The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sent a letter to Congress on March 17 requesting $400 million in additional funding for the HUD’s Emergency Solutions Grants program. The additional funding would provide much-needed assistance for unsheltered people experiencing homelessness and homelessness service providers in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
People experiencing homelessness, and particularly those without shelter, are at an elevated risk of coronavirus infections, as they have limited access to preventative measures like handwashing, home isolation, and access to healthcare services. People experiencing homelessness are also more likely to have underlying chronic health conditions that can increase the likelihood of severe, possibly life-threatening complications. While two emergency supplemental packages to address the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic have already been signed into law, neither package includes funding to address housing or other urgent needs of people experiencing homelessness.
NLIHC’s Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition (DHRC) developed a list of recommendations for Congress to address the housing needs of America’s lowest-income households and people experiencing homelessness during the coronavirus pandemic. These recommendations include $10-14 billion in additional funding for the Emergency Solutions Grant program, which would help communities minimize the number of people living in homeless encampments, enable shelters to hire additional staff and purchase cleaning supplies, and help communities convert spaces like hotels into self-quarantine spaces.
Read OMB’s letter to Congress at: https://politi.co/33u28Xg
Read DHRC’s recommendations to Congress at: https://nlihc.org/responding-coronavirus