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HR 161 directs various federal departments to design national strategies for providing services in supportive housing that will assist in ending chronic homelessness and to implement programs that address chronic homelessness. It amends the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 201 et seq.) to allow the Department of Health and Human Services to award grants to address chronic homelessness.

The bill defines "chronic homelessness" as those individuals who

  • Have been homeless for at least a year or at least four times within the last three years; and
  • "[Have] an adult head of household … with a diagnosable substance use disorder, a serious mental illness, a developmental disability …, post traumatic stress disorder, a cognitive impairment resulting from a brain injury, or a chronic physical illness or disability or the co-occurrence of 2 or more chronic physical illnesses or disabilities."

HR 161 was introduced in the House on January 3, 2017, and was referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on the same date.