HUD makes $45.6M of COVID-19 relief funding available to La.

HUD makes $45.6M of COVID-19 relief funding available to La.
WAFB File photo of the Baton Rouge skyline and Mississippi River Bridge (Source: WAFB)

The following information is from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development:

NEW ORLEANS - President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) into law last Friday, providing much needed assistance to the American people as the country works diligently to combat COVID-19. Thanks to the President’s leadership, families and communities across the country will immediately feel the impact of this relief package as the federal government works to make these funds available.

After the President signed the CARES Act, Secretary Ben Carson directed the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to immediately begin allocating $3.064 billion to help America’s low-income families and most vulnerable citizens. These funds will be awarded quickly by using existing grant formulas; they will also be accompanied by new guidance that cuts red tape so grantees can quickly help their communities.

HUD is making a total of $45,686,694 in grants to Louisiana through its Community Development Block Grant, Emergency Solutions Grant, and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS programs. Please see the chart at the end of the release for the Louisiana grantees and amounts allocated to them.

“President Trump has said repeatedly that combating coronavirus will take a whole-of-government response, so we are glad to see Congress come together and join in our efforts to provide relief for the American people,” said Secretary Carson. “During this national emergency, HUD has taken quick action to help our country’s most vulnerable citizens and this additional support from Congress will help us continue to fulfill that mission.”

Funding for Louisiana includes:

$29.7 million through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Program to help states, communities, and non-profits. Funds can be used to:

- Construct medical facilities for testing and treatment.

- Acquire a motel or hotel building to expand capacity of hospitals to accommodate isolation of patients during recovery.

- Replace HVAC systems to temporarily transform commercial buildings or closed school buildings into clinics or treatment centers.

- Support businesses manufacturing medical supplies.

- Construct a group living facility to centralize patients undergoing treatment.

- Carry out job training of health care workers and technicians who are available to treat disease within a community.

$14.7 million through HUD’s Emergency Solutions Grant Program to keep America’s homeless citizens safe. Funds can be used to:

- Build more emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families.

- Operate emergency shelters by providing maintenance, rent, repair, security, fuel, equipment, insurance, utilities, food, furnishings, and supplies necessary for the operation.

- Provide Hotel/Motel Vouchers for homeless families or individuals.

- Provide essential services to people experiencing homelessness including childcare, education services, outreach, employment assistance, outpatient health services, legal services, mental health services, substance abuse treatment services, and transportation.

- Prevent individuals from becoming homeless and rapidly rehouse homeless individuals.

$1.2 million through HUD’s Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program to help American’s with compromised immune systems. Funds can be used to:

- Increase the level of safe, stable housing for Persons Living with HIV/AIDS and their household members, by providing rental and utility assistance

and other short-term lodging assistance to address isolation and self-quarantine needs.

- Ensure access to HIV medical care and treatment, chemical dependency treatment, and mental health treatment.

- Provide persons with compromised immune systems with nutritional services and assistance with daily living.

- Assist in job training and placement assistance.

Cuts Red Tape to Allow for Targeting of COVID-19 Response:

- The authority to provide housing assistance payments for rent, mortgage, and utilities for up to 24 months.

- The authority to use funds to self-isolate, quarantine, or provide other CDC-recommended infection control services for household members not living with HIV/AIDS.

- The authority to use funds to provide relocation services (including lodging at hotels, motels, or other locations) for persons living with HIV/AIDS and household members not living with HIV/AIDS.

Additional funds will follow this first tranche. The CARES Act allows HUD to broaden the reach of its existing grant programs for the remaining $9.136 billion in relief funding to meet our country’s unique needs during this time. To do this, new grant formulas must be written. HUD began writing new formulas immediately and will continue to work quickly to address communities’ needs and ensure these funds go to people and do not get delayed by bureaucratic red tape.

HUD COVID-19 funding for Louisiana
HUD COVID-19 funding for Louisiana (Source: HUD)

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