BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Four housing organizations in Idaho are getting coronavirus relief funding to help cover the cost emergency housing vouchers.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $2.4 million total to the Housing Authority of the City of Pocatello, the Boise City Housing Authority, the Southwestern Idaho Cooperative Housing Authority and the Idaho Housing and Finance Association, the Idaho Press reported.
The money will cover 217 vouchers and related administrative costs, according to a prepared statement from HUD, and is part of $1 billion being awarded to housing organizations nationwide.
As of January 2020, Idaho had around 2,300 people “experiencing homelessness on any given day”, according to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.
“Addressing our nation’s homelessness crisis is a top priority for HUD,” HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said in a prepared statement. “With COVID-19 still a threat and with the sweltering summer months just around the corner, the $1.1 billion we are announcing today comes at a critical time in our efforts to get people experiencing homelessness off the streets and into safe, stable homes.”
Deanna Watson, the executive director of the Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority, said increases in rent levels have a lot of people getting priced out of the market.
The vouchers will work by subsidizing rents in a place with fair market rents, Watson said. In addition, there’s assistance in some of the fees that come with finding houses, security deposits and case management.
The funding will be available in July, Watson said. The families need to fit one of four categories: homeless, at risk of homelessness, fleeing or attempting to flee situations such as domestic violence or human trafficking, or recently homeless.