Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the first set of communities to receive grants and vouchers to address homelessness among people in unsheltered settings and in rural communities. The announcement totals nearly $315 million in grants to 46 communities. In the coming weeks, HUD will be awarding grants to an additional set of communities, as well as allocating housing vouchers to awarded communities.
These grants and vouchers comprise a first-of-its-kind package of resources to help communities provide housing and supportive services to people in unsheltered settings and people experiencing homelessness in rural areas. Communities were also asked to develop a comprehensive approach to addressing unsheltered and rural homelessness that involves coordination with health care providers, other housing agencies such as public housing authorities, and people with lived experience. The full list of grantees is available here.
“Homelessness is a crisis, and it is solvable. Housing with supportive services solves homelessness. That’s why, for the first time the federal government is deploying targeted resources to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness in unsheltered settings or in rural areas,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “With these grants and vouchers, HUD is filling this gap and giving communities the resources and tools to improve housing and health outcomes for people on the streets, in encampments, under bridges, and in rural areas.”
This funding initiative is also the first in which HUD has coordinated grants and housing vouchers. In response to the competitive special Notice of Funding Opportunity, Continuum of Care collaborative applicants were asked to formally partner with public housing authorities to leverage access to housing resources. Public housing authorities that are partnering with awarded CoC grantees will receive priority for approximately 4,000 Housing Choice “Stability” Vouchers that allow people experiencing homelessness to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing.
From Day One, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken action to deliver housing relief and to solve homelessness. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provided historic levels of homeless assistance including nearly 70,000 Emergency Housing Vouchers and $5 billion in HOME Investment Partnership homelessness grants. HUD and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) launched House America, a national initiative in which HUD and USICH partnered with 105 communities led by mayors, county leaders, governors, and tribal nation leaders to place over 100,000 households from homelessness into permanent housing and add over 40,000 units of affordable housing into the development pipeline. In late December, USICH released All In: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, which set forth President Biden’s ambitious goal to reduce all homelessness by 25% by 2025.
The resources announced today build upon the momentum and renewed political will at all levels of government to solve homelessness through the provision of housing with supportive services. They respond directly to the calls from state and local leaders, advocates, and people with lived experience for more federal assistance to address unsheltered and rural homelessness specifically. And they provide communities with the resources and tools to respond to homeless encampments humanely and effectively and to avoid approaches that criminalize homelessness.
To make this announcement, HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge traveled to Chicago, Illinois to present a $60 million grant to Mayor Lori Lightfoot, All Chicago, and other members of the Chicago Continuum of Care (CoC), which coordinates the city’s response to homelessness. The Chicago CoC is using these resources to implement a comprehensive plan to reduce unsheltered homelessness that strengthens homeless outreach, provides rapid access to permanent housing and supportive services, and which was developed with the leadership and support of people with lived experience of unsheltered homelessness. The city’s plan also leverages health, behavioral health, and supportive services from partner organizations, as well as housing resources administered by the Chicago Housing Authority. HUD leaders will make similar announcements across the country to elevate local investments.
To read the full release, click here.