HUD to give $23.6 million of COVID-19 relief funding available to Arkansas

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) into law last Friday, providing assistance to Americans as the country works to combat COVID-19.

After the President signed the CARES Act, Secretary Ben Carson directed the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to begin allocating $3.064 billion to help low-income families and most vulnerable citizens.

These funds will be awarded by using existing grant formulas. They will also be accompanied by new guidance that cuts red tape so grantees can help their communities.

HUD is making a total of $23,612,108 in grants to Arkansas through its Community Development Block Grant, Emergency Solutions Grant, and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS programs.

Funding for Arkansas includes:

$15.5 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 diseases within a community

$7.8 million through HUD’s Emergency Solutions Grant Program to keep 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

$214,836 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

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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