Secretary Becerra Named Chair of U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness; Announces $6.1 Million in New Measures on Affordable Housing and Support for Runaway Youth; Launches Housing and Services Partnership Accelerator

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HHS awards $2.1M to bolster supportive services for families living in affordable housing; awards 11 new grants totaling nearly $4 million for runaway and homeless youth prevention.

HHS and HUD announce joint Housing and Services Partnership Accelerator to support innovation.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – RealEstateRama – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra was named chair of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), which harnesses the collective power of 19 federal agencies to coordinate the federal homelessness strategy and support state and local efforts to prevent and end homelessness. HHS, through the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), also announced 9 new grants totaling $2.1M to bolster supportive services for families living in affordable housing and 11 new grants totaling nearly $4 million for runaway and homeless youth prevention. HHS, through the Administration for Community Living, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the launch of the Housing and Services Partnership Accelerator, which will support states in developing or expanding innovative housing-related supports and services.

“Stable housing is essential to the health and well-being of individuals and families. Preventing and ending homelessness requires a collective effort to understand and address its root causes such as housing affordability. We must also channel our efforts to address the health and social needs of many who are unhoused, including behavioral health,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness is doing critically important work and I am honored to take on the role of Chair. We will continue to do everything in our collective capacity to dramatically reduce homelessness in this country.”


USICH elects new leadership on an annual basis. The chair and vice chair lead council meetings, support implementation of the federal strategic plan, foster collaboration across the federal government, and increase public and congressional attention on homelessness. This past year, Secretary Becerra served as vice chair of USICH.

Secretary Becerra will lead USICH at a time when many communities have been reporting rises  in homelessness. While there are many causes of homelessness, two key contributors are due to soaring rents and the expiration of most pandemic-era protections, such as emergency rental assistance. In addition, many people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness – including people with disabilities and older adults – need help obtaining housing that is both affordable and accessible.??Many also need access to supportive services – such as behavioral health services, personal care assistance, tenancy supports, accessible transportation, and home-delivered meals – in order to live successfully and stably in the community.

Housing and Services Partnership Accelerator

HHS and HUD announce the Housing and Services Partnership Accelerator (Accelerator), which will support states with Medicaid programs working to expand innovative housing-related supports and services through section 1115 demonstrations for people with disabilities and older adults who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. In particular, the Accelerator will bring together interdisciplinary teams from four states to tackle common issues, such as navigating payment models and rates, data integration and sharing, and more.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with HHS as Secretary Xavier Becerra assumes the chairmanship of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. Today’s announcement of the Housing and Services Partnership Accelerator is just one example of how HUD and HHS work together to address the needs of people who are experiencing or are at risk of experiencing homelessness,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “HUD is proud to partner with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide technical assistance and support to states for housing-related activities for those who need it the most. We encourage states to apply for this opportunity so we can make a collective difference in the lives of people with disabilities across the country.”

The Accelerator will also offer participating states an opportunity to share lessons learned and promising practices for improving collaboration and coordination to optimize resources, cover resource gaps, align state and local policies, and to deliver more integrated and seamless services.

Participating teams will include representatives from state Medicaid agencies, as well as state and community organizations focused on homelessness and housing (such as Continuums of Care and Public Housing Authorities), disability and aging, mental health and substance use, public health and more. Applications are due December 1, 2023. Complete details, including eligibility requirements and instructions for registering for an informational webinar on November 13, can be found on the Accelerator webpage.

The Accelerator is offered through ACL’s Housing and Services Resource Center (HSRC), which is improving access to affordable, accessible housing and the critical services that make community living possible. The HSRC is operated in partnership by HHS, HUD and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Within HHS, the partnership is led by ACL and includes the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Administration for Children and Families, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE). The Health Resources and Services Administration also is supporting complementary efforts to fund technical assistance to states to support the development and implementation of sustainable financing of health and housing programs.

Affordable Housing and Supportive Services Demonstration Program 

Through the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), HHS awarded 9 new grants totaling $2.1 million to fund the Affordable Housing and Supportive Services Demonstration (AHSSD) program, a new federal pilot program within the Office of Community Services, aimed at strengthening and enhancing wraparound and supportive services available to residents in affordable housing.

AHSSD funding will help build and strengthen the capacity of owners and operators of affordable housing to provide wraparound supportive services to residents. AHSSD grant recipients will use their award to enhance a variety of supportive services including onsite child care, financial literacy and coaching, GED preparation classes, transportation assistance, early childhood and youth programs and mental health services.

For more information about the Affordable Housing and Supportive Services Demonstration program, watch the AHSSD 101 animated video .

Runaway and Homeless Youth Program

Also through ACF, HHS awarded nearly $4 million in grants through the Runaway and Homeless Youth program to support 11 organizations and communities that work every day to prevent and end youth homelessness. ACF partners with these organizations to help create a future in which youth, individuals and families can live healthy, productive and violence-free lives, no matter what challenges they may face.

The grant recipients will design and deliver community-based demonstration initiatives to prevent youth from experiencing homelessness. Through the development and coordination of partnerships with youth and young adult service providers, community organizations, youth and young adults with lived experience of homelessness or housing instability, and private and public agencies, the recipients will identify young people at risk of experiencing homelessness; design and develop a comprehensive prevention plan to prevent youth homelessness; and implement robust, holistic prevention services tailored for youth and young adults to respond to the diverse needs of youth who are at risk of homelessness and their families.

In addition, each year the Runaway and Homeless Youth program, located within ACF’s Family and Youth Services Bureau, awards annual grants to public and private organizations to protect young people through four primary programs .

Work Across the Department

People who experience homelessness have higher rates of chronic conditions and disabilities, including behavioral health conditions, compared to those who are stably housed, and tend to interact with multiple public systems (e.g., foster care, shelters, emergency departments, and criminal justice). A number of HHS agencies operate grants and programs that directly serve people at risk of or experiencing homelessness. HHS also conducts research to better understand how we can seize opportunities through our programs to disrupt homelessness before it begins or end it as soon as possible.

Recent HHS research shows that the number of older adults at risk of or currently experiencing homelessness have increased in recent years, a trend that is projected to continue and further accelerate. Older adults at risk of or experiencing homelessness have unique needs compared to other populations experiencing homelessness. As a first step in understanding how to address the needs of this population, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation conducted a study of what is known about older adults experiencing homelessness – PDF, including an examination of the size, characteristics, and needs of this vulnerable population and the services, housing, and supports needed and available to serve them. This report provides a roadmap for understanding the population of older adults at risk of or experiencing homelessness and what services and supports are available to serve them.

HHS also administers a variety of other programs that provide supportive services for low-income and vulnerable populations, older adults, and people with disabilities that address risk factors to help prevent homelessness, and work to end homelessness. Many of these programs are collaborations with other federal agencies and partners, in keeping with the Administration’s commitment to improving coordination, effectively leveraging resources, and streamlining access to services to better serve the American people.


Contact: HHS Press Office

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