Lamont Announces $58 Million Federal Grant to Tackle Homelessness Over 10 Years

Alongside U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge and Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Gov. Ned Lamont announced $58 million in federal dollars to fund affordable housing and services for the homeless in a press conference Wednesday afternoon. 

“The Department of Housing and Urban Development has allocated American Rescue Plan funds to those who have borne the brunt of this crisis: people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness,” Fudge said. “Five billion dollars in homelessness assistance has been allocated to 651 grantees, including states, tribal areas and local governments, to help communities increase affordable housing and supportive services for people experiencing homelessness.”

Fudge said that grantees can use the funding, which must be spent by 2030, for rental assistance, supportive services, and affordable housing development, whether building new properties or buying and retrofitting old ones. 

“Let me just say how important the non-eviction and the funding support has been,” Lamont said. “Our homeless population has gone down in the last nine months. We’re allowing those who otherwise might be at risk to stay in their homes by working with the tenant as well as the landlord to make sure that they have a way to get back on their feet and stay with a roof over their head.”

“On a single night in January 2020, more than 580,000 people experienced homelessness in the United States,” Fudge said. “We know that the pandemic has only made the crisis worse, so while Americans were told to stay safe by staying home last year, more than half a million individuals had no way to do so.” 

The supplemental funding is allocated through the HOME investment partnerships program, the largest federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households.

Lamont said the $58 million will be “transformative” for the state’s homelessness infrastructure, which was strained at the height of the pandemic. Converting hotels, especially business hotels that sat empty at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, helped “make sure folks had a place that they could call home,” he said. 

 “Home was more than just a roof over the head to keep you dry in a rainstorm or warm on a cold day,” Lamont said. “Home also had to have the wraparound services they needed, healthcare services they needed, testing and now vaccinations, and mental health support to make sure each of these folks had a chance to get back on their feet.”

Lamont also thanked the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the moratorium on evictions, saying it was vital to supporting the state’s housing insecure population. 

“Let me just say how important the non-eviction and the funding support has been,” Lamont said. “Our homeless population has gone down in the last nine months. We’re allowing those who otherwise might be at risk to stay in their homes by working with the tenant as well as the landlord to make sure that they have a way to get back on their feet and stay with a roof over their head.”

Latest from Anna Elizabeth