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Homeless man holds cardboard cutout of a house
Chanin Wardkhian, Getty Images

HUD Program First to Help ‘Homeless Encampments’

Calling it a “first-of-its-kind package,” HUD will spend $322M to help the unsheltered homeless, including some living off the land in rural communities.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a first-of-its-kind package to address unsheltered homelessness and homeless encampments, including funds that address homelessness in rural communities. The program is a goal of the Biden Administration.

The $365 million package includes grant funds and additional vouchers to enhance communities’ capacity to address unsheltered homelessness by connecting vulnerable individuals and families to housing, health care and support services. It promotes partnerships with health care organizations, public housing authorities and mainstream housing providers.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that people sleeping in their vehicles, in tents or on the streets, including in rural areas, have access to decent, stable housing and services, like health care and treatment,” says HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, calling this group one of the hardest to reach. “With this funding, communities will have the resources to scale up coordinated efforts to move people humanely and effectively from encampments.”

“President Biden is following through on his promise to unite our country by delivering funding for health care and services that support individuals who are unhoused,” said “As a physician, I have seen firsthand how important it is to address the social and economic conditions of a person’s life in order for them to realize the health and well-being every American deserves,” says Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). “Today’s announcement is a key step in our work to do just that.”

The package includes:

  • $322 million in Continuum of Care Program grants through a Special Notice of Funding Opportunity to fund homeless outreach, permanent housing, supportive services and other costs as part of a comprehensive community approach to solve unsheltered homelessness – and a set-aside of $54.5 million specifically for rural communities.

The grants will fund projects for three-years, after which they will be eligible for renewal through the annual Continuum of Care program competition.

  • $43 million to fund about 4,000 new incremental vouchers that will be allocated via a separate notice to public housing authorities. These vouchers can serve households experiencing or at-risk of homelessness; those fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking; and veterans and families that include a veteran family member that meets one of the proceeding criteria. Congress has provided HUD with waiver authorities to facilitate lease-up for vulnerable households.

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