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HUD awards $5.4M to Puerto Rico to aid public housing residents

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the disbursement of $5.4 million in CARES Act funding to help low income families during the coronavirus pandemic.

The assignment is part of a global disbursement of $472 million in funding that can be used by public housing authorities to help families assisted by Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) and Mainstream vouchers prevent, prepare for and respond to the coronavirus, agency Secretary Ben Carson said.

“This funding will provide additional resources to public housing authorities to make sure people have a decent, safe, and affordable place to call home,” said Carson. “HUD continues to work with our public housing authorities to protect American families from this invisible enemy, including vulnerable residents in the Housing Choice Voucher Program. “

The HCV includes the Mainstream Program which provides tenant-based vouchers that serve low-income households.

“These new funds are important and will go a long way to help low-income residents secure and retain affordable housing during this unprecedented time,” said Hunter Kurtz, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing.

The 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); and,
  • 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).

“These additional funds provide timely and impactful resources for public housing authorities to help meet the needs of those we serve acquire and retain affordable housing during an especially challenging time”, said Denise Cleveland-Leggett, HUD Southeast Regional Administrator.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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