Federal, state and local agencies are working together to help homeless individuals and families obtain housing. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, or VA, provide funding to organizations committed to homelessness prevention. These organizations provide rental payment assistance and supportive services to qualified homeless populations.
Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program
The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, or HPRP, was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It provides help to homeless families and those at-risk of becoming homeless. To qualify for help, the family's income cannot exceed 50 percent of the area median income. They can get help to pay for security and utility deposits, a truck rental or other moving costs. Rental assistance can be provided for up to 18 months. Also, a motel voucher can be provided while the family is transitioning to permanent housing.
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Single Room Occupancy
The Single Room Occupancy, or SRO, program provides a rental subsidy to property owners that provide housing to homeless individuals. An SRO is a unit with a bathroom, kitchen or both. The property owner must do a minimum of $3,000 in repairs to convert the unit to an SRO to be eligible to participate in the program. The tenant is responsible for paying 30 percent of his income toward rent. HUD pays the difference. The property owner can receive a subsidy payment for up to 10 years.
Emergency Shelter Grant
The Emergency Shelter Grant, or ESG, is provided to local governments and community-based organizations to rehabilitate a property to be used to house the homeless. The money can also be used to pay for operating costs of the facility and to provide supportive services to the homeless. Supportive services include substance abuse counseling, case management and mental health treatment. Community-based organizations must match the ESG funds with money from their own resources. Emergency shelters are for families or individuals who lack a fixed nighttime residence or those who will be evicted from their home within 30 days.
Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program
This program helps homeless veteran families secure permanent housing or retain an existing housing with a one-time grant. The money can be used to pay for a security deposit, utility fees and other moving expenses. To qualify for the help, the veteran must be the head of the household. The family's income cannot exceed 50 percent of the area median income. The family must be in a permanent home or scheduled to obtain a permanent home within 90 days. The family can also obtain supportive services to ensure they can maintain their residential stability.