NEW CASTLE – On Wednesday, New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer joined mayors, county and Tribal leaders, and governors in a national partnership to use American Rescue Plan investments to address the crisis of homelessness through a Housing First approach.
“In the company of so many people who understand the crisis of homelessness and the affordable gaps, I am honored to sign Executive Order #5 that officially has New Castle County joining House America,” said County Executive Meyer. “This initiative shows that when government works together at all levels, we can address some of the most critical housing needs in our county and country.
Earlier this year, with the support of County Council, New Castle County announced the creation of a $30 Million Affordable Housing Fund, created with both CARES Act and American Rescue Plan Act funds, to create and preserve affordable housing in New Castle County. Targeted eligible populations will be households below 60% of Area Median Income and households experiencing homelessness or defined as chronically homeless.
House America is the federal government’s direct response to the crisis of homelessness, which was rising even before the COVID-19 pandemic. When most Americans were told to stay safe from COVID-19 by staying home, there were more than 580,000 Americans who could not do so because they had no home.
Recognizing the need to respond with urgency to our nation’s homelessness crisis, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge is calling 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 re-house 100,000 households experiencing homelessness through a Housing First approach, and to add 20,000 new units of affordable housing into the development pipeline that address homelessness by December 31, 2022.
“America's homelessness crisis requires community solutions and partnerships across all levels of government,” said Jane Miller, Deputy Regional Administrator of HUD’s Mid-Atlantic region. “That’s why we are pleased to partner with New Castle County in using the American Rescue Plan’s historic investments to ensure individuals and families experiencing homelessness have access to safe and affordable housing. Every person deserves the chance to live with security, dignity and hope.”
County Executive Meyer signed the Executive Order at the premier of “The Pathway Home,” a documentary celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Hope Center, a hotel that the county purchased in 2020 and transformed into a homeless shelter with wraparound services. In its first year of operation, the Hope Center has housed over 900 people, with 94 families already transitioned into permanent housing.