COVID-19 – Accessing PA’s Share of Federal Stimulus Funds for Affordable Housing, Homeless Assistance, and Community Development

This page includes the guidance available for the programs that support housing, homeless assistance, and community development from the Federal CARES Act. This is not a comprehensive list, though we hope it is a valuable resource. If you know of other information that is available please email us at info@housingalliancepa.org.

The Housing Alliance recently held a webinar on this topic on April 16, 2020. To listen to the full recording of that webinar click here. To view the Q/A on from the webinar click here. For a summary of the National Low Income Housing Coalition presentation from Ed Gramlich click here.

SUMMARY ALL OF HOUSING PROGRAMS IN THE CARES ACT


HOUSING INSTABILITY AND HOMELESSNESS GUIDANCE


HOMELESS ASSISTANCE GUIDANCE

The bill includes $4 billion for homeless assistance, to be distributed through the Emergency Solutions Grants program (ESG). ESG is a formula grant to states and local governments. It funds a broad range of activities for people who are homeless or who are at risk of homelessness, which in this bill includes anyone with income below 50 percent of area median income. HUD recently released a publication on how to use ESG to fund activities to protect homeless people from the new coronavirus. The bill eliminates requirements for matching funds, local planning, and procurement standards. It eliminates the cap on shelter funding. It eliminates habitability and environmental review standards for temporary emergency shelters. It allows up to ten percent of the funding to be used for administration.

The bill also includes the proviso that “none of the funds provided under this heading in this Act may be used to require people experiencing homelessness to receive treatment or perform any other prerequisite activities as a condition for receiving shelter, housing, or other services.” The HUD Secretary will have authority to waive almost any requirement of the regular ESG program, if the flexibility provided by the bill is not sufficient.

Funding will be released in two waves. The first will use the regular ESG formula, under a 30-day time frame, and will include up to $2 billion of the $4 billion. The remainder will be distributed based on a new formula developed by HUD, taking into account states’ and communities’ needs related to  coronavirus response.


COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANTS GUIDANCE 

The CARES Act provides CDBG grantees with flexibilies that make it easier to use CDBG-CV grants and fiscal years 2019 and 2020 CDBG Grants for coronavirus response and authorizes HUD to grant waivers and alternative requirements. View the HUD memo. Grantees may use CDBG funds for a range of eligible activities that prevent and respond to the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Access this Quick Guide to CDBG Eligible Activities to Support Infectious Disease Response.


FEMA GUIDANCE

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