October 24, 2022

HUD: First Round of Funding through New Rapid Response Program Deployed to Address Homelessness in Areas Hit by Disaster

Initial Allocation of $6.8 Million to Florida and Seven of the State’s Localities

Today, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge will travel to Orlando, Florida, where she will announce the first round of funding allocations through the department’s new Rapid Unsheltered Survivor Housing (RUSH) program, a rapid response program to address homelessness by filling in federal assistance gaps in communities hit by disasters. The first round of funding will consist of $6.8 million to the State of Florida and seven of the state’s localities impacted by Hurricane Ian.

Secretary Fudge believes that we have an obligation to meet the long-term housing and services needs of people experiencing homelessness whose needs are exacerbated by disasters, and people who are at-risk of longer-term homelessness as a result of disasters. By allocating these funds, Secretary Fudge is delivering for these individuals and families and underscoring the important role HUD plays in long-term disaster recovery.

Rapid Unsheltered Survivor Housing (RUSH)

HUD has funding available to allocate to states and localities for severe disasters under the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program. Given its unique nature, HUD is referring to this funding as the new Rapid Unsheltered Survivor Housing (RUSH) program. RUSH funding is available to help communities provide outreach, emergency shelter, rapid re-housing, and other assistance to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness who are in a disaster affected area but who cannot access all services provided by FEMA programs.

HUD is using new reallocation authority provided by section 231 of its FY 2020 appropriation. HUD currently has $56 million set aside for this purpose and plans to make the first allocation under this authority to the State of Florida and seven Florida localities to assist communities affected by Hurricane Ian.

RUSH will:

Because RUSH has limited funds, it cannot assist communities after every disaster. For this first round of funding, HUD is providing allocations only after FEMA activation of Transitional Sheltering Assistance, which is done in disasters where there is a high level of displacement and lasting damage to housing. RUSH is responding to the surge in shelter needs that has the knock-on effect of potentially forcing out persons experiencing homelessness prior to the disaster.

To balance the need to rapidly assist people affected by disaster and accurately allocate funds based on need, HUD will use a two-step allocation process. This first allocation will utilize existing data on the extent of homelessness and the capacity of recipients to administer homeless assistance programs (measured by expenditure of at least 60% of supplemental ESG funding to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus). The second allocation will come later in 2022 and will employ data on the extent of damage, particularly for rental units occupied by very-low-income households.

Grantee/PJ NameTotal RUSH Allocation*
Collier County$861,716
Lee County$288,673
Polk County$374,935
Seminole County$386,784
Volusia County$391,184
TOTAL $6,769,809
*Maximum Step 1 allocations are: $1 million local; $3 million state 

HUD’s Role in Long-Term Disaster Recovery

Following disasters, HUD’s primary role is to facilitate long-term recovery and meet long-term housing needs. RUSH goes beyond temporary, short-term assistance to ensure that impacted individuals and families are still being served down the line.

HUD’s long-term recovery assistance also includes:

This post was originally published here.