On March 27, 2020 just after 1:00 EST the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act by voice vote, a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package. This comes on the heels of the U.S. Senate having just unanimously passed the CARES Act, so it now goes to the President’s desk for his signature. Here’s what we know so far about the provisions it contains to help homeless veterans and veterans at risk of experiencing homelessness.
DIRECT RELIEF PAYMENTS
Provides a check of $1,200 for every individual earning up to $75,000; $2,400 for joint filing for households earning up to $150,000; and $500 for every child with a valid social security number. Benefits will be phased down incrementally as individuals reach an income of $99,000 or $198,000 jointly.
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
$14.4 billion for VHA Medical Services, including $118 million for homeless veteran programs.
A requirement that telehealth equipment be available to case managers and veterans in HUD-VASH.
Language lifting the authorization cap on SSVF during this emergency for new supplemental dollars.
Language lifting the authorization cap on GPD during this emergency for new supplemental dollars.
A waiver of any requirement to discharge a veteran from the VA Grant and Per Diem program after the veteran is absent for 14 days.
Language allowing VA to continue to pay per diem to grant recipients for any additional days of absence when a veteran has already been absent for more than 72 hours.
THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
$345 million for training and employment Services.
$250 billion to expand unemployment benefits.
Extends unemployment benefits to self-employed and independent contractors, like Uber drivers and gig workers, can receive unemployment during the public health emergency.
Support to state and local governments and nonprofits so they can pay unemployment to their employees.
More money for a longer period for more workers by adding a $600/week across-the-board payment increase through the end of July. In addition, for those who need it, the bill provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits beyond what states typically allow.
THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
$12 billion in overall funding for HUD programs including:
Temporary moratorium on evictions and foreclosures for homeowners and renters in federally subsidized apartments and homes with federally backed mortgages.
$4 billion for Emergency Solutions Grants for homelessness assistance.
$5 billion for Community Development Block Grants.
$1.25 billion for the Housing Choice Voucher program.
$1 billion for project-based rental assistance.
$685 million for public housing operating fund.
$100 million for the Indian Community Development Block Grant program.
$200 million for the Native American Housing Block Grants program.
$150 billion in a Coronavirus Relief Fund that can cover many of the same uses as CDBG.
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