April 29, 2009
As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has already moved aggressively to disburse more than $13 billion in funding for public housing modernization, economic development and project-based rent subsidy renewals. Critical among these is a $1.5 billion Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Fund. These funds will be allocated through existing state and local homeless programs by formula. However, there is unprecedented flexibility for state and local agencies to award these funds to individuals and families at imminent risk of homelessness in the current economic downturn.
State and local agencies that serve homeless individuals are already beginning to receive these funds with instructions to direct them in a variety of ways for rapid re-housing including: short-term or medium-term rental assistance and housing relocation and stabilization services, including such activities as mediation, credit counseling, security or utility deposits, utility payments, moving cost assistance, and case management.
NAMI affiliate leaders are strongly encouraged to get involved in the required planning process at the state and local level for allocation of resources from the Homeless Prevention Fund. It is critical that people living with serious mental illness and their families at risk of homelessness be able to access assistance from this initiative.
More information on the Homeless Prevention Fund is available on the HUD website.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) has also developed resources to help advocates and non-profits get involved in the planning for implementation of this program at the local level before the May 18 application deadline. More information is available on the NAEH website.
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