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HUD announces grants, housing vouchers to address homelessness in Virginia

Crystal Graham
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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the second set of communities to receive grants and housing vouchers to address homelessness among people in unsheltered settings and in rural communities today.

This announcement includes $171.2 million in grants for 115 new projects in 29 Continuum of Care communities and adds to the first set of grant awards announced in February.

Virginia received $1,411,420 million in grants and five Stability Vouchers as part of the awards.

The Arlington County Continuum of Care, the Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania, Stafford Counties Continuum of Care and the Virginia Housing Development Authority will receive grants and vouchers to implement coordinated approaches to addressing unsheltered homelessness and those households at risk of homelessness due to domestic violence.

“Housing with supportive services is what solves homelessness, but people in unsheltered settings and in rural areas have not had access to those solutions,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “The combination of these grants and vouchers will help and give the communities tools they need to help people who are living on the streets, in encampments, under bridges or in rural areas obtain permanent housing.”

In this award:

  • Arlington County CoC will receive $1,275,746 to address unsheltered homelessness
  • Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania, Stafford Counties CoC will receive $135,684 to address rural homelessness
  • Five Stability Vouchers will be awarded to the Virginia Housing Development Authority

The total value of grants to date is $486 million to 62 CoC communities.

In addition, HUD is inviting 139 Public Housing Authorities who partnered with grantee communities to accept approximately 3,300 Stability Vouchers.

In response to the Special Notice of Funding Opportunity, Continuum of Care collaborative applicants were asked to formally partner with Public Housing Agencies to leverage access to housing resources. Public Housing Agencies that are partnering with awarded CoC grantees will receive priority for approximately 3,300 Stability Vouchers (a special allocation of Housing Choice Vouchers) that allow people experiencing homelessness to obtain and afford housing.

These Stability Vouchers will assist households experiencing or at risk of homelessness, those fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking and veterans/families that include a veteran family member that meets one of the proceeding criteria.

“We know that providing stable housing with supportive services is the solution to ending homelessness – and, indeed, that is our goal,” said HUD Regional Administrator, Matthew Heckles. “We are focused on improving our service delivery by building better systems and forging partnerships, but this boost in funding for targeted areas to address rural and unsheltered homelessness and Stability Vouchers is incredibly meaningful to this work.”

The resources announced today build upon the momentum and renewed political will at all levels of government to solve homelessness through the provision of housing with supportive services. They respond directly to the calls from state and local leaders, advocates, and people with lived experience for more federal assistance to address unsheltered and rural homelessness specifically.

Additionally, they provide communities with the resources and tools to respond to homeless encampments humanely and effectively while avoiding approaches that criminalize homelessness.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.