Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, joined U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge to announce the allocation of $5 billion in American Rescue Plan funds for emergency housing vouchers for individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.
The supplemental funding is allocated through the Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) program. Through EHV, HUD is providing 70,000 housing choice vouchers to local public housing authorities (PHAs) across the country to help Americans find and remain in housing. Click here for a full list of initial allocations. 2,443 housing choice vouchers will be provided to local public housing authorities across Washington state.
“The American Rescue Plan is working, bringing more than $400 million in rental assistance to Washington state and hundreds of millions more in homeowner and homelessness assistance – including the emergency housing vouchers we’re talking about today,” said Senator Murray. “The legislation we sent to President Biden’s desk is making an important difference in people’s lives, especially for people of color who have felt the disproportionate impact of this crisis. We’re making real progress to get our communities back to ‘normal’ — but that isn’t good enough when ‘normal’ wasn’t working for so many before the pandemic. We faced a housing crisis before the pandemic, and we need to keep working to pass the American Jobs Plan — to help our country build back stronger and fairer than before.”
“While most of us spent more time in our homes than we ever have, more than half a million Americans had to spend the last year either in crowded shelters or sleeping outside,” said Secretary Fudge. “With HUD’s swift allocation of this $5 billion in American Rescue Plan funding, we are providing communities the resources to give homes to the people who have had to endure the COVID-19 pandemic without one. Congress now needs to pass the President’s American Jobs Plan. This once-in-a-generation investment would bring the United States closer to ending homelessness and housing instability.”
The $5 billion in EHV-ARP funding gives communities the resources needed to help eligible households find and remain in housing. HUD estimates that these EHVs, alongside resources provided by the CARES Act, could help house 130,000 households.
The $5 billion in EHV-ARP funding is the second of two homelessness-related funding opportunities from the American Rescue Plan that HUD released. In April, HUD announced the allocation of $5 billion in ARP funds to increase affordable housing to address homelessness.
As more and more people across Washington state face housing insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Murray fought to include critical housing assistance in the American Rescue Plan. For Washington state, that includes $403 million in emergency rental and utility assistance, $173 million in assistance for homeowners struggling to afford their mortgage payments and other housing costs, $98 million for supportive services and non-congregate housing solutions for people experiencing homelessness, and more than 2,400 new emergency Housing Choice Vouchers (administered by Public Housing Authorities). And in the December COVID relief package, Senator Murray helped to secure $507 million for Washington state to provide rental and utility assistance to those in need.