Federal COVID-19 Includes Billions for Homeless
Following efforts by the Bay Area Council and AllHome to corral regional leaders behind a united ask for $5 billion in federal COVID-19 assistance for the Bay Area’s 35,000 homeless residents, the final COVID-19 relief signed into law today by President Trump includes $4 billion for Emergency Solutions Grants to protect U.S. homeless populations. Half of the funding will be made available within the next 30 days according to existing HUD grant criteria, while the remaining half will be distributed to state and local governments within 90 days according to new criteria determined by HUD Secretary Carson to take into account transmission risk and other housing and economic market conditions.
Public health officials are increasingly concerned about the ability of the virus to spread unchecked among California’s 110,000 unsheltered residents, many of whom have preexisting underlying medical conditions and for whom practicing strict hygiene is especially difficult. Jason Elliott, Governor Gavin Newsom’s Senior Counselor on Housing & Homelessness, will be addressing the Council’s first Homelessness Committee meeting on April 27. To engage with the Homelessness Committee, please contact Vice President Adrian Covert.