San José Mayor Sam Liccardo on Monday joined U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia L. Fudge at a virtual event to launch a new federal initiative to address homelessness crisis.
Fudge serves as chair of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. House America is a national partnership in which the homelessness council and HUD and invite mayors, county leaders, Tribal nation leaders, and governors to use the money from the American Rescue Plan to address the crisis of homelessness by immediately re-housing and building additional housing for people experiencing homelessness.
“San José is meeting the pressing urgency of the homelessness crisis by leveraging federal grants and local ballot measure funding into rapidly built, livable homes for the previously unhoused,” said Liccardo in a statement. “We must act swiftly and aggressively to create safe spaces for our most vulnerable residents. We're ahead of the curve in delivering more housing solutions in the coming year thanks to extraordinary coordination between local, state, and federal partners— but we have more to do. ”
House America is a federal response to the crisis of homelessness, In March, HUD released its 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report Part 1 to Congress, which found that more than 580,000 people experienced homelessness in the United States on a single night in January 2020, before the pandemic. COVID-19 has created greater urgency to address homelessness, given the heightened risks faced by people experiencing homelessnes, according to the report. 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, San José received 369 emergency housing vouchers and $3,221,675 in HOME Investment Partnerships grants to help more residents obtain the safety of a stable home.
In 2020, 4,886 individuals were moved into permanent supportive housing in Santa Clara County. However, for every person permanently housed in Santa Clara County, two more fall into homelessness or need housing assistance, the city reported.
The City of San José said it will leverage federal emergency housing vouchers, HOME funding, and County Measure A funds to deliver 1,134 re-housing units, 683 bridge transitional units, and 861 newly-built permanent homes over the next year.
As a member of House America, Liccardo and San José will partner with HUD to use these American Rescue Plan resources to re-house households experiencing homelessness through a Housing First approach, and to add new units of affordable housing into the development pipeline by Dec. 31, 2022.