February 03, 2021

Wyden Asks President to Remove Executive Director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness

Senator: At least 600,000 Americans are homeless on any given night; we have no time to waste in addressing this urgent moral crisis"

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today requested that President Joe Biden remove Dr. Robert Marbut from his post as the Executive Director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH).

Wyden wrote that Dr. Marbut -- a holdover appointee from the Trump administration -- has repeatedly stonewalled the progression of permanent housing solutions for Americans and has failed to work with local leaders and service providers, allowing important partnerships to decay. And Wyden recommended appointing a more qualified person who’s dedicated to ending homelessness in a compassionate and evidence-based manner, as the USICH is responsible for collaborating with 19 agencies to manage the federal response to the nation’s homelessness crisis.

“It is high time the federal government takes the crisis of homelessness seriously and urgently,” Wyden wrote. “The Executive Director of USICH has the opportunity to oversee, under your leadership, unprecedented investment in the services, supports and reforms so badly needed across the nation by people experiencing homelessness and their communities.”

“I share your admirable goal of ending this brutal symptom of America’s shortage of affordable housing, rampant inequality and lack of access to mental and physical health care,” Wyden wrote.  “I look forward to working with your administration to address the causes of homelessness, because I believe that shelter is a fundamental human right. In the world’s wealthiest country, no one should be forced to bear the cold of winter or heat of summer without a roof over their head.”

A copy of the entire letter can be found here.