HUD increases, expands funds for public housing authorities to fight COVID-19
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Joe DeFelice announced May 5 the agency will allocate $820,084 in COVID-19 relief funding to help low-income Delawareans residing in public housing.
The allocation is part of $380 million in supplemental administrative fee funding awarded to all public housing authorities, including Moving to Work PHAs. The two months of additional funding may be used for traditional administrative fees as well as for new costs related to protecting assisted families and employees throughout this coronavirus pandemic.
The funding, made available by the coronavirus relief bill President Donald Trump signed into law March 27, will be awarded to PHAs across the U.S.
“We must do everything in our power to protect all American families from this invisible enemy, including our vulnerable residents in the Housing Choice Voucher Program,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “These new flexibilities and additional funds will properly equip public housing authorities across the country with the resources they need to combat this virus.”
“I commend the Reach Riverside organization for helping Wilmington Housing Authority residents deal with the economic realities of reduced hours and job losses,” said DeFelice. “The goal of the Riverside Relief Fund they created is to provide $250 grants in May, June and July for up to 300 WHA households. The funds would enable families to buy what they need — diapers, prescription medications, cleaning products and clothing — items that can’t be purchased with other public subsidies. It’s that type of innovative thinking that will help all of us get through this challenging time.”
In Delaware, nearly more than $800,000 in funding will be allocated as follows: $327,486 to the Wilmington Housing Authority; $26,830 to the Dover Housing Authority; $15,668 to the Newark Housing Authority; $290,288 to the New Castle County Housing Authority; and $159,812 to the Delaware State Housing Authority.
The Housing Choice Voucher Program includes the Mainstream Program, which provides tenant-based vouchers that serve households that include a nonelderly person with a disability and serves more than 2.4 million families.
The new eligible coronavirus-related activities include, but are not limited to, the following:
— Procuring cleaning supplies and/or services to maintain safe and sanitary HCV units, including common areas of PHA-owned project based voucher projects.
— Relocation of participating families to health units or other designated units for testing, hospitalization or quarantine, or transportation to these locations to limit the exposure that could be caused by using mass transportation.
— Additional costs to supportive services vendors incurred due to coronavirus.
— Costs to retain or increase owner participation in the HCV program, such as incentive or retention costs — e.g. the PHA offers owner an incentive payment to participate in recognition of added difficulties of making units available for HCV families to rent while stay-at-home orders or social distancing practices are in effect.
— Costs for providing childcare for the children of PHA staff that would not have otherwise been incurred — e.g. children are at home due to school closings, PHA staff are working outside of regular work schedules, etc. A list of allocations can be found at bit.ly/3fmCWrj.
After the president signed the coronavirus relief legislation into law, HUD acted immediately to allocate its first wave of funding, more than $3 billion to assist communities and nonprofits, help protect the homeless and Americans with compromised immune systems and assist tribal communities in their COVID-19 response efforts. HUD announced on May 1 an additional $685 million for PHAs to prepare for, prevent and respond to a coronavirus outbreak for the public housing program.
For more, visit hud.gov/coronavirus.