This is our fourth blog designed to help communities understand some of the resources available to help support rapid re-housing (RRH). Steve Berg of the Alliance talked about where communities could access new resources for RRH. We also blogged about steps communities can take to develop flexible private dollars by engaging philanthropic organizations and the role of Community Services Block Grants in funding RRH.
What is the HOME program?
The Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) program is the largest federal block grant available to state and local governments to create affordable housing.
Each year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) uses a formula to assess the housing needs of communities, and fund jurisdictions based on the results. The HOME program can, fund a wide range of activities through partnerships with local nonprofits, including:
- Building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or homeownership
- Providing tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA) that can pay for rent and security deposits
HOME TBRA is a good source of funding for RRH. Households must make less than 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) to be eligible and can receive up to two years of assistance. Households must contribute 30 percent of their income toward their rent. Jurisdictions are limited as to the amount of HOME dollars they are allowed to use for TBRA.
Palm Beach County, FL, has uses HOME funds to support rapid re-housing. Between 2012 and 2014, members of the Continuum of Care (CoC) Executive Committee attended Board of County Commissioners meetings and advocated that HOME funds be designated to TBRA rather than mortgages.
In Fiscal Year 2014-2015, the Board designated $250,000 of HOME funds to RRH. In FY 2015-2016 the board designated $945,000. These funds contributed to expanding rapid re-housing in Palm Beach County.
How can you access HOME funds for rapid re-housing?
Find out what state and local offices administer the HOME program and how it is distributed. Work with your CoC leadership to determine if there are opportunities to advocate that HOME funds be redirected to TBRA to support RRH. For instance, you may be able to apply for program funds through the state.
How are you using HOME funds to support RRH? Let us know!