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California’s Housing Initiative Gets $600 Million Boost, Led by Representative Adam Schiff

Representative Adam Schiff

Today marks a pivotal moment as Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) announces a stride forward: California is on the brink of securing a substantial allocation of nearly $600 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This funding infusion is poised to amplify local initiatives to tackle homelessness and fortify housing affordability throughout the state.

In his announcement, Schiff underscored the pressing need for such funding, highlighting the ongoing struggle many hardworking Californians face to secure adequate housing.

He emphasized the pivotal role this allocation would play in empowering cities statewide to expand affordable housing options and provide crucial resources and shelter to individuals experiencing homelessness.

Representative Adam Schiff

The HUD funds are earmarked for various critical purposes:

1. Empowering resilient communities: The Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) foster community resilience by offering grants to states, cities, counties, and insular areas. These grants facilitate the development of decent housing, suitable living environments, and expanding economic opportunities, especially for low—and moderate-income individuals.

2. Fostering affordable housing initiatives: Through the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), states and local governments can undertake initiatives to create affordable rental and owner-occupied housing for low-income families.

HOME funds support various activities, including building, purchasing, and rehabilitating affordable housing units and providing rental assistance to low-income individuals.

Additionally, HOME allows communities to channel resources into supportive services such as job training, homeownership counseling, transportation assistance, healthcare, and childcare services.

3. Supporting individuals with HIV/AIDS: The Housing Opportunities for Persons With HIV/AIDS (HOPWA) program offers stable housing assistance and supportive services to low-income individuals grappling with HIV/AIDS.

4. Combating homelessness: Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) provide vital support for homeless shelters, the operation of local shelters, and various related social service and homeless prevention programs.

ESG initiatives aim to assist individuals in swiftly regaining stability by offering street outreach, emergency shelter, homelessness prevention, and rapid re-housing assistance.

5. Boosting affordable housing stock: The Housing Trust Fund (HTF) is a dedicated program to bolster the supply of affordable housing for extremely low- and very low-income households.

HTF supports various activities, including real property acquisition, site improvements, development costs, demolition, financing, relocation assistance, operating cost assistance for rental housing, and administrative and planning expenses.

In a parallel effort, Schiff introduced the Government Facilities to Affordable Housing Conversion Act in April. This legislation seeks to repurpose unused government-owned buildings into affordable housing units, thereby addressing the nationwide shortage of affordable housing and catering to the distinct housing needs of local communities.

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