Leahy, Sanders And Welch Announce More Than $20 Million In Affordable Housing And Community Development Funds For Vermont
(TUESDAY, April 16, 2019) - Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Welch (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday that Vermont will receive $21 million in new affordable housing and community development funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and NeighborWorks America. These new funds will help reduce and end homelessness by investing in rental assistance, construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of affordable housing and community development projects.
For the last three years, the Trump administration has proposed eliminating the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the HOME Investment Partnership (HOME), the Housing Trust Fund and NeighborWorks America – all critical programs that help public housing agencies, nonprofits and community partners address and combat the affordable housing crisis. The Vermont delegation, led by Leahy, through his role as Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, negotiated spending agreements for fiscal year 2018 and 2019 that protected and increased funding for many of these key programs. The fiscal year 2019 Consolidated Appropriations Act included $3.3 billion for CDBG, $1.3 billion for the HOME Program, $50 million for supportive housing for survivors of domestic violence, and $152 million for NeighborWorks – a $12 million increase over fiscal year 2018. Leahy was instrumental in including $50 million specifically for housing for domestic violence survivors.
Vermont is slated to receive $7.7 million for community development block grants, $3.4 million for HOME, $1.3 million for NeighborWorks affiliates, and $3 million from the Housing Trust Fund (HTF) for a total of $15 million through these four programs alone. Vermont will also receive $650,838 for Emergency Solutions grants and $414,473 in Family Self-Sufficiency grants. The Emergency Solutions Grant program provides funds to help communities quickly assist individuals and families in crisis to prevent homelessness, and for the establishment or improvement of emergency shelters. The Family Self Sufficiency program funds the development of strategies to coordinate assistance for HUD-assisted households to increase financial literacy and earned income security.
Vermont will also receive $4.8 million in new and renewed funding to manage its continuums of care (CoCs). Vermont’s CoCs facilitate a coordinated community approach to addressing homelessness including rapid rehousing for Vermont youth and survivors of domestic violence, and supportive services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Continuum of care services are key in ending homelessness while minimizing trauma caused by dislocation and connecting families with appropriate services to ensure homelessness is a rare and brief experience in Vermont.
In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: “We will continue to fight for the essential funding that helps support and build on the successes our partners have had in addressing and ending homelessness, expanding access to and the construction of affordable housing, and investing in the development of our communities to ensure they remain vibrant and prosperous for generations to come.”
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