U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge announced Thursday, June 10, the awarding of the first portion of American Rescue Plan funds for Emergency Housing Vouchers.

Locally, $134,640, good for 15 vouchers, is being delegated to the Housing Redevelopment Authority of Morrison County.

Emergency Housing Vouchers are for individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. Specifically, the federal government is awarding Minnesota $13.1 million to cover the cost of 921 vouchers and related administrative costs, including up-front costs needed to stand up the program, for an initial 18-month period.

Nationally, HUD is awarding $1.1 billion — 70,000 vouchers — for 626 public housing authorities administering the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

“Addressing our nation’s homelessness crisis is a top priority for HUD,” Fudge stated in a news release. “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. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, communities now have the robust resources they need to make significant progress toward ending homelessness.”

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This funding is intended to give communities significant resources to assist individuals and families who are homeless; at risk of homelessness; fleeing, or attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking; or recently homeless. Emergency Housing Vouchers help individuals and families find housing and remain stably housed long-term.