Assembly Democrats Offer Solutions
to Prevent and End Homelessness
Republicans refuse consideration of substantive, evidence-based plans
May 2, 2017
MADISON – Today, Assembly Republicans passed an anemic package of bills under the guise of addressing homelessness. After six years of driving down wages and failing to expand access to affordable health care, child care, and family medical leave, Republicans have only exacerbated the problem of homelessness in our state. The bills passed today do nothing to address the root causes of homelessness or to expand access to affordable housing, and given the opportunity to pass amendments that invest in substantive, evidence-based solutions, Republicans refused.
“Homelessness has increased under Republicans because their policies and initiatives have consistently driven down wages and contributed to a rapidly shrinking middle class,” said Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) “Now, Republicans offer another pilot program and another council to study the problem, ignoring the plight of the upwards of 20,000 Wisconsinites with no place to call home tonight.”
The Wisconsin Coalition Against Homelessness has indicated that, at a minimum, Wisconsin should triple the $3.25 million of dedicated funds it spends to address homelessness to $10 million. Today, Representative Subeck offered amendments that would have invested in evidence-based approaches of eviction prevention, Rapid Rehousing, and Housing First programs. These amendments followed the recommendations of the Coalition Against Homelessness and of the many homeless services providers who testified at a hearing on the bills. Each amendment failed on a party line vote, with all Republicans voting against investing new resources to end and prevent homelessness.
“Today, Republicans failed the 20,000 men, women, and children who are sleeping on our streets and in our shelters,” said Rep. Subeck. “I am proud to stand with my Democratic colleagues as we remain committed to expanding the availability of affordable housing and case management services, increasing wages, expanding access to health care, and increasing economic security – all key ingredients to ending and preventing homelessness.”