The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson today announced the allocation of a third wave in CARES Act coronavirus relief funding. This wave totaling $1 billion is through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. To date, HUD has provided over $3 billion in CDBG funding nationwide to help communities acutely combat coronavirus and alleviate economic hardship.
“Coronavirus has impacted our communities and populations in unprecedented ways, and while some begin to see a decline in reported cases, others continue to fight this invisible enemy aggressively,” said Secretary Ben Carson. “This funding will afford states the ability to respond to the unique circumstances they are facing – from reducing risk of transmission to regaining the sound footing of their economy. This is the third wave of funding the Department has provided to States and insular areas, and we will continue to execute a detailed and swift response until the days of COVID-19 are behind us.”
The allocation formula uses variables focusing on public health needs, risk of transmission of coronavirus, rate of coronavirus cases, and economic disruption. The formula uses data on low-income elderly and poor children to target to places with higher public health risk while also using recent unemployment insurance claims data to provide for states hardest hit, at the time of the allocation, by unemployment. All of the factors are adjusted so that places with higher than the national average in COVID-19 cases receive a slightly higher share of funding.
Grantees may select from more than 25 eligible CDBG activities to shape their local programs to meet their needs, including:
- A wide range of public services to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, such as providing food and health services for low-income elderly persons and children;
- Small business assistance or emergency housing payments for entities and families impacted by economic and housing market disruptions; or
- Acquisition and rehabilitation of structures for health facilities, food banks, or public improvements needed to support community coronavirus response, preparation, or prevention. For example, grants may assist improvements to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning in a local grocery store to protect employees and shoppers, or alterations to neighborhood business district sidewalks and facades to enable curbside pick-up or social distancing.
Every U.S. State and Insular Area will receive a portion of these relief funds. A list of allocations can be found here.
After President Trump signed the CARES Act into law, HUD acted immediately to allocate its first wave of funding – over $3 billion to assist communities and non-profits – to help protect the homeless and Americans with compromised immune systems, as well as assist Tribal communities in their COVID-19 response efforts. To date, all grant agreement amendments from the first round of funding have been completed by grantees and approved by HUD.
Shortly after the initial $3 billion tranche, HUD announced a second wave of funding to help low-income Americans living in Public Housing. For more information on HUD’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic and the actions the Department has taken, please visit Hud.gov/coronavirus. Public Housing Authorities across the Nation have jumped into action to help assist their tenants and their communities during this unprecedented time. Read more about their stories featured in HUD’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors campaign, here.