Readout of HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra’s Meeting with United States Interagency Council on Homelessness Executive Director Jeff Olivet
The Secretary Reiterated His Commitment to Address Homelessness as USICH Chair
On Tuesday, November 28, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra met with United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) Executive Director Jeff Olivet to discuss USICH’s ongoing interagency work and outline his priorities as USICH Chair. This meeting builds upon previous conversations and engagements between Secretary Becerra and Executive Director Olivet since Becerra was elected USICH Chair on October 30, 2023.
During the meeting, Secretary Becerra highlighted the important accomplishments to date by USICH and the Biden-Harris Administration to address homelessness. The Secretary also expressed his appreciation to the leaders of USICH and reiterated his priorities as Chair to build on the important work of USICH. These priorities include the need for USICH to learn from innovators at the community and state levels, strengthen coordination among existing federal programs, center behavioral health support within homelessness solutions, and foster collaboration among state and community systems that provide housing, homelessness, health, disability and aging, and other supportive services that help people live successfully and stably in the community.
HHS has taken several actions to address homelessness. They include the Housing and Services Partnership Accelerator, launched in partnership with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program supports states to develop or expand housing-related supports and services for Medicaid-eligible people with disabilities and older adults who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Specifically, the Partnership Accelerator focuses on helping states improve collaboration and coordination between organizations and systems that provide community services and those that help people find – and keep – stable housing in the community.
Additionally, HHS administers a variety of other programs that provide support services for low-income and vulnerable populations, older adults, and people with disabilities to address risk factors in order to prevent homelessness, and work to end homelessness. Many of these programs work closely with other federal agencies and partners, in keeping with the Administration’s commitment to improving coordination. HHS is effectively leveraging resources and streamlining access to services to better serve the American people.
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness is the only federal agency solely dedicated to preventing and ending homelessness in the United States. USICH harnesses the collective power of 19 federal agencies— through the USICH Council—to drive a coordinated federal homelessness strategy and to support state and local efforts to prevent and end homelessness.
The following representatives participated in the meeting:
- HHS Secretary, Xavier Becerra
- Jeff Olivet, Executive Director, USICH
- Miranda Lynch-Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Services Policy, ASPE
- Tisamarie Sherry, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Behavioral Health, Disability, and Aging Policy ASPE