HUD announces $5 billion in grants to fight homelessness
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Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge has announced $5 billion in grants to state and local governments to make more affordable housing and promote services for people who are homeless, or at risk for having no place to go. The money comes from latest COVID relief package.
Homelessness went up more than 2% between 2019 and 2020, and that was before the pandemic.
“There’s no question that the pandemic has put more people at risk,” said Ann Oliva at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. She said states, cities and towns will be able to spend this money from HUD in a few ways.
“It can be used for tenant-based rental assistance,” Oliva said, and it can also be used to buy and renovate properties, “which are, in many places, hotels and motels that might be for sale” that a city could turn into permanent, affordable housing for people who are homeless.
Those are the kinds of things Giselle Routhier, policy director at the Coalition for the Homeless in New York, would like to see.
“The best way to address homelessness is to provide housing, right? The root causes of homelessness is the lack of affordable housing in New York City and in many other cities across the nation,” Routhier said.
If local governments actually use this funding to increase the amount of affordable housing, it could make a significant difference, Routhier said.
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