Congressman Ted W. Lieu, D-Los Angeles, Friday introduced the Prevent Homelessness Act to combat the nation’s growing homelessness crisis, his office announced.

The bill authorizes $500 million in grants annually to establish a Housing Stabilization Fund to cover expenses such as rent, utilities, legal services, and other short-term payments calculated to increase housing stability, according to a statement.

The homeless crisis in Los Angeles has continued to worsen over the past several years. The 2020 Greater L.A. Homeless Count, conducted in January prior to the pandemic, recorded over 66,000 people living on the streets, in shelters, and in vehicles around Los Angeles County, a 12.7% increase from the year before.

“Homelessness has been a major challenge for our community for decades and the current global pandemic and resulting damage to our economy has only made things worse,” said Lieu. “But this is not just a problem for our state or region. Homelessness is a national crisis and requires a national response. The Prevent Homelessness Act would help to stop people from becoming homeless in the first place. The bill creates a $500 million Housing Stabilization Fund to help struggling Americans who may be just one month away from losing their home or one utility bill away from having their lights shut off.”

Lieu is a member of the House Foreign Affairs and House Judiciary Committees and serves as a Co-Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. Lieu is a U.S. Air Force veteran.

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