Status of the Activities of the Interagency Council on the Homeless

T-RCED-89-16: Published: Mar 15, 1989. Publicly Released: Mar 15, 1989.

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GAO discussed the activities of the Interagency Council on the Homeless, focusing on: (1) its structure and purpose; (2) its efforts to meet the Homeless Assistance Act's requirements; and (3) problems the staff experienced in attempting to fulfill the Council's responsibilities. GAO found that: (1) the Council's effort to meet its statutory responsibilities was inadequate and ineffective; (2) the Council did not start to fully function until almost 1 year after its creation and was never fully staffed; (3) although the Council's annual report presented data on the nature of homelessness and state and local efforts to address the problem, it did not make any recommendations to address the level of federal assistance needed; (4) because the Council did not meet its requirement to provide state and local assistance providers with critical program information, it possibly precluded providers from receiving federal assistance; and (5) the Council had not developed detailed policies and guidance to direct its activities. GAO believes that the Council must clearly define its goals and responsibilities to ensure that it provides urgently needed assistance to the homeless, as intended.

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