Grant will be awarded to the state of Hawai’i to help communities in Maui in the wake of the wildfires.
Today the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $6.9 million in Rapid Unsheltered Survivor Housing (RUSH) funding to the state of Hawai’i address the needs of individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and have needs not otherwise served or fully met by existing Federal disaster relief programs. HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, Marion McFadden, made the announcement in Maui while touring the area and highlighting HUD and the Biden-Harris Administration’s continued efforts to rapidly address homelessness during the six-month anniversary of the wildfires. This additional funding is a second allocation awarded to help communities in Maui recover in the wake of the devastating wildfires. HUD provided $1.3 million in RUSH funding in August 2023.
“These much-needed resources allow us to reach some of our most vulnerable neighbors at a particularly difficult time,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “HUD will continue to work with our federal partners, local officials and communities on the rehousing effort and support the state of Hawai’i to recover in the wake of the destructive wildfires.”
Governor Josh Green, M.D., expressed gratitude on behalf of his administration and the people of Maui.
“We say mahalo to HUD for the $6.9 million to help house the houseless on Maui and the 1115 Medicaid waiver that allows states to use Medicaid funds for housing,” said Governor Green. “I have said since I served in the state legislature that housing is healthcare. By making sure the houseless have a roof over their heads, we know we can decrease costs relating to caring for the houseless up to 73%. This is validation that treating shelter and housing as a source of our people’s health, is the path forward.”
To balance the need to rapidly assist communities affected by disaster and accurately allocate funds based on need, HUD used a two-step allocation process. The first allocation was intended to quickly address the immediate unmet needs for homeless assistance and homeless prevention. The second allocation, announced today, used the growing quantity and quality of data on the extent of damage, particularly for rental units occupied by very-low-income households and the level of unmet need.
The eligible activities for this funding include:
- For people currently experiencing homelessness: emergency shelter; rapid re-housing, which provides up to 24 months of rental assistance, financial assistance for move in costs, and supportive services; and
- For people who are at-risk of experiencing homelessness: homelessness prevention, which provides up to 24 months of rental assistance, utility assistance, and supportive services for people at risk of homelessness; and outreach assistance, including assistance to meet urgent needs.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, American Red Cross, and local community members have stepped up to assist survivors in Lāhainā and Upcountry Maui. HUD is working alongside to provide more assistance to the ongoing rehousing effort.
RUSH funding helps to fill gaps in federal disaster assistance for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. In addition to this RUSH allocation, HUD has provided and will continue to provide remote and on-the-ground technical assistance to the state of Hawai’i, impacted jurisdictions, and homeless assistance providers to help better serve people who have special needs, including those experiencing homelessness.
Earlier today, HUD and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that the state of Hawai’i was selected alongside seven other states and the District of Columbia to participate in the HHS-HUD Housing and Services Partnership Accelerator, a federal initiative to help states expand supportive services that help people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness transition to housing and achieve housing stability.