Bill No.                34-13                        

Concerning: Interagency Commission on Homelessness – Established          

Revised:    3/24/2013        Draft No. 2  

Introduced:      December 10, 2013        

Enacted:         April 1, 2014                  

Executive:       April 10, 2014                

Effective:        July 10, 2014                 

Sunset Date:  None                             

Ch.   4      , Laws of Mont. Co.    2014    


County Council

For Montgomery County, Maryland


By: Council Vice-President Leventhal and Council President Rice


AN ACT to:

(1)        establish an Interagency Commission on Homelessness;

(2)        establish the membership and duties of the Commission; and

(3)        generally amend the law relating to health and sanitation.


By adding

            Montgomery County Code

            Chapter 24, Health and Sanitation

            Article IX. Interagency Commission on Homelessness

            Sections 24-62, 24-63, 24-64, 24-65, 24-66, 24-67, 24-68, [[and]] 24-69, and 24-70



Boldface                                             Heading or defined term.

Underlining                                          Added to existing law by original bill.

[Single boldface brackets]                  Deleted from existing law by original bill.

Double underlining                              Added by amendment.

[[Double boldface brackets]]              Deleted from existing law or the bill by amendment.

*   *   *                                                  Existing law unaffected by bill.








The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:

          Sec. 1.  Article IX (Sections 24-62, 24-63, 24-64, 24-65, 24-66, 24-67, 24-68, [[and]] 24-69, and 24-70) is added as follows:

Article IX. Interagency Commission on Homelessness

24-62. Legislative findings and statement of policy.

(a)     The County Council finds that reducing homelessness requires substantial coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local governments, as well as private sector service providers and community organizations.

(b)     Montgomery County  Continuum of Care is a group of governmental entities and community representatives that carries out the responsibilities of the Continuum of Care program established pursuant to the federal Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009 (the HEARTH Act).

(c)      The County Council intends that the Interagency Commission on Homelessness established under this Article be constituted and function in such a manner that it may serve as the governing board of Montgomery County Continuum of Care, and in serving this function comply with applicable federal regulations governing the Continuum of Care program.

24-63.  Definitions.      

          [[In]]When used in this Article[[,]]:

100,000 Homes Campaign means an initiative in special needs housing that gives priority to placing the most  vulnerable, chronically homeless people in permanent supportive housing through a Housing First model;

Commission means the Interagency Commission on Homelessness;

Continuum of Care means a community program, established under the HEARTH Act, to organize and deliver housing and services to meet the specific needs of people who are homeless as they move to stable housing and maximum self-sufficiency; and

Housing First Initiative means a process for placing homeless people into housing that discourages imposing conditions on placement related to health, employment, or sobriety, and seeks to reduce the time in shelter or transitional programs and provide the needed supports to people in a permanent home.

[[24-63.]]24-64.  Established

The Executive must appoint, subject to confirmation by the Council, an Interagency Commission on Homelessness.

[[24-64.]]24-65.  Members

          (a)     The Commission has 25 members.

(b)     The Executive must appoint the following to serve as ex-officio members:

                   (1)     Director of the Department of Health and Human Services;

(2)     Chief of Special Needs Housing of the Department of Health and Human Services;

(3)     Chief of Behavioral Health and Crisis Services of the Department of Health and Human Services;

(4)     Director of the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation;

(5)     Director of the Department of Housing and Community Affairs;

(6)     Assistant Chief for Field Services of the Montgomery County Police Department; and

(7)     A representative from the Office of the County Executive[[; and

(8)     The Director of the Family Justice Center]].

(c)      The Executive must invite the following to serve as ex officio members:

(1)     A member of the County Council, selected by the Council President;

(2)     Executive Director of the Housing Opportunities Commission;

(3)     Director of Student Services of the Montgomery County Public Schools;

(4)     The Mayor or the representative of the Mayor of the City of Gaithersburg;

(5)     The Mayor or the representative of the Mayor of the City of Rockville;

(6)     The Mayor or the representative of the Mayor of the City of Takoma Park;

(7)     A representative of the either the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs; [[and]]

(8)     The Montgomery County Sheriff or the representative of the County Sheriff; and

(9)     A member of the County Legislative Delegation selected jointly by the Chairs of the House and Senate Delegations.

(d)     The Executive must appoint 5 members that are representatives of the Montgomery County Continuum of Care.

(e)      The Executive must appoint 4 members of the public.  At least 1 public member must be a homeless or formerly homeless resident of Montgomery County and at least 1 member must be a representative of a hospital located in Montgomery County.

(f)      The term of each non-ex officio member is 3 years.  If a member is appointed to fill a vacancy before a term expires, the successor serves the rest of the unexpired term.

[[24-65.]]24-66.  Voting, officers, chairs, meetings, compensation; subcommittees.

          (a)     Each member of the [[Group]] Commission is a voting member.

          (b)     The Executive must designate a Chair and Vice Chair.

          (c)      The Commission must meet at least 4 times each year.

          (d)     A member serves without compensation.  However, a member may request reimbursement for mileage and dependent care costs at rates established by the County.

(e)      The Commission may establish 1 or more subcommittees to assist in carrying out any function of the Commission.  Any subcommittee action is not the action of the Commission and must not bind the Commission or its members.  A subcommittee may include a person who is not a member of the Commission.  [[However, the chair of each subcommittee must be a member of the Commission.]]

[[24-66.]]24-67.  Duties.

The Commission must:

(a)     promote a community-wide goal to end homelessness;

(b)     develop a strategic plan to prevent and reduce homelessness and minimize the trauma and dislocation caused to homeless families and individuals;

(c)      review and monitor any program that is a component of the Continuum of Care, 100,000 Homes Campaign, and Housing First Initiative, including:

(1)     permanent housing;

(2)     transitional housing;

(3)     supportive services;

(4)     homeless management information system; [[and]]

(5)     homelessness prevention; and

(6)     emergency shelter;

(d)     recommend to the Executive and Council any improvements to the Continuum of Care, including process changes, to reduce any barrier to housing and minimize the time needed to move someone from homelessness to housing;

(e)      educate the community about homelessness, best practices to reduce homelessness, resources needed to reduce homelessness, and long term savings that are achieved by providing permanent, stable housing; and

(f )     recommend and promote partnerships with any private organization, business, corporation, philanthropic organization or foundation, and any municipal, state, or federal government agency to improve the County’s ability to prevent and reduce homelessness.

[[24-67.]]24-68. Annual report. 

By November 30 of each year, the Commission must submit to the Executive and Council a report that:

(a)     provides data and trends regarding homelessness, including data from the Council of Government’s Point-in-Time survey and the 100,000 Homes Campaign survey;

(b)     identifies gaps in the Continuum of Care that prevent or impede the County’s ability to address needs identified through the review of data on homeless;

(c)      makes recommendations for the capital and operating budget for the following fiscal year;

(d)     makes recommendation for any legislative or regulatory changes needed to implement the Continuum of Care strategic plan; and

(e)      reports on any educational or public outreach activities undertaken during the preceding year.

[[24-68.]]24-69.  Advocacy. 

The Commission must not engage in any legislative advocacy at the state or federal levels unless that activity is approved by the Office of Intergovernmental Relations.

[[24-69.]]24-70.  Staff. 

The Chief Administrative Officer must provide appropriate staff within the Department of Health and Human Services to staff the Commission. 

Sec. 2. Terms for Initial Members.

The County Executive must stagger the terms of the non-ex officio members initially appointed under Section 24-64 so that approximately one-third of the terms of these members expire each year.