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Press Releases - County Council

Council expands mission and duties of Interagency Commission on Homelessness

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Rockville, Md., July 21, 2020—Today the Council unanimously enacted Bill 7-20, Interagency Commission on Homelessness (ICH) - Membership and Duties, which updates and expands the membership and duties of the commission.The ICH is a 25-member commission created by the Council in 2014 to coordinate public and private programs to reduce homelessness in the County. The commission is also responsible for influencing County government policies and procedures and the development and implementation of state and federal laws affecting the lives, rights and welfare of individuals experiencing homelessness in Montgomery County.

The County’s goal is to ensure that everyone has a home, and that homelessness is rare, brief and nonrecurring. Bill 7-20 clarifies that the mission of the ICH is to end and prevent homelessness, instead of solely reducing homelessness. The legislation is necessary to improve the governance and effectiveness of the ICH. Councilmembers Evan Glass, Gabe Albornoz and Craig Rice are the lead sponsors of Bill 7-20. All other Councilmembers are cosponsors.

“We have made important strides to ensure that homelessness in Montgomery County is rare, brief and nonrecurring,” said Councilmember Glass, who is a member of the Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee and is the Council’s Lead for Homelessness and Vulnerable Communities. “This important legislation will expand our efforts to prevent individuals from experiencing homelessness, especially women and families, many of whom are of color. It is another expansion of our social safety net to create a more fair and equitable community.”

“Homelessness impacts and disrupts the quality of life for many individuals, especially in our underserved communities,” said Councilmember Gabe Albornoz, who chairs the Health and Human Services Committee. “Connecting with additional partners and expanding the role of the Interagency Commission on Homelessness will help improve the livelihoods of those most impacted and curb the displacement that homelessness causes for vulnerable residents and their families.”

“In order for the county to provide the appropriate resources needed to help our homeless population, we must have representation from those who have the knowledge and experience in how to best provide for these services,” said Councilmember Craig Rice, who is a member of the HHS Committee and chair of the Education and Culture Committee.

Under Bill 7-20, the ICH remains a 25-member commission, but its composition will change. At the request of ICH members, certain ex officio slots will be replaced with more public representatives, including social service, healthcare, family services and affordable housing providers. These changes will lead to a more balanced commission with emphasis placed on coordinated and comprehensive results.

The Council staff report on Bill 7-20 can be viewed at https://tinyurl.com/y6tf93sm .

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Release ID: 20-319
Media Contact: Valeria Carranza 240-777-7900