Trump administration ousts Obama-appointed homelessness official

In this 2015 file photo, a homeless encampment under the Hollywood Freeway is dismantled in Los Angeles. On Friday a top federal homelessness official was ousted from his role amid talk by the Trump administration to "do something" about the homeless problem in California, including razing tent camps and relocating individuals to repurposed government buildings. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

Nov. 17 (UPI) — The Trump administration ousted a top federal homelessness official Friday.

Matthew Doherty, the executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, tweeted that the administration had asked him to leave his post, which he had held since April 2015. The Washington Post also obtained an internal email from Doherty to colleagues saying the administration had “told me to pack up my things and go.”

“As Tweets from faster fingers than mine have been hinting, today was my last day in service as Executive Director at @USICHgov, at the administration’s request (as is their right.),” Doherty wrote on Twitter on Friday afternoon.

The administration has not commented on Doherty’s termination.

In recent months President Donald Trump has commented repeatedly on the homelessness problem, saying it “hurts the prestige” of cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. Administration officials have also discussed razing tent camps and rehabilitating government buildings to use as shelters.

In late October, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., chair of the House Financial Services Committee, wrote a letter asking the administration to reveal its plans to address homelessness in California.

“Specifically, what role would the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) play in your effort?” she wrote.

The USICH is an independent federal agency within the U.S. executive branch that leads the implementation of the federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. It was created in 1987.

Before joining USICH, Doherty held positions at the Corporation for Supportive Housing, the San Diego Housing Commission and the King County Housing Authority in Washington state.


  1. Couldn’t be a better decision. HOUSING FIRST is largely responsible for the homeless explosion. It removed funding from programs and services that actually addressed the causes of homelessness. Housing a First is nothing but a Socialist sham to make government into a God who would save residents and cities. HF CREATED THE CRISIS!!!! Programs that are saving homeless lives right now all require sobriety and participation in programs that address clients’ specific challenges that resulted in homelessness. Housing First requires NO SOBRIETY, NO MANDATORY PARTICIPATION in programs, NO CONSEQUENCES for repeated behavior infractions or criminal misdemeanor offenses. If Housing First actually worked, we wouldn’t be seeing the homeless encampment disasters that we’re seeing across the country right now. USICH Director Doherty has been captaining the sinking ship called “Homeless Policy” with its $2 billion/year price tag. It’s about time something else is tried because HOUSING FIRST sure as heck isn’t working!


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