HUD: 3 million dollars coming to help protect low-income West Virginians 

WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Joe DeFelice announced today the allocation of $3 million in COVID-19 relief funds to help low-income Americans in West Virginia residing in public housing.  The funding, made available by the CARES Act legislation President Trump signed into law on March 27, 2020, will be awarded to Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) in the state.  A list of allocations can be found here.

“As the nation deals with this health crisis, low-income Americans and families are being greatly impacted,” said DeFelice. “HUD is moving quickly to make this funding available by removing bureaucratic red tape to meet the unique needs of our country. We are proud to support those on the front line as they work to prevent, prepare for and respond to the outbreak.”

These funds will be allocated through the Public Housing Operating Fund and can be used by PHAs for the following actions:

  • Prepare for a Coronavirus Outbreak
    • Creation or update of infectious disease outbreak plan;
    • Sourcing and purchasing personal protective equipment for PHA staff;
    • Coordination with providers of services needed to support residents as a result of coronavirus, including cost of delivery of goods, supplies, and equipment;
    • Coordination with local health service providers for activities, including: the development or provision of guidance to staff or residents, travel for testing, or other reasons related to coronavirus;
    • Childcare costs for residents so that they can continue to work, and childcare costs for staff performing essential functions (as defined at the state/local), to the extent they would not have incurred otherwise; and
    • Other reasonable expenses related to preparing for the coronavirus.
  • Prevent a Coronavirus Outbreak
    • Costs related to maintaining adequate social distancing, including modifying or limiting access to communal spaces, increasing service hours to prevent crowding in waiting areas, or any other costs incurred to ensure adequate distance among staff and residents;
    • Costs of delivering supplies so that staff or residents can shelter in place, thereby reducing exposure to the greatest number of people;
    • Direct costs related to limiting the spread of the coronavirus, including travel costs for testing, or other preventive health measures related to coronavirus;
    • Expenses of isolating people suspected of being exposed or those at high-risk of serious complications if infected (e.g., elderly residents, and residents with underlying conditions);
    • Costs of protecting residents (particularly high-risk residents) from exposure from interaction with PHA staff and vice versa; and
    • Payment of salaries of PHA staff unable to work because of the coronavirus public health restrictions (e.g., office management staff who cannot go into the office and cannot perform work remotely, or payment of full salaries of PHA staff forced to work part-time because of lack of child care).
  • Respond to a Coronavirus Outbreak
    • Expenses of caring for PHA staff and residents who have tested positive, but do not require immediate hospitalization, including:
      • Payment for increases in sick leave allowances for PHA staff;
      • Physical, personnel, or security costs incurred to limit movement;
      • Costs to safely transport residents that tested positive to a quarantine facility; and
      • Costs of supporting residents in quarantine such as health-related supplies (e.g., masks and cleaning supplies).
    • Expenses to safely transport residents/staff in need of medical attention;
    • Expenses incurred because of coronavirus restrictions impacting PHA operations (e.g., paying for transportation expenses for PHA staff who rely on public transit that is no longer available);
    • Costs to facilitate and coordinate with local schools and local governments receiving funds from the Department of Education for the education of students in public housing households:
      • Internet connection infrastructure; and
      • Tablets or other low-cost computers for students.
    • Other reasonable expenses incurred while responding to the coronavirus.

In addition to the funding, HUD is announcing that PHAs may use Operating Funds and Capital Funds provided through prior Acts, for eligible Operating Fund and Capital Fund activities or for coronavirus purposes.

After President Trump signed the CARES Act into law, HUD acted immediately to allocate its first wave of funding, over $3 billion to assist communities and non-profits, help protect the homeless and Americans with compromised immune systems, and assist Tribal communities in their COVID-19 response efforts. For more information on HUD’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic and the actions the Department has taken, please visit Public Housing Authorities across the Nation have jumped into action to help assist their tenants and their communities during this unprecedented time. Read more about their stories featured in HUD’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors campaign, here.

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