Mayor Ras J. Baraka today announced that Newark successfully housed 539 formerly homeless individuals in partnership with U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia L. Fudge, states, municipalities, and tribes through HUD’s House America initiative.
Mayor Baraka committed to House America last year and Newark has housed 529 formerly homeless people and added 6,600 affordable units in the development pipeline since then in part with federal funding support and technical assistance from HUD. It is one of 105 communities across 31 states and territories and the District of Columbia that joined the initiative Secretary Fudge launched in partnership with the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness as an all-hands-on-deck effort to address the nation’s homelessness crisis.
“We took part in Secretary Fudge’s landmark initiative as part of our commitment to work to eradicate homelessness in the City of Newark,” Mayor Baraka said. “Shelter is a fundamental human need and therefore we believe housing is a fundamental human right. We are taking creative and pioneering steps to address this national issue and provide our residents without addresses with homes of their own.”
“Our participation in House America is an example of how collaboration can maximize impact,” said Luis Ulerio, Newark’s Homelessness Czar. “This is exactly what our new strategic, data-driven plan to end chronic homelessness in Newark will accomplish.”
The federal effort housed more than 100,000 households experiencing homelessness and added over 40,000 affordable housing units into development, exceeding the goal Ms. Fudge set in September 2021. At that time, she challenged state and local leaders to collectively place at least 100,000 households experiencing homelessness into permanent housing and add at least 20,000 new units of deeply affordable and supportive housing into their development pipelines by December 2022.
“Everyone deserves a safe, stable place to call home,” said Secretary Fudge. “The Biden-Harris Administration is deploying a Housing First approach, using American Rescue Plan Act funding and other resources to help individuals find a place to call home. We will continue to work to house America until we end homelessness as we know it.”
House America encouraged communities to deploy a historic level of federal resources to address homelessness. In particular, House America’s 105 communities received a funding boost through the American Rescue Plan Act to expand permanent housing opportunities, including more than 20,000 Emergency Housing Vouchers and more than $1.5 billion HOME-ARP from HUD, as well as over $65 billion in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. That sparked renewed momentum and greater deployment of available resources, including CARES Act and annual appropriations, to create permanent housing solutions.
In the last two years, the Biden-Harris Administration has made unprecedented efforts to end homelessness, which include the White House Housing Supply Action Plan that aims to close the housing supply gap in five years; and the American Rescue Plan Act that President Biden signed to deliver one of the largest investments in ending homelessness in U.S. history.
In addition to addressing homelessness overall, ending Veteran homelessness is a top priority of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Biden-Harris Administration. In late December, USICH released “All In: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness,” which set forth President Biden’s ambitious goal to reduce all homelessness by 25% by 2025. As a part of that effort, the VA, which closely collaborates with HUD in the fight to end homelessness, announced today that it permanently housed more than 40,000 formerly homeless Veterans in 2022 – exceeding VA’s 2022 goal by 6.3%. In 2022, VA, HUD and USICH announced that actions taken by the Biden-Harris Administration had reduced Veteran homelessness by 11% since 2020-the largest in Veteran homelessness in five years.
Throughout the end of January, Biden-Harris Administration officials are participating in Point-in-Time counts across the country to count sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness to better understand the local needs, measure trends in homelessness, hear from the community, and more accurately target funding and resources.
A fact sheet on House America progress is available here<https://www.hud.gov/press/press_releases_media_advisories/HUD_No_22_175>.