Biden-Harris Administration Launches House America Initiative
This week, the Biden-Harris Administration launched House America: An All-Hands-On-Deck Effort to Address the Nation’s Homelessness Crisis. The initiative, to be led by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge, is a national partnership in which HUD and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) invite state and local government officials to use historic investments provided through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to address the crisis of homelessness through a Housing First approach by immediately rehousing and building additional housing for individuals experiencing homelessness.
According to HUD, communities were provided significant housing resources through ARPA, including 70,000 emergency housing vouchers, $5 billion in HOME grants, and significant investments to preserve and protect housing on tribal lands. ARPA additionally provides $350 billion in state and local fiscal recovery funds to support the many needs of communities, including homelessness and housing instability.
The House America initiative calls on state, tribal, and local leaders to partner with HUD to use ARPA resources, alongside other federal, tribal, state, and local resources to set and achieve ambitious goals to rehouse individuals experiencing homelessness and add new units of affordable housing that address homelessness into the development pipeline by December 31, 2022.
HUD Secretary Fudge convened a virtual event with federal, state, and local government officials to launch the new initiative. Governor Gavin Newsom, along with several mayors of large California cities, attended the event. Governor Newsom, in a statement following the event, applauded the Biden-Harris Administration for working to address homelessness and reiterated California’s efforts and significant investments in housing and homelessness services.
Additional information on the HUD initiative is available here.