HOUSING – Maryland: County Executive Angela Alsobrooks – Houses of God Initiative

HOUSING – Maryland: County Executive Angela Alsobrooks is increasing investment in the county’s Houses of God initiative, supporting seven houses of worship as they develop about 700 affordable housing units on their vacant properties. Funded by the county and Enterprise Community Partners, the initiative provides churches with technical expertise and resources, including architects, lawyers, and finance professionals, to facilitate project development. The county aims to involve 10 to 15 churches in the program, leveraging their land and expertise to create impactful partnerships and contribute to the county’s goal of constructing 26,000 new affordable housing units.

ARP: Key to Chester County’s Recovery is Building Affordable Housing

Chester County Commissioner Josh Maxwell invested nearly $7.4 million in American Rescue Plan funds in housing initiatives to build more affordable housing units. A critical piece to the county’s recovery is increasing affordable housing options for people to live and work in Chester County, leading to the funding of projects like the construction of the Willows at Valley Run Housing and Habitat for Humanity’s Coatesville rehabbing effort to provide over 250 affordable units over the next three years.

ARP: Everett Announced a Plan to Help Unhoused Residents Transition to Permanent Housing

Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin announced a plan to purchase and convert a hotel into a bridge housing program to help unhoused residents transition to permanent housing. Franklin has prioritized addressing housing needs in the community and will use $9 million of American Rescue Plan funds for the project, which will also provide wraparound services to ensure Everett supports its most vulnerable residents. “Providing shelter for those in need and significantly reducing public safety challenges related to chronic homelessness is a top priority for Everett residents. Snohomish County’s purchase of the Days Inn will provide shelter to some of the most vulnerable members of our community. This is a necessary action to making all our residents safer,” Franklin said. 

ARP: Denver Proposed a Targeted Basic Income Program That Would Give $1,000 Monthly

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock proposed a targeted basic income program that would give $1,000 monthly to qualifying residents. He asked the City Council to dedicate $2 million of the remaining ARPA funds to women and families living in homeless shelters. Denver already has a UBI-inspired program that disburses monthly payments of $1,000 to 260 people, $500 to 260 people, and $50 to 300 people, funded through a $5.5 million allocation of the city’s budget, according to the Denver Voice. Hancock’s proposal would assist an additional 140 qualified residents to receive $1,000 monthly payments.

ARP: Michigan Invests $83 Million in Affordable Housing Developments

Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist announced $83.8 million in grant funding from the Revitalization and Placemaking Program (RAP) for 22 statewide affordable housing and community development projects. The Michigan Strategic Fund provided $100 million in American Rescue Plan dollars to RAP, which supports infrastructure, housing, and revitalization investments across every region in the state. Eligible projects will promote population and tax revenue growth to address negative economic impacts of COVID-19 in downtowns, social zones and public spaces.

ARP: Denver Designated $5 Million to Convert Hotel for Housing and $2 Million to Women and Families Experiencing Housing Insecurity

The Denver City Council and Mayor Michael Hancock have designated $5 million in American Rescue Plan funds to purchase and convert a hotel to house people experiencing homelessness and $2 million to provide monthly cash assistance to women and families experiencing housing insecurity. The hotel is currently used as a shelter, with plans to redevelop it into 200 permanent housing units. These efforts are part of Mayor Hancock’s proposed $254 million comprehensive homelessness initiative.

ARP: Grand Rapids MI, Homeless Outreach Team Helping People Experiencing Homelessness

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss invested nearly $8 million in American Rescue Plan funds to establish and operate a Homeless Outreach Team (HOT). HOT is an interagency team, including the police department, fire department, and mental health agency, that works to provide supportive relationships with people impacted by homelessness. The team effectively advocated to lower barriers to enter shelters, established a storage pilot program, and worked with other organizations to provide a space for showers. Their efforts have resulted in over 7,000 street outreach contacts, including 200 diversions from jails and emergency departments, and 142 people referred for substance use disorder treatment and mental health treatment.

ARP: Brownsville Texas Investing Housing Funds to Support Renters

Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez is working to finalize the spending plan for these funds to respond to the needs of the community. The City of Brownsville received $3,324,820 in HOME-ARP funds from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development specifically for housing, services, and shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness and other vulnerable populations. Based on the assessed gaps in services and community needs, the city developed a draft expenditure plan. Mayor Mendez’s draft puts an emphasis on serving low-income renters, including supportive services and tenant-based rental assistance. The city will conclude its public comment process in early March 2023.

ARP: Dallas TX, Leads Regional Effort to Address Homelessness

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson partnered with neighboring cities and counties to pool federal American Rescue Plan dollars to fund the $70 million Dallas Real Time Rapid Rehousing (DRTRR) to provide permanent supportive housing for 2,600 people experiencing homelessness. Leveraging federal funding and housing vouchers, DRTRR aims to serve 100 domestic violence survivors, 100 families, and over 2,400 unsheltered individuals. Since launching in 2021, the program has rehoused over 1,000 households and connected over 1,500 individuals with needed services, such as supportive case management and job training.

ARP: Travis County TX, Announced $35 Million to Build a New Supportive Housing Community

Travis County Judge Andy Brown announced $35 million in American Rescue Plan funds to build a new supportive housing community, which will also provide mental health services and work opportunities. This is the first investment of over $110 million to build 2,000 new supportive units. The first people are expected to start moving in mid-2025. Travis county still has $75 million of funding from the ARPA to distribute. It will go to addressing homelessness.

As reported by CBS Austin, “’Austin has an affordability crisis, but it doesn’t have to have a moral one, too,’ said Travis County Judge Andy Brown. ‘Through Mobile Loaves and Fishes, our residents get physical and mental health care, addiction recovery services, dignified working opportunities, and most importantly a voice.’”