homeless families. It would be funded through $500,000 in WHEDA bonding.
*Authorize WHEDA to complete a study by January 2018 on the use of social impact bonding to fund the development of new affordable housing.