Homelessness:

Additional Information on the Interagency Council on the Homeless

RCED-89-208FS: Published: Sep 22, 1989. Publicly Released: Oct 9, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information about the Interagency Council on the Homeless' 1988 report to Congress.

GAO found that the Council: (1) spent about $180,000 in contracts with several organizations to develop the annual report, including two commissioned studies about six states' activities and a staff study of two cities' homelessness assistance activities; (2) incorporated much of the three studies' conclusions in its annual report, but did not include information which it believed was critical of federal housing programs or recommend future funding levels, which it believed would be inappropriate during an election year; (3) contracted for newsletter publication and dissemination for $85,000 over 18 months, and for development of conference transcripts for $5,349; (4) requested member agencies to designate staff to help coordinate federal, state, and local homeless assistance activities in each of their regional offices; (5) required Department of Housing and Urban Development regional coordinators to report quarterly about meetings, conferences, newspaper articles, and reports on homelessness; (6) collected and disseminated data from member agencies regarding program funding availability; (7) contracted for development of a permanent database and a supporting management system to track grant information on federal homeless assistance programs; and (8) cancelled its electronic mail system after determining that infrequent staff use did not justify costs.

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