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HUD’s $5B ‘Commitment to Addressing Homelessness’

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will allocate about $5 billion in American Rescue Plan funds to create affordable housing and provide services for those facing homelessness.

HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge delivered the news during a Zoom conference with U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (OH), Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and Birmingham, Alabama Mayor Randall Woodfin.

"Homelessness in the United States was increasing even before COVID-19, and we know the pandemic has only made the crisis worse,” Fudge said. “HUD’s swift allocation of this $5 billion in American Rescue Plan funding reflects our commitment to addressing homelessness as a priority. With this strong funding, communities across the country will have the resources needed to give homes to the people who have had to endure the COVID-19 pandemic without one.”

It's been about a month since HUD released its 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report Part 1 to Congress. The report found that 580,466 people experienced homelessness in the United States on a single night in 2020, an increase of 12,751 people, or 2.2%, from 2019.

At the time, Fudge called the results of the study "startling."

Brown says he will continue working with Secretary Fudge and the Biden Administration to dispense the funding to communities and to build on efforts outlined in the American Jobs Plan.

"America was facing an affordable housing and homelessness crisis long before COVID-19, Brown said. "We passed the American Rescue Plan to get help to communities around the country ... to ensure a roof over families’ heads during this pandemic and into the future."

Whitmer says the American Rescue Plan’s critical investment will help hundreds of thousands of Americans find home.

"This $5 billion commitment will have a tangible impact on fellow Americans and Michiganders experiencing housing insecurity, and I am proud of the Biden Administration’s efforts to address homelessness as we continue to build back better."

Echoing those sentiments, Woodfin agreed the COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened our nation’s homelessness crisis but, Woodfin says, "with this assistance comes new hope." 

"It will represent a new start for so many families after such a challenging year, especially minority families who were hit so disproportionately hard by the pandemic. We’re grateful that these funds will help pave the way for a new generation of minority homeowners."

The $4.925 billion in HOME-ARP funding gives states the flexibility to best meet the needs of people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness, including through development of affordable housing, tenant-based rental assistance, supportive services, and acquisition and development of non-congregate shelter units, according to a HUD press release.

Funds must be spent by 2030, HUD announced.

The nearly $5 billion in HOME-ARP funding is the first of two homelessness-related funding opportunities from the American Rescue Plan that HUD will release. In the coming weeks, HUD will announce the allocation of funding for emergency vouchers for people experiencing and at-risk of homelessness, the press release noted.

This funding is supposed to deliver near-term relief to people experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness, HUD says.

"President Biden’s American Jobs Plan would build on this relief with additional robust funding to bring the United States closer to ending homelessness and housing instability," according to the department.

Secretary Fudge tweeted the graphic Thursday:

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, also called the COVID-19 Stimulus Package or American Rescue Plan, is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill.

The supplemental funding announced today is allocated through the HOME Investment Partnerships Program to 651 grantees, including states, insular areas, and local governments. Visit HUD.gov for a full list.

About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media/Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning news, among others. Contact Christina at christina.hughesbabb@thefivestar.com.
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