Tuesday, February 3, 2009

NAEH: $1.5B for Homelessness Prevention and Re-Housing

Spotlight On...
Senate Advances $1.5 Billion for Homelessness Prevention and Re-Housing

Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved an economic recovery package that included $1.5 billion for homelessness prevention and re- housing. The measure will be considered by the full Senate beginning this week. It is likely that this program will be passed into law, and HUD plans to implement it very quickly.

The $1.5 billion in funding is almost identical to a proposal in the economic recovery bill passed by the House of Representatives last month. Funding would be provided through the same formula as HUD's Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) program, but could only be used for the following eligible activities:

short-term or medium-term rental assistance;
housing relocation and stabilization services;
housing search;
mediation or outreach to property owners;
credit repair;
security or utility deposits;
utility payments;
rental assistance for a final month at a location;
moving cost assistance; and
other appropriate homelessness prevention activities.

In the Senate proposal, funds could be used to serve people who are at risk of homelessness or who are newly homeless because they are renting a unit that is in foreclosure or because of the recession. Recipients of funding would be required to use a Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) or comparable data system.

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