Thurston County receives HUD grant to house “vulnerable populations”


The Thurston Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved on Tuesday, May 3, a grant agreement between the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development for the HOME American Rescue Plan (HOME ARP) Program for $3,053,476.

The agreement specifies that the funds must primarily benefit individuals and families who are “homeless, at risk of homelessness, fleeing violence, or other vulnerable populations.”

Thurston’s Coordinator for Affordable Housing Jacinda Steltjes said the county may use up to 5% of the total grant for administrative and planning costs including the cost to prepare an implementation plan.

“To receive the funds, the county must engage in consultation and public participation processes and develop a HOME ARP implementation plan,” Steltjes said.

According to the agreement, the HOME ARP allocation plan must include how Thurston County intends to distribute the funds, an assessment of unmet needs of each beneficiary population and how it will use these funds to address their needs.

Thurston County must also provide an assessment of gaps in housing and shelter inventory, and homeless assistance and services.

The HOME ARP allocation plan must also provide a description of any preferences for individuals and families in a particular beneficiary population or a segment of a population.

According to the agreement, eligible activities under HOME ARP include the development and support of affordable housing, tenant-based rental assistance, provision of supportive services and acquisition and development of non-congregate shelters.

Steltjes said the total funds must be used by September 30, 2030.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 appropriated $5 billion to the state to provide housing, services and shelter to individuals experiencing homelessness and other vulnerable populations.


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