HUD aims to stamp out homelessness in the U.S.
U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan has awarded $1.2 billion to over 400 communities across the nation to rapidly re-house families who fall into homelessness, or prevent them from becoming homeless in the first place. The funding is provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to help persons and families facing a sudden financial crisis that could lead to homelessness. To view the list of grantees receiving funding under this round of grants, visit HUD's Recovery Act website. HUD's new Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP) provides a total of $1.5 billion for communities to provide short- and medium-term rental assistance and services to either prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless or help those who are experiencing homelessness to be quickly re-housed and stabilized. Plans for the remaining grants under this program are still being approved and will be announced in the coming weeks as well. "This is money that will not only spare families the hardships of homelessness, but will save taxpayers significant money in the long run," said Donovan. "Often times, a little bit of financial assistance can make all the difference between a stable home and being forced to live in a shelter or on the streets." Grants provided under HPRP are not intended to provide long-term support for individuals and families, nor will they afford mortgage assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure. Rather, HPRP offers a variety of short- and medium-term financial assistance to those who would otherwise become homeless, many due to sudden economic crisis. This can include short-term rental assistance (up to three months), medium-term rental assistance (up to 18 months), security deposits, utility deposits, utility payments, moving cost assistance, and hotel vouchers. Payments will not be made directly to households, but only to third parties, such as landlords or utility companies. The program also provides assistance to rapidly re-house persons who are homeless and likely to remain stably housed, whether subsidized or unsubsidized, once the HPRP assistance concludes. HUD is committed to implementing Recovery Act investments swiftly and effectively as they generate tens of thousands of jobs, modernize homes to make them energy efficient, and help the families and communities hardest hit by the economic crisis. The Recovery Act includes $13.61 billion for projects and programs administered by HUD, nearly 75 percent of which was allocated to state and local recipients only eight days after President Obama signed the Act into law. The HPRP funding was among the 75 percent that was allocated during that time. Now, as grant recipients' spending plans are approved, HUD is officially making these funds available to spend. The remaining 25 percent of HUD Recovery Act funds is being awarded through a competitive process. In addition, Secretary Donovan and the Department are committed to providing the highest level of transparency possible as Recovery Act funds are administered. It is vitally important that the American people are fully aware of how their tax dollars are being spent and can hold their federal leaders accountable. Every dollar of Recovery Act funds HUD spends can be reviewed and tracked at HUD's Recovery Act website. The full text of HUD's funding notices and tracking of future performance of these grants is also available at HUD's Recovery Act Web site. For more information, visit www.hud.gov.