This week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the first round of funding through the new Rapid Unsheltered Survivor Housing (RUSH) program: $6.8 million to the state of Florida and seven Florida localities impacted by Hurricane Ian.
RUSH is designed to rapidly address homelessness by filling in federal assistance gaps for people who cannot access all services provided by FEMA programs. People experiencing pre-disaster homelessness have limited eligibility for FEMA Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA). Because FEMA doesn’t provide long-term housing assistance, when short-term FEMA assistance ends, many displaced people wind up at risk of staying homeless long-term. RUSH fills this gap in assistance, giving communities much-needed resources to provide long-term housing solutions for people experiencing pre-disaster homelessness and to prevent long-term homelessness among newly-displaced people.
HUD currently has $56 million set aside for RUSH. The funding can be used to provide:
- emergency shelter
- rapid rehousing , which provides up to 24 months of rental assistance, financial assistance for move-in costs, and supportive services for people experiencing homelessness
- homelessness prevention , which provides up to 24 months of rental assistance, utility assistance, and supportive services for people at risk of homelessness
- outreach assistance
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