Making Justice RealThe Official Blog of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia
Shelter and Supportive Housing for Individuals and Families
Last week, Diana Krevor – one of our new Law Firm Fellows – and I submitted comments on D.C. Municipal Regulations entitled “Shelter and Supportive Housing for Individuals and Families.” These regulations were issued pursuant to the Homeless Services Reform Act of 2005 (“HSRA”) for the purpose of administering D.C.’s Shelter and Supporting Housing Program. I represented Legal Aid over the last year in a working group convened by the Department of Human Services (“DHS”) to provide community feedback regarding the proposed regulations. We commend DHS for convening this working group and for being so receptive to the input of stakeholders in the community. These regulations will protect clients living in shelters and in supportive housing by providing structure to their services and giving them process to assert their rights. Moreover, these regulations remind providers of the need to respect the laws protecting tenants here in the District. In our comments, Legal Aid expressed support for the new regulations but also offered suggestions for critical modifications that would allow the regulations to better comply with the law and better serve clients within the Continuum of Care. It is our hope that DHS implements our comments to ensure that the rights of people who have experienced homelessness and domestic violence are adequately safeguarded.