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Mayor Steven Fulop Joins HUD’s House America Initiative to Address Homelessness in Jersey City

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Mayor Steven Fulop Joins HUD’s House America Initiative to Address Homelessness in Jersey City

JERSEY CITYMayor Steven M. Fulop joins House America: An All-Hands-on-Deck Effort to Address the Nation’s Homelessness Crisis. House America is the federal initiative in which the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the US Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) invite mayors, city and county leaders, tribal nation leaders, and governors into a national partnership.

Mayor Fulop joins US Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia L. Fudge; Regional Administrator Alicka-Ampry Samuel; and HUD Newark Field Office Director Justin Scheid, in an effort to utilize the historic investments provided through the American Rescue Plan to address the crisis of homelessness through a Housing First approach.

“In Jersey City, we recently amplified our homeless outreach efforts and now have trained staff conducting mobile outreach paired with the healthy hygiene initiatives – including two health buses and free public showers. The All-Hands-on-Deck initiative can help to close any remaining gaps to preserve and protect housing for our vulnerable homeless population,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop. “We are incredibly grateful for this opportunity to work with our federal partners to move the dial even more.”

House America leverages funding from the American Rescue Plan, federal, state, and local resources to re-house at least 100,000 households experiencing homelessness nationwide and add at least 20,000 new units of affordable housing into the development pipeline by December 31, 2022. Within those national goals, communities will set and achieve local re-housing and unit creation goals.

“The COVID-19 pandemic added to the existing homeless crisis already increasing since 2017,” said Alicka Ampry-Samuel, HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. “I look forward to working with Mayor Fulop, HUD staff, local service providers, and advocates to use all available resources to create housing and reduce homelessness in Jersey City.”

After steady decreases from 2010 to 2016, homelessness in the United States increased even prior to COVID-19. According to the 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report Part 1 to Congress, more than 580,000 people experienced homelessness in the US on a single night in 2020.

The pandemic only made homelessness worse, and created additional urgency to address the crisis, given the heightened risks faced by people experiencing homelessness. At the same time, COVID-19 slowed re-housing activities due to capacity issues and impacts on rental market vacancies.

House America recognizes that it will take government working at all levels and local collaboration to address this crisis.

In Jersey City, HUD’s 2020 homeless assessment report found that there were 434 homeless individuals in Jersey City before the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has created greater urgency to address homelessness, given the heightened risks faced by people experiencing homelessness. At the same time, COVID-19 has slowed re-housing activities due to capacity issues and impacts on rental market vacancies.

Through the American Rescue Plan, communities now have historic resources—70,000 emergency housing vouchers and $5 billion in HOME Investment Partnerships grants—to help more Americans obtain the safety of a stable home. In Jersey City, HUD awarded 94 Emergency Housing Vouchers to the Jersey City Housing Authority; and $7,703,151 in HUD Home Investment Partnerships Program funding, resources which can be used to alleviate homelessness in the city.

HUD Emergency Housing Vouchers – The Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) program is available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Through EHV, HUD is providing 70,000 housing choice vouchers to local Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) in order to assist individuals and families who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, fleeing, or attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking, or were recently homeless or have a high risk of housing instability. For more information about HUD Emergency Housing Vouchers, visit: https://www.hud.gov/EHV.

HUD HOME Investment Partnerships Programs – The HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) provides formula grants to states and localities that communities use – often in partnership with local nonprofit groups – to fund a wide range of activities including building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or homeownership or providing direct rental assistance to low-income people. HOME is the largest federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households. For more information about HUD’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program, visit: https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/home-arp/

Communities also have resources remaining through the CARES Act, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, and state and local resources to re-house people experiencing homelessness and create additional dedicated housing units to address homelessness. House America provides communities with the focus, resolve, and technical know-how needed to deploy these resources to maximize impact.

To learn more about House America or to join the initiative, click here.

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