The Biden Administration has announced through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) a first-of-its-kind package of resources to address unsheltered homelessness and homeless encampments. The package is $365 million in total, including:
- $322 million in Continuum of Care Program grants through a Special Notice of Funding Opportunity to fund homeless outreach, permanent housing, supportive services and other costs; $54.5 million has been set aside to specifically address rural homelessness. After three years, these grants will be eligible for renewal through the annual Continuum of Care program competition.
- $43 million to fund approximately 4,000 new incremental vouchers will be allocated via a separate notice to public housing authorities. These vouchers can serve households experiencing or at-risk of homelessness; those fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking; and veterans and families that include a veteran family member that meets one of the proceeding criteria. Those that are partners in community approaches to solve homelessness will also be priorities for the vouchers. Congress has provided HUD with waiver authorities to facilitate lease-up for vulnerable households.
Many cabinet members of the Biden administration spoke in support of this initiative.
“We have a responsibility to ensure that people sleeping in their vehicles, in tents, or on the streets, including in rural areas, have access to decent, stable housing and services, like health care and treatment, to live with dignity and safety,” says HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “Solving unsheltered homelessness means delivering help to the people who need it the most, but who have the hardest time reaching it. It means putting Housing First and health care and other supportive services right after. With this funding, communities will have the resources to scale up coordinated efforts to humanely and effectively move people from encampments into homes by linking homeless outreach with health care, treatment, and housing.”
“Access to a safe place to call home is essential to health and well-being,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to working across the federal government to end homelessness by ensuring access to health care, support services, and permanent housing for all Americans. I am pleased to support Secretary Fudge in bringing housing and health care within greater reach for those who need it most, including in rural communities.”
“Getting unsheltered Veterans and homeless rural Vets into houses is a top priority in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ strategy to end Veteran homelessness,” says Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough. “These new resources from HUD add timely new capacity to this fight. No Veteran should ever be homeless in this country, which they swore an oath to defend.”
“President Biden is following through on his promise to unite our country by delivering funding for health care and services that support individuals who are unhoused,” says Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). “As a physician I have seen firsthand how important it is to address the social and economic conditions of a person’s life in order for them to realize the health and well-being every American deserves. Today’s announcement is a key step in our work to do just that.”
For more information, visit pave.hud.gov.