U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced Monday the allocation of $472 million to be used for low income families during the coronavirus pandemic. HUD made the funding available to Public Housing Authorities as part of the CARES Act to assist families utilizing Housing Choice Vouchers and Mainstream vouchers.
“This funding will provide additional resources to public housing authorities to make sure people have a decent, safe, and affordable place to call home,” Carson said. “HUD continues to work with our public housing authorities to protect American families from this invisible enemy, including vulnerable residents in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.”
Some of the eligible coronavirus-related activities covered under the funding are relocation of families to health units or other designated units for testing, hospitalization, or quarantine, or transportation to said locations for limited exposure. Funds can also be used for procuring cleaning supplies and services to maintain sanitary HCV units.
Aside from the families themselves, HUD also said funding could be used to retain or increase owner participation in the HCV program, such as incentive or retention costs and costs for providing childcare for the children of PHA staff that would not have otherwise been incurred.
“These new funds are important and will go a long way to help low-income residents secure and retain affordable housing during this unprecedented time,” said Hunter Kurtz, assistant secretary for Public and Indian Housing.
In early July, and prior to the expiration on eviction moratoriums, HUD released an “Eviction Prevention and Stability Toolkit” to encourage PHA and HCV landlords to keep families stably housed and help to mitigate economic hardships due to the coronavirus.
If the house-passed HEROES Act is approved by the senate, $1 billion will be allocated to first-year funding of 100,000 new emergency housing vouchers and $100 billion to assist low-income renters at risk of homelessness avoid eviction.