#135 May/Jun 2004

Shelter Shorts

From the Frontline to the Sideline (of society) The federal government reported that veterans make up 9 percent of the U.S. population but 23 percent of the homeless population. Male […]

From the Frontline to the Sideline (of society)

The federal government reported that veterans make up 9 percent of the U.S. population but 23 percent of the homeless population. Male veterans make up 33 percent of all homeless men and are 1.3 times more likely to become homeless than non-veterans (women veterans 3.6 times more likely). According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the estimated number of homeless Vietnam veterans is more than twice the number of soldiers – 58,000 – who died in battle during that war. (Los Angeles Times, 5/29/04)

Calling Up the Troops

Citizen Action of New York and New Jersey Citizen Action – affiliates of USAction/America Votes – are kicking off Volunteer2004.org which will help organize volunteers in the two states to contact 500,000 voters in swing states OH, FL, TN, MI, PA and MO. Volunteers will make door-to-door trips to neighboring states and man phone banks to help galvanize voters for this all important presidential election. (The Nation, 4/27/04)

Fighting Cuts to Section 8

As HUD moves relentlessly to rid the federal government of its obligation to house low-income families, resistance is mounting. Advocates around the country are challenging HUD’s cuts to the Section 8 program, which will result in the loss of 250,000 vouchers nationally. New York State stands to be hit especially hard, with thousands of low-income families facing eviction and possible homelessness. Leading the fight against these cuts in New York is ex-HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo who has gathered together a group of powerful politicians and advocates to form the new Coalition to Save America’s Affordable Housing. If funding for the vouchers is not restored, the coalition plans to sue the government. The coalition’s membership includes Rep. Charles Rangel and Sen. Charles Schumer (both D-NY), and nonprofit organizations such as the National Urban League, New York State Tenants and Neighborhoods and the Coalition for the Homeless. (Newsday, 5/24/04)


Massachusetts’ “anti-snob” zoning law, Chapter 40B, may come screeching to a standstill. Some state legislators are proposing an amendment that will “increase” affordable housing stock by allowing communities to meet their key threshold by counting half of their mobile homes as affordable housing residences. In Carver, factoring in half of its mobile homes boosts the stock from 1.9 percent to 15.6; Wareham, from 5.5 percent to 10.9; and in Halifax, from 1 percent to 8.6. True, mobile homes have provided more affordable options for homeownership, but the real benefactors would be the towns who suddenly won’t have to incorporate nearly as many (if any) “affordable” units in their new developments. (The Boston Globe, 5/18/04)

Insensitive Quote of the Day

“Being poor is a state of mind, not a condition.”

HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, to the House Financial Services Committee on why he refused to discuss housing the poor. (Center for American Progress, 5/21/04)


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  • House Of Cards

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    While the media looks fondly at President Reagan's accomplishments two decades ago, they all but ignore the devastating affects his policies left on the poor.