Republican Convention Taking Place In City With America’s Highest Homeless Rate

As they kick off the Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay, Florida, this week, Republicans will be descending upon the city with the nation’s highest rate of homelessness, as CBS News noted:

As Republicans gather for their national party convention in Tampa, they will be aware of the stormy weather but may not see another issue clouding the city.

The Tampa-St. Petersburg metropolitan area has the highest rate of homelessness in the nation, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness in a report issued earlier this year — 57 homeless for every 10,000 residents.

There are about 16,000 homeless people in the Tampa area, and one in five of them are children.

Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney has not laid out any plans when it comes to combating homelessness. However, back in April, an NBC News reporter overheard Romney telling rich donors that he may eliminate the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which would bring an end to critical programs like Section 8 housing vouchers and community development block grants, assuming Romney didn’t just shuffle them around to another department.

The budget crafted by Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), could cause housing assistance to disappear for about one million households, according to HUD. GOP Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) has also shown little sympathy for his state’s homeless population, proposing to completely zero out funding for homelessness prevention programs.

Meanwhile, the 2009 Recovery Act, almost uniformly opposed by Republicans, saved thousands of Americans from homelessness.