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Here you'll find sample articles and talking points on key issues related to building healthy communities. These can be incorporated in your own handouts or newsletters to share with others in your network.

Unlocking the Door: Keys to Women's Housing

HUD Budget: FY 2001

HUD's Worst Case Housing Needs Report.

Report on Hunger & Homelessness in America's Cities

Photo Credit: Earl Dotter

Unlocking the Door: Keys to Women's Housing

This compendium of recent research, statistics and policy recommendations, is now available from the McAuley Institute. The packet of issue briefs on 13 topics (including women's pay, the housing shortage, government housing programs, and discrimination against women of color, women with disabilities, domestic violence victims) is for use by candidates and advocates during the election year debate on the role government in helping families.

Contributors to the publication are experts from housing and women's organizations that are part of the Women and Housing Task Force. To order an original copy, contact Makeda Harris at mharris@mcauley.org or call at: 301/588-8110.

Or download a copy by each section below. Please note: These documents are in .PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat to read. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat, please download a free copy prior to accessing "Unlocking The Door".

Unlocking The Door - Keys To Women's Housing: Introduction
Section 1: Pay Equity
Section 2: Rental Housing
Section 3: Homeownership
Section 4: Public Housing
Section 5: Homeless Women
Section 6: Service Enriched Housing
Section 7: Housing Discrimination Against Women
Section 8: Women of Color
Section 9: Domestic Violence
Section 10: Women with Disabilities
Section 11: Older Women
Section 12: Rural Women
Section 13: Displaced Homemakers

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HUD Budget: FY 2001

On February 7, 2000, the HUD budget for FY 2001 proposed by President Clinton was announced. Considered to be the strongest budget in 20 years, it "renews HUD's commitment to its core programs and addresses challenges facing America's communities". The President's budget requests $32.1 Billion for HUD which is $6Billion, or 22 percent, more than the present funding level. Of the $6Billion, $2.37Billion is needed to renew expiring Section 8 and homeless Shelter Plus Care.

The budget calls for 120,000 new incremental housing vouchers. This is double the 60,000 enacted for this year and more than double the 50,000 for last year. These new vouchers are important because between the years 1994 through 1998 no new Section 8 vouchers were added to the program, and in 1998 alone, more than 17,000 subsidized units left the project-based Section 8 program.

The budget also includes several new initiatives such as the Community and Interfaith Partnerships Initiative and the Missisppi Delta Economic Development Initiative. The first would provide $20 million to help community and faith-based organizations in thir efforts to supply affordable housing, create economic opportunity, promote the goal of fair housing and increas the effectiveness of HUD programs like Section 8 vouchers.

The Delta Initiative The Delta Initiative is a government-wide effort to jump start the economy of that region of the country left behind by the economic boom of the past decade. HUD's proposal calls for $22 million to for this project and would work with other Federal agencies using its expertise in housing and economic development to help revitalize the region's economy.

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HUD's Worst Case Housing Needs Report

HUD has released Rental Housing Assistance - The Worsening Crisis, a report on conditions facing the nation's poorest renters. The report finds that a record 5.3 million low income households pay half or more of their annual earnings in rent or are living in substandard conditions. Households with the lowest incomes - below 30 percent of area median income - are experiencing the worst case housing needs, HUD notes.

Almost 70 percent of these households qualify for federal housing assistance but are not receiving it due to lack of funds. Trends show that at least 59 percent of these households are headed by single women or women living alone. About 40 percent of households with worst case housing needs have at least one member of the household employed full time.

To get a copy of the HUD's report, go to the HUD website at www.hud.gov.

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A Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness in America's Cities-1999

To assess the stus of hunger and homelessness in American's cities, The U.S. Conference of Mayors surveyed 26 major cities. A survey was conducted to address information regarding 1) the demand for emergency food assistance and emergency shelter; 2)causes of hunger and homelessness; 3) exemplary programs or efforts in the the cities to respond to hunger & homelessness; 4)the availibility of affordable housing for low income people; 5) and the outlook for the future and impact of the economy on hunger & homelessness.

City officials of all 26 major cities surveyed cited the lack of affordable housing leaded the list of causes of homelessness. Other causes included substance abuse and the lack of needed services, low paying jobs, domestic violence, mental illness, changes and cuts in public assistance and the lack of access to affordable healthcare.

In 65 percent of the cities surveyed, families may have to break up in order to be sheltered and 62 percent of the cities report families may have to spend their daytime hours outside of the shelter they use at night.

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