Frequently Asked Questions
What is House America?
- House America is a federal initiative in which the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) are inviting mayors, city and county leaders, tribal nation leaders, and governors into a national partnership to utilize the historic investments provided through the American Rescue Plan to address the crisis of homelessness.
- House America calls on state, tribal, and local leaders to partner with HUD and USICH to use American Rescue Plan resources, alongside other federal, tribal, state, and local resources to set and achieve ambitious goals to re-house households experiencing homelessness through a Housing First approach, and to add new units of affordable housing into the development pipeline by December 31, 2022.
Why is House America needed?
- After steady decreases from 2010 to 2016, homelessness in the United States increased even prior to COVID-19. According to HUD’s 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report Part 1 to Congress, more than 580,000 people experienced homelessness in the U.S. on a single night in 2020.
- The pandemic only made homelessness worse, and created additional urgency to address the crisis, given the heightened risks faced by people experiencing homelessness. At the same time, COVID-19 slowed re-housing activities due to capacity issues and impacts on rental market vacancies.
- No one should have to experience homelessness, let alone suffer a global pandemic without the safety of a home.
How will House America make a difference in addressing homelessness?
- We know what works to address homelessness: the investments to provide housing and support services through a Housing First approach, together with focused leadership that sets goals and monitors progress.
- The American Rescue Plan provided historic investments in housing resources to address homelessness. House America is a vehicle for the focus, drive, and leadership, with the recognition that it will take government working at all levels and local collaboration to address this crisis.
How does House America relate to the American Rescue Plan?
- Through the American Rescue Plan, communities now have historic housing resources – 70,000 emergency housing vouchers, $5 billion in HOME grants, and significant investments to preserve and protect housing on tribal lands – to help more Americans obtain the safety of a stable home. The American Rescue Plan also provides $350 billion in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds through the Department of the Treasury to support the many needs communities face, including homelessness and housing instability, as they respond to the pandemic and its negative economic impacts.
Are there specific goals for House America?
- House America calls on state, tribal, and local leaders to partner with HUD to use American Rescue Plan resources, alongside other federal, tribal, state, and local resources to set and achieve ambitious goals to re-house households experiencing homelessness through a Housing First approach, and to add new units of affordable housing into the development pipeline by December 31, 2022.
- Within those national goals, communities will set and achieve local re-housing and unit creation goals.
Is House America trying to end homelessness?
- We know that homelessness is solvable through an evidence-based Housing First approach that incorporates necessary support services like health care and employment and education assistance.
- House America will bring us closer to ending homelessness by ensuring that communities use the historic housing resources provided by the American Rescue Plan to execute a Housing First approach.
Will House America create more work for communities?
- A goal of House America is for HUD to assist communities in deploying American Rescue Plan resources, alongside other federal, state, and local resources, in meeting their re-housing and unit creation goals.
- In addition to the program-specific technical assistance from HUD Program Offices, HUD, USICH, and other federal agencies will also provide direct technical assistance to participating communities. This includes, but is not limited to, routine calls with state and local leaders and staff, webinars on key topics and practices, and peer-to-peer assistance.