HUD Announces $8.7 Million in RUSH Grants to Assist People Experiencing Homelessness Impacted by Hurricane Ian

HUD awarded $8.7 million in Rapid Unsheltered Survivor Housing (RUSH) funding on February 29 to the State of Florida and six localities impacted by Hurricane Ian. The money is earmarked for individuals and families currently experiencing or at risk of homelessness and was provided due to the high level of displacement caused by the devastating hurricane, which struck the state in 2022.

Along with the State of Florida, the following counties received funds: Collier, Lee, Orlando, Polk, Seminole, and Volusia. Funding may be used for emergency shelter; rapid re-housing; or financial assistance to cover move-in costs, supportive services, homelessness prevention, utility assistance, and outreach assistance.

The allocation was the second disbursement of RUSH funds aimed at aiding Florida’s communities in their recovery efforts following catastrophic storms. The initial tranche of funding, distributed in October 2022, amounted to $6.8 million. RUSH funding is available for communities offering assistance to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness who are in disaster-affected areas but who cannot access all services provided by FEMA programs.

NLIHC released a report last year on initial RUSH implementation in collaboration with the National Housing Law Project (NHLP). The report, Plugging the Gaps: Recommendations for HUD’s RUSH Program, found that while RUSH offers vital support to disaster-impacted communities, initial implementation of the program in Florida was hampered by challenges that must be remedied before future deployment.