On October 12, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced legislation to incentivize housing authorities and school districts to work together to address and prevent family homelessness. The Affordable Housing for Educational Achievement Demonstration (AHEAD) Act (S. 1949) authorizes $150 million for a new demonstration program to be jointly administered by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Under the program, school districts would apply individually or in consortia with other school districts and local housing authorities for projects to address and prevent child and family homelessness; increase socioeconomic and racial diversity; and increase academic achievement. Partnerships would apply for either a two-year planning grant to begin collaboration efforts and develop a memorandum of understanding, or a five-year implementation grant to implement projects that assist families in addressing housing needs and provide education and community-based services for low-income, at-risk children.
Based on successful programs in Washington state, the AHEAD Act would encourage strong partnerships to help families, schools, and community partners work together to keep families permanently housed and improve educational outcomes for children experiencing or at-risk of homelessness. This demonstration program will help both agencies and the general public support and evaluate innovative ideas at the intersection of housing and education policy.
The AHEAD Act builds on best practices from partnerships in Washington state, and provides resources to implement them in communities nationwide. This new demonstration program will help both agencies and the general public support and evaluate innovative ideas at the intersection of housing and education policy.