(NAEH) Act Now for Homelessness COVID Relief Funds
The most important moment in federal homelessness policy in 2020 has arrived!
Ensuring that the homelessness system is adequately resourced to meet the difficult challenges presented by the pandemic is the goal you and the Alliance have been working towards for almost three months—and now the moment has finally arrived when the Congress will decide whether to provide funding sufficient to keep people experiencing homelessness safe from the virus, and keep countless others from becoming homeless during a raging pandemic.
The Senate will soon unveil their own proposal for what additional relief should be provided to individuals, businesses, and governments because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, both Republicans and Democrats—with plenty of direction from the Administration—will strive to reconcile policy and funding differences between the Senate proposal and the House-passed HEROES Act (H.R. 6800), and produce a final compromise that the President will sign into law.
The HEROES Act already includes $11.5 billion in additional Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), $1 billion in new Housing Choice Vouchers, and $100 billion in rental assistance. Will the Senate proposal also include vital homelessness and low-income housing assistance? We'll soon find out.
Please take the time to let your lawmakers know, ideally through customized messages that reflect your own views, that the final agreement must include more ESG, more vouchers, and robust rental assistance. Lawmakers who have already expressed support for these provisions should continue to do so - and it is up to you to tell them that. You can also influence other lawmakers to support these measures. The need is urgent! We can't let Congress forget that this is the last pandemic funding coming out of the federal government in 2020. COVID-19 will be with us well into calendar year 2021—so the HUD homelessness system must be resourced for the long-term.
And if you'd like to do even more to ensure a momentous win for homelessness and low-income housing policy (including organizing meetings with or sign-on letters to your lawmakers) but need help getting started, please contact the Alliance's Jerry Jones (email@example.com) or John Threlkeld (firstname.lastname@example.org).