US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, announced the allocation of $5 billion in American Rescue Plan funds for emergency housing vouchers for individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.
In a zoom call with the media, Secretary Fudge noted that HUD allocated the supplemental funding through the Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) program.
Congressman David Price (D-NC), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Dallas, Texas, Mayor Eric Johnson, and Oakland, California, Mayor Libby Schaaf also joined the call.
Through the program, HUD said it is providing 70,000 housing choice vouchers to local public housing authorities (PHAs) across the country to help Americans find and remain in housing.
HUD’s most recent Point-in-Time count, which outreach workers and volunteers conducted in January, show that 17 out of every 10,000 people in America experienced homelessness on a single night in 2019.
The report revealed that 567,715 people are homeless and represent a cross-section of America – associated with every region, family status, gender category, and racial and ethnic group.
“While most of us spent more time in our homes than we ever have, more than half a million Americans had to spend the last year either in crowded shelters or sleeping outside,” Secretary Fudge stated.
“With HUD’s swift allocation of this $5 billion in American Rescue Plan funding, we are providing communities the resources to give homes to the people who have had to endure the COVID-19 pandemic without one. Congress now needs to pass the President’s American Jobs Plan. This once-in-a-generation investment would bring the United States closer to ending homelessness and housing instability.”
Congressman David Price added that stable housing is a basic human need and the foundation upon which people build their lives.
Because of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, 1,296 Emergency Housing Vouchers are available for unhoused individuals and those facing housing instability Price’s state of North Carolina, he said.
“As Chairman of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, I am proud to work alongside HUD to carry out the vital mission of ending homelessness through a Housing First approach to help build our country back better,” Price exclaimed.
The American Rescue Plan is working, bringing more than $400 million in rental assistance to Washington state and hundreds of millions more in homeowner and homelessness assistance – including the emergency housing vouchers we’re talking about today, Sen. Murry proclaimed.
“The legislation we sent to President Biden’s desk is making an important difference in people’s lives, especially for people of color who have felt the disproportionate impact of this crisis,” she continued.
“We’re making real progress to get our communities back to ‘normal’ — but that isn’t good enough when ‘normal’ wasn’t working for so many before the pandemic. We faced a housing crisis before the pandemic, and we need to keep working to pass the American Jobs Plan — to help our country build back stronger and fairer than before.”
The $5 billion in EHV-ARP funding gives communities the resources needed to help eligible households find and remain in housing. HUD estimates that these EHVs, alongside resources provided by the CARES Act, could help house 130,000 homes, HUD officials noted.
The $5 billion in EHV-ARP funding is the second of two homelessness-related funding opportunities from the American Rescue Plan that HUD released.
In April, HUD announced it would allocate $5 billion in ARP funds to increase affordable housing to address homelessness.
“The best way to address homelessness is to prevent it. And the American Rescue Plan Act emergency vouchers that the Biden Administration is allocating today will provide a major boost to our efforts,” offered Mayor Johnson of Dallas.
The Biden-Harris Administration gets it — housing is infrastructure, stated Mayor Schaaf of Oakland.
“Our homelessness crisis requires a bold, multi-faceted response, and today’s announcement that Oakland will receive more than 500 emergency housing vouchers for our most vulnerable residents will have an immediate impact on our community. I’m proud to work with Secretary Fudge and the administration to end the humanitarian crisis of homelessness in our country.”