HUD’s PIH Posts Guidance on Using CARES Act Funds to Access Vaccinations

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) posted guidance for public housing agencies (PHAs) to assist them in supporting access to vaccines for residents and staff. Working with state and local health departments, PHAs can:

  • Support PHA staff to get vaccinated, especially those who have contact with residents
  • Partner with health departments, health providers, and/or pharmacies
  • Monitor state and local updates on vaccination priorities, locations, and ways to register
  • Share local vaccination information with residents and keep residents updated
  • Provide space for mobile or pop-up vaccination services or provide transportation for residents to vaccination locations

Guidance on use of CARES Act supplemental public housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Administrative fee funds for PHAs is provided in PIH Notices 2020-07, 2020-08 and 2020-18 (see Memo, 5/4/20, 8/10/20). In addition, newer eligible uses of HCV Administrative Fee funds under the CARES Act are posted (see “HUD PIH Updates List of Eligible Uses for CARES Act HCV Administrative Fee Funds” elsewhere in this Memo).

PHAs are encouraged to communicate directly and often with residents about vaccine eligibility, when known, and to include resident organizations in planning. PHAs can use CARES Act Supplemental Operating Public Housing funds or HCV Administrative Fees (as appropriate) for:

  • Transporting residents and staff to or from a site providing the vaccine
  • Coordinating with health units to provide on-site vaccinations at a PHA or other mutually agreed upon site
  • Paying overtime or bonus pay for PHA staff assisting with vaccination efforts
  • Covering costs to develop or distribute educational materials related to COVID-19 or the vaccine
  • Hiring health service coordination staff, including resident community health workers, to assist residents locate and sign up for the vaccine and health insurance coverage
  • Providing individual or shared computing devices, such as laptops or multifunction tablets with keyboards, to allow for online registration
  • Setting aside units or non-dwelling space in the Inventory Management System-Public Information Center (IMS-PIC) system to allow for vaccine service

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security designated workers responsible for leasing residential properties, property management, maintenance, and related service calls, reception of deliveries, mail, and other services as “essential critical infrastructure workers.” Once the vaccine is widely available, PHAs may consider policies that require current vaccinations for workers who interact with residents. PHAs may also consider incentive compensation for staff to get vaccinated.

“Guidance for Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) on Supporting Access to COVID-19 Vaccinations for Residents and Staff” is at:

More information about public housing is on page 4-30 of NLIHC’s 2020 Advocates’ Guide.

More information about housing choice vouchers is on page 4-1 of NLIHC’s 2020 Advocates’ Guide.