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Federal grants for homeless services are flowing again after government shutdown

Federal grants for homeless services are flowing again after government shutdown
A man stands with his bike during the 2019 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, run by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. Following the government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has restored the authority's funding. (Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Acting quickly after the reopening of the federal government last month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has renewed grants totaling nearly $172 million for the five-county Los Angeles area.

The funding will go primarily to agencies that provide direct homeless services, including outreach, case management and shelters. Separately, HUD has resumed funding for thousands of federal rental subsidies, which also were in jeopardy because of the shutdown.

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The largest share of the $172 million in HUD grants will go to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, the lead agency for most of Los Angeles County. The renewal of $114 million provides a 20% increase over last year’s funding levels to continue services provided by the nearly 150 programs that the authority administers.

The funds “will enable LAHSA and its partner agencies to expand services for the most vulnerable chronically homeless populations,” said Peter Lynn, executive director of the authority.

The renewals also include $7.7 million for Long Beach, $3.2 million for Pasadena and $2.4 million for Glendale, the three Los Angeles County cities that manage their own HUD contracts.

And homeless services agencies will receive $23.1 million in Orange County, $9.8 million in San Bernardino County and $9.5 million in Riverside County.

The funding for Southern California is part of the approximately $381 million awarded to 694 local programs across California and part of the nearly $2 billion awarded to programs nationwide.

HUD processed the grant renewals the day after the federal government reopened after a 35-day shutdown. HUD’s Regional Administrator James Stracner issued a statement crediting the quick action to dedicated staff of the Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs.

“With this targeted investment, HUD continues supporting effective community-based programs that deliver housing and services to meet the needs of homeless people in the Greater Los Angeles Area,” the statement said.

The awards are for existing projects. Additional awards for new projects will be announced later.

The Los Angeles authority has applied for $12.4 million for new projects and $1.25 million for planning.

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