Story at a glance
- HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge confirmed $5 billion from Biden’s infrastructure plan will be allocated to address and alleviate homelessness.
- Within 12-18 months, 130,000 people may be rehoused.
Marcia Fudge, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) within the Biden administration, revealed that the agency will allocate $5 billion in grants to state governments to use for rental assistance as part of a larger bid to reduce homelessness in the U.S.
The announcement, which Fudge made during a Skype call with Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown (D), Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), and Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin (D), was first reported by The Washington Post.
“Let me be clear. These funds could not come at a more critical time," she reportedly said.
The $5 billion in federal funding is part of the larger American Rescue Plan. The plan set aside about $30 billion for rental assistance, homelessness relief and mortgage and homeownership help.
The grants must be spent by 2030.
Fudge previously acknowledged the $5 billion specifically to be used toward homelessness in the U.S. back in March, when she estimated about 130,000 people can be rehoused within 12-18 months.
A large portion of federal aid has been designed to assist renters and landlords during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic-induced recession rivaled the Great Depression in terms of unemployment levels, federal authorities used stimulus checks and eviction moratoriums to help people retain their homes.
Prior to the pandemic, homelessness in the U.S. was a major social problem, with rising costs of living from coast to coast displacing residents.
As part of Biden’s American Rescue Plan, developing more affordable housing options and ending discriminatory lending practices are chief among his plans for improved countrywide homeownership.
“Housing is infrastructure,” Fudge wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.