Mercedes Márquez reflects on Home For Good and federal partnership

Mercedes Márquez reflects on Home For Good and federal partnership

This week the Business Leaders Task Force will be participating in the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce’s Access DC trip. During their trip, Task Force members will be visiting the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and our Congressional leaders in order to advocate for specific policy change related to homelessness and Home For Good. In line with Access DC, we are kicking off this week’s blog with a guest post from Mercedes Márquez, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Community Planning and Development at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and one of our Home For Good Partners.


Ms. Márquez is responsible for over $7 billion in assistance to America’s communities, directing programs that are vital to the well-being of the nation’s states and localities.

It is hard to believe that it has been nearly one year since I was back in Los Angeles to join you for Home for Good’s first Summit.  There, leaders from federal and local government, nonprofit and private sectors came together to discuss system-wide changes and recommendations that utilize both targeted and mainstream resources to reach the goals outlined in Home for Good.

Over the last year, the collaboration and public-private partnership that you have fostered has been remarkable.  I commend the Home for Good team and the 100-plus organizations and leaders involved in the Initiative.  Keep it up!

Partnership is one of the central themes of Opening Doors, the first federal plan to prevent and end homelessness. Like all member agencies that make up the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is committed to Opening Doors and to transforming the way our federal government responds to this national crisis.  Through this commitment, we acknowledge that we can only get to the finish line with Opening Doors if we continue to fund targeted programs while also improving local housing and service delivery systems and increasing access to federal mainstream assistance.  That is why it is so essential to continue to strengthen our collaboration.

Los Angeles has set the bar high by aligning public and private funding for permanent supportive housing.  Coupled with improved targeting and the creation of housing and services to help people thrive, Home for Good is well on its way to delivering on its promise.

As a result of last year’s Summit, there were six priority recommendations identified for the federal government to support Home for Good’s implementation.  My colleague Barbara Poppe at the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness was proud to share that we have made progress on all six.

HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development has also invested substantially to support your success.  Last December, we awarded $86.5 million in homeless assistance to renew funding to hundreds of programs through the four continuums of care in Los Angeles County.  This is in addition to our robust investments in the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program and other mainstream housing and community development initiatives in communities throughout Los Angeles County.

HUD remains steadfast in our commitment to partner with you to further solutions to homelessness so we may one day welcome all homeless Angelenos home for good.


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