WASHINGTON, DC – September 14, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced that homelessness for 1 million Americans was prevented or ended, thanks to HUD’s Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP), funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Secretary Donovan made this announcement at a U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness meeting with U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who serves as the USICH Chair; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and USICH Vice Chair Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Veteran’s Administration Secretary Eric Shinseki, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, and USICH Director Barbara Poppe.
As a new program created specifically under the Recovery Act, HPRP provided $1.5 billion to local communities to keep families in their homes or help them find other affordable housing after a sudden financial crisis, which might have otherwise led to homelessness. These grants offer communities a resource to provide short- and medium-term rental assistance and services to prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless or to quickly re-house those who are experiencing homelessness.
“At a time when so many families were at the brink of homelessness due to the economic crisis, HPRP was able to step in and provide the assistance needed to keep families safe and off the streets,” said Secretary Donovan. “I am proud to announce this historic milestone and to continue to work on strategies with my partners within the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness to end homelessness for all Americans.”
Grants provided under HPRP are not intended to provide long-term support for individuals and families, nor do they provide mortgage assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure. Rather, HPRP offers short- and medium-term financial assistance and services to those who would otherwise become homeless, and those who are already in homeless shelters or living on the street, many due to sudden economic crisis. This can include short-term rental assistance (up to three months), medium-term rental assistance (up to 18 months), security deposits, utility deposits and/or utility payments, moving cost assistance, and hotel vouchers. Payments will not be made directly to households, but only to third parties, such as landlords or utility companies.
The goal of the program is to increase housing stability for those individuals and families served with HPRP assistance. HUD requires each grantee to participate in its local Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), where client-level data is entered and collected on the households served through HPRP on a quarterly basis. The grantee and/or subgrantee compiles the reported data and provides HUD with an unduplicated count of person and households served in the reporting quarter and date, as well as whether the household exited the program to stable housing. On an annual basis, HUD captures additional detailed data from the grantees that is published in the Annual Homelessness Assessment Report.
Also, last year 19 federal agencies in the Obama Administration announced a plan to end all homelessness through,Opening Doors, an unprecedented federal strategy to end veteran and chronic homelessness by 2015, and to end homelessness among children, families, and youth by 2020. In addition to the HPRP grant program, last month HUD announced that it would award $1.63 billion to support nearly 7,000 existing homeless assistance programs currently operating and create additional new homeless assistance programs with the Continuum of Care (CoC) Homeless Assistance Program Notice of Funding Availability for fiscal year 2011, which is making a major contribution to the Opening Doors strategy.
Secretary Donovan and the Department are committed to providing the highest level of transparency possible as Recovery Act funds are administered. It is vitally important that the American people are fully aware of how their tax dollars are being spent and can hold their federal leaders accountable. Every dollar of Recovery Act funds HUD spends can be reviewed and tracked at HUD’s Recovery Act website. The full text of HUD’s funding notices and tracking of future performance of these grants is also available at HUD’s Recovery Act website.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s News Listserv.