$11.1 Million Pledged by HUD to Fight Homelessness in Santa Clara County

Santa Clara County Home Improvement Grants

SAN JOSE, California – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is advancing its commitment to reduce homelessness by announcing a second round of funding allocations. This latest announcement details $171.2 million in grants distributed among 115 new projects across 29 Continuum of Care (CoC) communities. It complements the first set of grant awards announced earlier in February, bringing the total grant value to an impressive $486 million, aiding 62 CoC communities.

In addition to the grants, HUD extends an invitation to 139 Public Housing Authorities, which had earlier partnered with grantee communities, to receive approximately 3,300 vouchers. Within this scope, Santa Clara County, the Santa Clara County Housing Authority, and the Santa Clara County Continuum of Care have been allocated $11,109,104 along with 51 stability vouchers. These resources aim to address the twin challenges of rural homelessness and the issue of those living in unsheltered settings.

HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge highlighted that the access to housing with supportive services is the key to resolving homelessness. Yet, she noted, those in unsheltered settings and in rural areas have often been deprived of such solutions. Fudge believes the grants and vouchers will provide communities with the necessary tools to help those living on the streets, in encampments, under bridges, or in rural areas transition to permanent housing.

In a bid to gain better access to housing resources, CoC collaborative applicants have been encouraged to partner formally with public housing authorities. Such partnerships would give priority to public housing authorities partnering with awarded CoC grantees for approximately 3,300 Housing Choice Stability Vouchers. These vouchers are crucial in helping homeless individuals afford housing.

HUD’s Region IX Administrator Jason Pu hailed the grants and vouchers as a pioneering amalgamation of housing and supportive services designed to assist those experiencing homelessness in unsheltered and rural settings. In addition to these resources, he cited the support extended through initiatives like the American Rescue Plan, House America, and the All-In Federal Strategic Plan as instrumental in helping HUD join forces with state, local, and tribal communities to eradicate homelessness in every setting.

From the onset of their tenure, the Biden-Harris Administration has been actively striving to provide housing relief and solve homelessness. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 included historic levels of homeless assistance, including nearly 70,000 Emergency Housing Vouchers and $5 billion in HOME Investment Partnership homelessness grants, designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households.

Santa Clara County Supervisor and Board President Susan Ellenberg noted the complexity of the homeless crisis, emphasizing the need for comprehensive and effective collaborations with city, state, and federal leaders. Ellenberg lauded their Office of Supportive Housing as a shining example of how to employ all available resources to help individuals and families experiencing homelessness in their communities.

Under the aegis of HUD and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), House America was launched. This national initiative partnered with 105 communities led by mayors, county leaders, governors, and tribal nation leaders to transition more than 100,000 homeless households into permanent housing and introduce over 40,000 units of affordable housing into the development pipeline.

San José Mayor Matt Mahan reiterated the pressing need for collective efforts to address unsheltered homelessness, a crisis that severely impacts the entire community. He expressed gratitude for the federal government’s support and commitment to utilize these resources effectively to provide safe, stable housing solutions for those in need.

Santa Clara County Housing Authority Executive Director Preston Prince pledged his commitment to collaborative and compassionate solutions to the homeless crisis. He highlighted the flexibility provided by their Moving to Work (MTW) status, which allows for inventive approaches to solving homelessness.

The County of Santa Clara and Santa Clara County Housing Authority intend to use their grant of $11,107,104 to implement a comprehensive strategy for transitioning people from unsheltered settings and interim housing to permanent housing. This approach includes investments in homeless outreach, short and long-term rental assistance, case management, and housing navigation.

U.S. Representative Jimmy Panetta emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts across all levels of government to tackle the daunting challenges of affordable housing and homelessness. He welcomed the significant grant from the federal government, which he believes will bolster local efforts to provide safe and secure shelter and address the root causes of homelessness.

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