WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ( HUD ) today awarded $109.1 million to support 418 homeless housing and service programs in Illinois. The Continuum of Care grants announced today provide critically needed housing and support services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness across the state. See www.hud.gov/program_offices/comm_planning/homeless/budget/2017 .
The HUD funding announced today is part of a record $2 billion being awarded to more than 7,300 local housing and service programs nationwide.
"HUD stands with our local partners who are working each and every day to house and serve our most vulnerable neighbors," said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. "We know how to end homelessness and it starts with embracing a housing-first approach that relies upon proven strategies that offer permanent housing solutions to those who may otherwise be living in our shelters and on our streets."
"This funding is critical in our efforts to end homelessness across Illinois as we know it," said HUD Midwest Regional Administrator, Joseph P. Galvan. "Rapid rehousing ensures that homelessness is a brief, rare and non-recurring event for individuals and families."
This year, HUD is continuing to challenge state and local planners to support higher performing local programs that have proven most effective in meeting their local challenges, often shifting funds from existing projects to create new ones that will have a more substantial and lasting impact on reducing homelessness.
Last month, HUD reported homelessness crept up in the U.S., especially among individuals experiencing long-term chronic homelessness. HUD's 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found that 553,742 persons experienced homelessness on a single night in 2017, an increase of .7 percent since last year. Homelessness among families with children declined 5.4 percent nationwide since 2016, local communities report the number of persons experiencing long-term chronic homelessness and Veterans increased. HUD's 2017 homeless estimate points to a significant increase in the number of reported persons experiencing unsheltered homelessness, particularly in California and other high-cost rental markets experiencing a significant shortage of affordable housing.
HUD estimates there were 553,742 persons experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2017, and increase of .7 percent since last year. In addition, Veteran homelessness increased by 1.5 percent, chronic homelessness increased by 12.2 percent and family homelessness declined by 5.4 percent.
Across the nation, local homelessness planning agencies called 'Continuums of Care' will organize volunteers to help count the number of persons located in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs and living unsheltered on the streets. These Continuums of Care will report these one-night 'point-in-time counts' later in the year and will form the basis of HUD's 2018 national homeless estimate.