The USICH Council approved Jeff Olivet as the new executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.
“Jeff brings more than two decades of experience in working to eradicate homelessness,” said Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge, the chair of USICH. “His experience has spanned direct service as a street outreach worker and case manager to serving as CEO of the Center on Social Innovation to consulting both independently and as a founding member of Racial Equity Partners. Beyond what is reflected in his resume, Jeff also stood out among the highly competitive field of candidates we interviewed for his thoughtfulness in understanding and tackling the crisis of homelessness as a complex, multi-faceted issue—rooted in systemic racism and discrimination against people with disabilities—requiring an interdisciplinary and comprehensive approach centered on advancing equity and justice.”
Olivet was nominated through a process led by the White House Domestic Policy Council (DPC) and USICH council leaders and approved by the full council, per statutory requirement. He will replace Interim Executive Director Anthony Love, who will return to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as senior advisor and director of community engagement for the VHA Homeless Programs. Love, who served as deputy director of USICH from 2010 to 2012, came back to lead the interagency during the first year of the Biden-Harris administration.
“Anthony steered USICH toward stability and progress during a pivotal time of transition—in the middle of a pandemic that has drastically altered the homelessness response,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough, the vice chair of USICH. “ Under Anthony’s leadership, USICH launched the House America initiative with HUD to help communities make the most of the American Rescue Plan; made significant progress on the federal strategic plan; and established the first-ever Interagency Working Group on Homelessness Prevention. While I’m grateful for the expertise and service that Anthony provided USICH, I’m also pleased to welcome Anthony back to the VA, where he plays a critical role in the mission to end homelessness among Veterans.”
USICH is in the process of creating a new Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. Over the last few months, USICH received more than 1,500 comments online and conducted a record number of listening sessions—close to 100—with local, tribal, state, and national stakeholders, which included more than 500 people who have experienced homelessness. USICH will use the feedback we heard to develop the federal strategic plan.
As the executive director of USICH, Olivet will lead the agency, which is committed to the belief that housing should be a right and to the core values of racial equity, Housing First, decriminalization, and inclusion. He will collaborate with the 19 federal agencies that make up the council to develop and release the federal strategic plan later this year.
“I believe down to my core that we can end homelessness in America if we come together to scale what is working, eliminate racial disparities, lift the voices of those who have experienced homelessness, and work across sectors to create meaningful upstream solutions,” said Olivet. “I am deeply grateful to Secretary Fudge, Secretary McDonough, the members of the council, and the president for the trust they have placed in me. I look forward to working across the entire federal government and with national, state, and local partners to redouble our commitment to the vision of an America where no one has to experience homelessness.”