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City to receive additional $2.2 million in federal aid to help with COVID-19 needs

KNOXVILLE - The City of Knoxville Housing and Neighborhood Development (formerly Community Development) Department has received $2.2 million in supplemental Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG-CV) funding for COVID-19 assistance. The money will be used to prevent and respond to individuals and families with housing needs amid the pandemic.

On June 9, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced it would distribute $2.96 billion in a second allocation of ESG-CV funding nationally to support people experiencing homelessness and those at-risk of experiencing homelessness because of unemployment, lost wages or illness due to COVID-19.

During an earlier round of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding, the City received $513,272 in ESG-CV funds, which has been allocated to the new COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program, homeless emergency shelter and essential services.

“The pandemic has presented a situation in which we want to act as quickly as possible to distribute these federal funds to residents who need them,” says Housing and Neighborhood Development Department Director Becky Wade. “With this additional funding, we’ll be able to assist even more vulnerable residents and engage additional community partners to reach them.”

HND staff will collaborate with their colleagues in the Office of Community Empowerment to contact organizations and agencies that currently help residents who are likely to qualify for and benefit most from COVID-19 relief.

“These additional funds bring even more opportunity for the City to be deliberate in engaging a broad and diverse base of organizations to better connect our most vulnerable neighbors with important resources,” Community Empowerment Director Charles Lomax said.

ESG-CV-funded activities must meet one or more of the following needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness and those at-risk of experiencing homelessness:

• Street outreach
• Emergency shelter and shelter operations
• Essential services, including case management, childcare, education, employment assistance, job training, outpatient and mental health services, life-skills training, legal services, services, substance-abuse treatment services, and transportation
• Rapid re-housing
• Homelessness prevention

The Housing and Neighborhood Development Department will notify interested organizations of funding availability, eligibility requirements, technical assistance available, and how to apply for the ESG-CV funds. Additional information about the funds will be posted soon at KnoxvilleTN.gov/development.

Published June 23, 2020










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