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HUD allocates relief funds to protect public housing & Section 8 tenants

by Lynda Carson (tenantsrule [at]
Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic
HUD allocates relief funds to protect low-income persons in public housing & Section 8 tenants

By Lynda Carson - May 10, 2020

Oakland - On May 1, 2020, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it will allocate $685 million in COVID-19 relief funding made available by the CARES ACT legislation of Congress to help low-income persons residing in public housing.

Among the local Public Housing Authorities receiving these funds, the Oakland Housing Authority is to receive $1,515,552. The Housing Authority of the City & County of San Francisco is to receive $2,118,545. City of South San Francisco is to receive $1,346. The Housing Authority of the City of Richmond is to receive $245,758. The Housing Authority of the County Contra Costa is to receive $808,551. The Housing Authority of Marin is to receive $585,757. The Housing Authority of the City of Livermore is to receive $31,723. The Santa Cruz County Housing Authority is to receive $78,248.

Considering that many local Public Housing Authorities have closed their doors during the coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic, those who are interested will have to figure out who to talk to in regards to the funding allocations.

Click below for a list of allocations:

According to the May 1, 2020, HUD press release the funds will be allocated through the Public Housing Operating Fund and can be used by PHAs for the following actions:

• Prepare for a Coronavirus Outbreak

◦ Creation or update of infectious disease outbreak plan;

◦ Sourcing and purchasing personal protective equipment for PHA staff;

◦ Coordination with providers of services needed to support residents as a result of coronavirus, including cost of delivery of goods, supplies, and equipment; 

◦ Coordination with local health service providers for activities, including: the development or provision of guidance to staff or residents, travel for testing, or other reasons related to coronavirus;

◦ Childcare costs for residents so that they can continue to work, and childcare costs for staff performing essential functions (as defined at the state/local), to the extent they would not have incurred otherwise; and

◦ Other reasonable expenses related to preparing for the coronavirus.

• Prevent a Coronavirus Outbreak

◦ Costs related to maintaining adequate social distancing, including modifying or limiting access to communal spaces, increasing service hours to prevent crowding in waiting areas, or any other costs incurred to ensure adequate distance among staff and residents;

◦ Costs of delivering supplies so that staff or residents can shelter in place, thereby reducing exposure to the greatest number of people;

◦ Direct costs related to limiting the spread of the coronavirus, including travel costs for testing, or other preventive health measures related to coronavirus;

◦ Expenses of isolating people suspected of being exposed or those at high-risk of serious complications if infected (e.g., elderly residents, and residents with underlying conditions);

◦ Costs of protecting residents (particularly high-risk residents) from exposure from interaction with PHA staff and vice versa; and

◦ Payment of salaries of PHA staff unable to work because of the coronavirus public health restrictions (e.g., office management staff who cannot go into the office and cannot perform work remotely, or payment of full salaries of PHA staff forced to work part-time because of lack of child care).

• Respond to a Coronavirus Outbreak

◦ Expenses of caring for PHA staff and residents who have tested positive, but do not require immediate hospitalization, including:

▪ Payment for increases in sick leave allowances for PHA staff;

▪ Physical, personnel, or security costs incurred to limit movement;

▪ Costs to safely transport residents that tested positive to a quarantine facility; and

▪ Costs of supporting residents in quarantine such as health-related supplies (e.g., masks and cleaning supplies).

◦ Expenses to safely transport residents/staff in need of medical attention;

◦ Expenses incurred because of coronavirus restrictions impacting PHA operations (e.g., paying for transportation expenses for PHA staff who rely on public transit that is no longer available);

◦ Costs to facilitate and coordinate with local schools and local governments receiving funds from the Department of Education for the education of students in public housing households:

▪ Internet connection infrastructure; and

▪ Tablets or other low-cost computers for students.

◦ Other reasonable expenses incurred while responding to the coronavirus.

In addition to the funding, HUD is announcing that PHAs may use Operating Funds and Capital Funds provided through prior Acts, for eligible Operating Fund and Capital Fund activities, or for coronavirus purposes.


According to the release, “HUD announced the allocation of $380 million in supplemental administrative fee funding to all Public Housing Authorities (PHA), including Moving to Work (MTW) PHAs. The two months of additional funding may be used for traditional administrative fees as well as for new costs related to protecting assisted families and employees throughout this coronavirus pandemic. The funding, made available by the CARES Act legislation President Trump signed into law on March 27, 2020, will be awarded to PHAs across the Nation.

“We must do everything in our power to protect all American families from this invisible enemy, including our vulnerable in the Housing Choice Voucher Program,” said Secretary Carson. “These new flexibilities and additional funds will properly equip Public Housing Authorities across the country with the resources they need to combat this virus.”

The Housing Choice Voucher Program a.k.a. Section 8 Voucher Program (HCV) includes the Mainstream Program, which provides tenant-based vouchers that serve households that include a non-elderly person with a disability and serves over 2.4 million families.”

The Oakland Housing Authority is to receive $2,852,782 plus $229,544. The Housing Authority of the City & County of San Francisco is to receive $2,956,722. The Housing Authority of the City of Richmond is to receive $300,854. The Housing Authority of Marin is to receive $491,022. The Berkeley Housing Authority is to receive $367,632. The City of Alameda Housing Authority is to receive $350,010., and the Santa Cruz County Housing Authority is to receive $1,045,166.

Click below for list of allocations:

The new eligible coronavirus-related activities include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Procuring cleaning supplies and/or services to maintain safe and sanitary HCV units, including common areas of PHA-owned Project Based Voucher (PBV) projects.

• Relocation of participating families to health units or other designated units for testing, hospitalization, or quarantine, or transportation to these locations to limit the exposure that could be caused by using mass transportation.

• Additional costs to supportive services vendors incurred due to coronavirus.

• Costs to retain or increase owner participation in the HCV Program, such as incentive or retention costs (e.g. the PHA offers owner an incentive payment to participate in recognition of added difficulties of making units available for HCV families to rent while stay-at-home orders or social distancing practices are in effect).

• Costs for providing childcare for the children of PHA staff that would not have otherwise been incurred (e.g. children are at home due to school closings, PHA staff are working outside of regular work schedules, etc).

Meanwhile, reportedly HUD Secretary Ben Carson and HUD plan to move forward with their notorious scheme to displace or split families in HUD subsidized housing programs that have any undocumented residents residing in a HUD federally subsidized household.

For more information about HUD’s attack on immigrant families see links further below…

Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at]

Request to Suspend Rulemaking in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic and OMB Directive

AG Becerra Calls on Trump Administration to Halt Proposal Threatening Mass Evictions of Vulnerable Communities
by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra April 20, 2020

Western Center submits comments opposing HUD anti-immigrant rule proposal
July 10, 2019

Mixed-Status Families and Eligibility for Certain HUD Housing Programs: What You Need to Know About HUD’s Proposed Rule


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