The State Coalition on Housing and Homelessness presented a very successful conference on Homelessness and Housing issues February 4th and 5th. The conference, entitled Building Support For More State Funding, was a very informative and educational conference. Presenters included representatives from HUD and ODOD, along with representatives from the state house.
Topics covered included Welfare Reform: How the State and Local Communities are Responding; Organizing Around the State Budget Process; Expiring Assisted Housing Contracts: What to do Next; the 1997 Super NOFA; Homeless Assistance Grants; Ensuring the Civil Rights of Homeless People; Property Management; New Insights Assisting Homeless People; and Supportive Housing for Special Populations.
One of the most interesting parts of the conference was the lobby sessions with state legislators. There was a huge turnout from the Cincinnati area. Representatives from the Cincinnati area were able to speak with every legislator that has Cincinnati in their jurisdiction. Most of the legislators were contacted personally. There were a couple that were unable to meet because of schedule conflicts. They did, however, provide their aides’ presence.
The focus of the conference was to lobby for a permanent funding source for the housing trust fund. Despite some opposition, the housing trust fund as a line item in the state budget seemed to be well received according to legislators who were contacted.
Copyright NEOCH and the Homeless Grapevine published March 1997-April 1997 Issue 20