Bush Administration announces record $1.5 billion to support homeless programs nationwide

    Nearly 6,000 housing and service programs to benefit from Continuum of Care grants

    WASHINGTON, December 21, 2007 – A record number of local homeless programs across America will receive an unprecedented $1.5 billion in Continuum of Care grants announced today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This historic-level funding will offer transitional and permanent supportive housing to more than 168,000 homeless individuals and families. For a detailed local summary of the projects awarded funding, visit HUD’s website.

    “These grants will reach into every corner of the nation, helping individuals and families to move beyond the cycle of homelessness,” said HUD Deputy Secretary Roy A. Bernardi. “We know this record funding will literally save lives and we at the federal level are proud to play our part in helping our partners at the local level who are on the front lines of helping those in need.”

    Since 2001, HUD has awarded approximately $10 billion in funding to local communities to support the housing and service needs of homeless individuals and families. The FY 2008 Budget seeks $1.6 billion, another record federal investment. This increased funding request of the President represents a 55 percent increase over funding provided in 2001.

    Bernardi added, “Homelessness is not a seasonal problem; it’s a tragedy being played out on our streets and in our shelters every day. While we’re turning an important corner in our understanding of homelessness, we’re also working harder than ever to end the revolving door of homelessness, especially for those experiencing mental illness, addictions and chronic disabilities.”

    HUD’s funding is provided in two ways:

    • Continuum of Care grants provide permanent and transitional housing to homeless persons. In addition, Continuum grants fund important services including job training, health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and child care. More than $1.3 billion in Continuum of Care grants are awarded competitively to local programs to meet the needs of their homeless clients. Continuum grants fund a wide variety of programs from street outreach and assessment programs to transitional and permanent housing for homeless persons and families. Half of all Continuum funding awarded today, more than $706 million, will support new and existing programs that help to pay rent and provide permanent housing for disabled homeless individuals and their families (see attached summary of the funding awarded today).
    • Emergency Shelter Grants provide funds for the operation of local shelters and fund related social service and homeless prevention programs. HUD is awarding $160 million in Emergency Shelter Grants that are allocated based on a formula to state and local governments to create, improve and operate emergency shelters for homeless persons. These funds may also support essential services including job training, health care, drug/alcohol treatment, childcare and homelessness prevention activities. By helping to support emergency shelter, transitional housing and needed support services, Emergency Shelter Grants are designed to move homeless persons away from a life on the street toward permanent housing.

    The Goal to End Chronic Homelessness

    For six years, ending chronic homelessness has been one of President Bush’s national goals. Research indicates that approximately 20 percent of all homeless persons experience long-term or chronic homelessness. These studies conclude that this hardest-to-serve population utilizes more than half of all emergency shelter resources designed to assist homeless individuals and families. By shifting the federal emphasis toward meeting the needs of the most vulnerable homeless persons, more resources become available for those who experience situational homelessness. To learn more about chronic homelessness, visit the HUD’s Chronic Homelessness webpage.

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    HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.

    Highlights of HUD’s Homeless Assistance

    • An unprecedented number of local programs – nearly 6,000 – will receive nearly $1.5 billion.
    • 1.217 of the project awards being announced today target individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. Total funding to these projects is more than $330 million, a commitment that directly supports the national goal of ending chronic homelessness.
    • More than $727 million is being awarded to projects that provide permanent housing solutions for homeless persons.
    • 3,068 local projects that serve families with children will receive $729 million.
    • 607 programs that primarily serve victims of domestic violence will receive nearly $97 million.
    • $32 million is being awarded to 149 projects that primarily target homeless veterans among
    • 1,768 of the projects funded today are dedicated to providing housing and support services to severely mentally ill clients, totaling $453 million. These persons are at high risk of experiencing long-term or chronic homelessness.
    • $351 million will support 1,487 local programs that primarily help homeless individuals with substance abuse problems.
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