HUD Provides Nearly $1.6B in Homeless Assistance, Emphasizing Proven Programs

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorWashington–The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced this week that it is providing nearly $1.6 billion in homeless assistance. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was signed into law this week, will also provide an additional $1.5 billion in funding for homeless prevention.The grants are being awarded through HUD’s Continuum of Care programs and will assist approximately 6,300 local homeless assistance projects throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “With the foreclosure and unemployment crisis looming, millions of families – both homeowners and renters – are in danger of losing their homes so we must focus substantial resources to help those families find stable housing,” says Donovan. “The grants being awarded today, along with the recovery plan’s additional $1.5 billion, will offer a critical lifeline to those persons and families who, after a foreclosure or job loss, might otherwise be faced with homelessness. Today we are announcing an unprecedented commitment to fund programs that have a proven track record of providing real housing solutions for our most vulnerable neighbors.”HUD is awarding $24 million to create new pilot programs in 23 local communities to rapidly provide homes for homeless families with children. The additional funding provided in the recovery plan is an increase in funding to support local programs to keep persons and families from becoming homeless, including the large number of low-income renters who are at high-risk of becoming homeless because their landlords’ properties are foreclosed upon. HUD’s funding is provided in two ways: Through Continuum of Care Grants, which provide permanent and transitional housing to homeless persons. In addition, Continuum grants fund important services including job training, health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and child care. And through Emergency Shelter Grants, which provide funds for the operation of local shelters and fund related social service and homeless prevention programs.