USICH Releases Guidance for Communities on Using American Rescue Plan Act Resources to Address Homelessness

The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) released on December 20 guidance for communities on using resources from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to address homelessness. The guidance, “Getting It Done: The American Rescue Plan Way,” highlights how three communities – Louisville, KY; Austin, TX; and Harris County, TX – utilized ARPA resources to address the needs of people experiencing and at risk of homelessness. 

In Louisville, advocates targeted emergency rental assistance (ERA) funds to people at imminent risk of eviction and the lowest-income renters, who are often at greatest risk of homelessness if evicted. Officials in Austin created a system-level strategic plan for the distribution of Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs). EHVs are specifically targeted to people at risk of or experiencing homelessness, as well as people escaping domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking, and those who recently exited homelessness and need assistance to remain stably housed. Harris County partnered with the City of Houston to use a portion of ARPA’s health center funding to create a telemedicine program for people experiencing homelessness and to provide them with outreach, testing, vaccination sites, and primary care.

In addition to highlighting successes, the guidance discusses challenges communities have faced in implementing these programs, including overcoming mistrust of the government, landlord resistance, and supply chain shortages.

Read the USICH guidance at:

To learn more about using ARPA and other federal pandemic resources available to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness, visit the Framework for an Equitable COVID-19 Homelessness Response at: