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Cityscape: Volume 15 Number 1 | Article 20


Climate Change and City Hall

Volume 15 Number 1

Mark D. Shroder
Michelle P. Matuga

Policy Brief: The HEARTH Act

Steve Berg, National Alliance to End Homelessness

Policy Briefs

The Policy Briefs department summarizes a change or trend in national policy that may have escaped the attention of researchers. The purpose is to stimulate the analysis of policy in the field while the policy is being implemented and thereafter.


This article describes the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act, which was enacted in 2009 to overhaul the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) homelessness assistance programs. The article provides an overview of changes in HUD’s programs and in the practices of communities leading up to the HEARTH Act. It provides a summary of the most important changes made by the act and some of the effects it will likely have on communities. Finally, it suggests important topics for future research.

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