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U.S. Senators Capito, Coons introduce Safe SHORES Act to extend and Expand Recovery Housing Program

West Virginia Press Association

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Recently, U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS), and Chris Coons (D-Del.) introduced legislation to help individuals recovering from a substance use disorder (SUD) access stable housing. The Safe and Secure Housing for Opioid Recovery and Enduring Stability (Safe SHORESAct of 2024 would reauthorize the Recovery Housing Program (RHP), which was first enacted as part of the SUPPORT Act of 2018. The legislation would extend the program until 2029 and increase authorized funding. The RHP’s authorization expired in 2023.

“Transitional housing is a crucial part of recovery for many suffering from addiction,” Ranking Member Capito said. “The Safe SHORES Act will give state recovery housing programs additional resources to assist those in need of a stable residence during what we know can be a difficult path to recovery. This bill takes another step forward in the fight against opioids in our West Virginia communities and I look forward to seeing it pass.”

“Housing is a fundamental need, and safe, decent transitional housing can make the difference for Americans traveling the road to recovery,”  Senator Coons said. “The Safe SHORES Act will reauthorize a crucial program in the fight against the opioid epidemic and ensure that many more Americans recovering from addiction don’t have to worry about having a roof over their heads. I’m proud to work on this bill with Senator Capito, and I hope the Senate will quickly take it up and pass it.”

“Recovery residences provide a safe and sober living environment for folks to continue working on their recovery post-treatment in a community of their peers. They are connected to meaningful employment, attend mutual support meetings, develop valuable life skills like financial management and parenting, and acquire the tools they need to become healthy, productive, contributing members of society. WVARR is grateful for Senator Capito’s leadership on the reauthorization of the Safe SHORES Act, which will allow West Virginia and many other states, the opportunity to continue this important and meaningful initiative in the coming years,” Emily Birckhead, executive director of the West Virginia Alliance of Recovery Residences (WVARR), said.

“The opioid crisis has hit hard in rural communities across the nation,” Alan Morgan, CEO of the National Rural Health Association, said. “The Recovery Housing Program offers welcome relief for these communities and allows them the capacity to provide safety and sanctuary for individuals on their journey to recovery. The National Rural Health Association commends Senators Coons and Capito for championing the reauthorization of this critical program through legislation in the Safe SHORES Act.”

“BPC Action applauds Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) for their leadership in introducing the Safe SHORES Act, which would reauthorize and build upon the Recovery Housing Program administered by HUD,” Michele Stockwell, President of the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) Action, said. “Created as part of the SUPPORT Act of 2018, HUD’s Recovery Housing Program has proven invaluable in fostering a safe and healthy living environment for individuals on the path to recovery from substance use disorders. The Safe SHORES Act echoes the position of BPC’s J. Ronald Terwilliger Center for Housing Policy, that bipartisan policies are needed to ensure that homelessness in the United States is a rare, brief, and one-time occurrence; and BPC’s Health Program’s position to further expand access to addiction treatment and recovery.”


The RHP provides funding to states and the District of Columbia to acquire, build, or rehabilitate transitional housing for those in recovery from substance abuse. The Safe SHORES Act of 2024 will extend, expand, and improve the RHP to serve more Americans.

Specifically, the bill would:

  • Increase authorized funding to no less than $50 million per year;
  • Give states and grantees additional flexibility to distribute funds as they need and allow grantees to cover more costs that come with providing housing;
  • Encourage states to award grants to facilities that participate in best practices that meet state standards of accreditation and have robust workforce development and emotional support programs; and
  • Require the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to produce an annual performance report outlining the distribution of RHP awards and project developments.

Passing Safe SHORES will help the United States continue to address the worst drug epidemic in its history. In 2021, more than 75% of the nearly 107,000 drug overdose deaths involved opioids.

Full text of the bill can be found here.

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