The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 29, 2008

Statement by the Press Secretary

At the beginning of his Administration, President Bush set a goal to end chronic homelessness in America. Today, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Preston reported that the Administration has continued to make progress on this goal. The Department of Housing and Urban Development's Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress reports that chronic homelessness decreased an average of 15% per year between 2005 - 2007 and demonstrates that targeted, focused resources can achieve measurable results.

Since the President took office, HUD has awarded approximately $10 billion to support local housing and service programs that help more Americans move off the streets and into safe, stable homes. The President has requested $1.6 billion for HUD's homeless programs for the FY 2009 budget, representing a 60 percent increase in funding over 2001 levels. He calls upon Congress to swiftly pass this legislation to ensure that the Federal Government continues to make progress on reducing homelessness in our country.

President Bush also appreciates the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness' leadership in convening 20 federal agencies to work together, using increased federal resources to reach the most vulnerable and disabled of our neighbors and end their homelessness. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Peake continues to do an excellent job in leading the Council and specifically strengthening the VA's support for projects that serve and target homeless veterans. VA expects to spend more than $300 million this year in programs to assist homeless veterans.

The President will continue to direct his Administration to make measurable progress on the streets and in the shelters of our communities to build on this momentum.

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