Trenton – In an effort to further assist residents facing eviction and homelessness, the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee today advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Brian Stack to require certain Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP) agencies to remain open during a public health emergency.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, district offices had significant difficulties getting in contact with HPP agencies, encountering voicemails from agencies indicating that they were closed despite many of them receiving state and federal funding,” said Senator Stack (D-Hudson). “This legislation would guarantee that HPP agencies remain open during public health emergencies to serve the public and connect them with resources when they need it the most. Additionally, the bill would ensure the presence of HPP agencies within populous counties to provide more resources and meet the demand of people needing assistance.”
The bill, S-3274, would require that at least two HPP agencies operate in each county with a population of at least 350,000 to manage and implement the program. Under the bill, additional HPP agencies within an eligible county would receive funding from the monies received by the state under federal financial assistance programs to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 3-0.