AUSTIN (KXAN) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $2.5 billion to thousands of programs across the nation that provide intervention and assistance for the homeless. In Texas, 203 programs received $113,987,708.
The funding announced on Jan. 29 renews existing programs. The process was streamlined, because businesses have limited capacity to participate in traditional competition amid the pandemic, HUD said.
More than $11 million went to 10 organizations based in Travis County, including Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO), which received more than $450,000.
ECHO helps lead the City of Austin’s approach to solving homelessness. Recently, the city purchased the Texas Bungalows & Suites on Burnet Road to use as transitional housing for those experiencing homelessness.
On Feb. 4, Austin City Council plans to discuss the possible purchase of another hotel — Candlewood Suites on Pecan Park Boulevard — for the same purpose.
“HUD wants to ensure that thousands of local homeless assistance providers continue to receive federal funds needed to provide stable housing for people experiencing homelessness during these trying times,” said Acting HUD Secretary Matt Ammon in a press release. “Renewing these grants not only offers relief to our local partners but it allows Continuums of Care to continue their work to end homelessness and help keep our most vulnerable neighbors off the streets.”
Other Austin programs receiving funds include Caritas of Austin, the Housing Authorities for Austin and Travis County, the SAFE Alliance and Front Steps, which helps manages the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless.