The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the first of the funding provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law March 27.
The agency said it is making available $3.064 billion through its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), and Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS programs.
The funding includes $2 billion allocated under the CDBG program to be used to:
- Construct medical facilities for testing and treatment.
- Acquire a motel or hotel building to expand capacity of hospitals to accommodate isolation of patients during recovery.
- Replace HVAC systems to temporarily transform commercial buildings or closed school buildings into clinics or treatment centers.
- Support businesses manufacturing medical supplies.
- Construct a group living facility to centralize patients undergoing treatment.
- Carry out job training of health care workers and technicians who are available to treat disease within a community.
Another $1 billion will be allocated under HUD’s ESG program to:
- Build more emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families.
- Operate emergency shelters by providing maintenance, rent, repair, security, fuel, equipment, insurance, utilities, food, furnishings, and supplies necessary for the operation.
- Provide hotel/motel vouchers for homeless families or individuals.
- Provide essential services to people experiencing homelessness including child care, education services, outreach, employment assistance, outpatient health services, legal services, mental health services, substance abuse treatment services, and transportation.
- Prevent individuals from becoming homeless and rapidly rehouse homeless individuals.
The department is also making $63.7 million available under the HOPWA program to:
- Increase the level of safe, stable housing for persons living with HIV/AIDS and their household members, by providing rental and utility assistance and other short-term lodging assistance to address isolation and self-quarantine needs.
- Ensure access to HIV medical care and treatment, chemical dependency treatment, and mental health treatment.
- Provide persons with compromised immune systems with nutritional services and assistance with daily living.
- Assist in job training and placement assistance.
Additional funds will follow this first tranche. The CARES Act allows HUD to broaden the reach of its existing grant programs for the remaining $9.136 billion in relief funding to meet the country’s unique needs during this time. To do this, new grant formulas must be written. HUD officials said they began writing new formulas immediately and will continue to work quickly to address communities’ needs and ensure these funds go to people and do not get delayed by bureaucratic red tape.