HUD Makes $3 Billion of COVID-19 Relief Funding Available

After the president signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) into law on March 27, HUD Secretary Ben Carson directed HUD to immediately begin allocating $3.064 billion to help America’s low-income families and most vulnerable citizens. These funds will be awarded quickly by using existing grant formulas. HUD is making the $3.064 billion available through its Community Development Block Grant, Emergency Solutions Grant, and Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS programs.

$2 Billion to Help States, Communities, and Non-profits can be used to:

  • Construct medical facilities for testing and treatment;
  • Acquire a motel or hotel building to expand capacity of hospitals to accommodate isolation of patients during recovery;
  • Replace HVAC systems to temporarily transform commercial buildings or closed school buildings into clinics or treatment centers;
  • Support businesses manufacturing medical supplies;
  • Construct a group living facility to centralize patients undergoing treatment; and
  • Carry out job training of health care workers and technicians who are available to treat disease within a community.

$1 Billion to Keep America’s Homeless Citizens Safe can be used to:

  • Build more emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families;
  • Operate emergency shelters by providing maintenance, rent, repair, security, fuel, equipment, insurance, utilities, food, furnishings, and supplies necessary for the operation;
  • Provide Hotel/Motel Vouchers for homeless families or individuals;
  • Provide essential services to people experiencing homelessness including childcare, education services, outreach, employment assistance, outpatient health services, legal services, mental health services, substance abuse treatment services, and transportation; and
  • Prevent individuals from becoming homeless and rapidly rehouse homeless individuals.

$63.7 Million to Help Americans with Compromised Immune Systems can be used to:

  • Increase the level of safe, stable housing for Persons Living with HIV/AIDS and their household members, by providing rental and utility assistance and other short-term lodging assistance to address isolation and self-quarantine needs;
  • Ensure access to HIV medical care and treatment, chemical dependency treatment, and mental health treatment;
  • Provide persons with compromised immune systems with nutritional services and assistance with daily living; and
  • Assist in job training and placement assistance.

In addition to the distribution of monies, HUD intends to cut red tape to allow for targeting of COVID-19 response. This includes the authority to: (1)provide housing assistance payments for rent, mortgage, and utilities for up to 24 months; (2) use funds to self-isolate, quarantine, or provide other CDC-recommended infection control services for household members not living with HIV/AIDS; and (3) use funds to provide relocation services (including lodging at hotels, motels, or other locations) for persons living with HIV/AIDS and household members not living with HIV/AIDS.

According to HUD, additional funds will follow this first tranche. The CARES Act allows HUD to broaden the reach of its existing grant programs for the remaining $9.136 billion in relief funding to meet our country’s unique needs during this time. To do this, new grant formulas must be written. HUD began writing new formulas immediately and will continue to work quickly to address communities’ needs and ensure these funds go to people and don’t get delayed by bureaucratic red tape.