Emergency Assistance - Hotels and Motels
Official Title: Emergency Assistance - Hotels and Motels
The Emergency Assistance program (EA), managed by the Division of Housing Stabilization (DHS) within the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), provides shelter and services to a certain population of homeless families living at or below 115% of the federal poverty level. This line item funds families served by EA who are living in hotels and motels because the family shelters are full.
The FY 2013 budget transferred funding from the line item that funds EA shelter and services into this new line item specifically for families served by the EA program who are living in hotels and motels.
Historically, the state has helped low-income homeless families by providing them with space in family shelters run by EA. More recently, the state has adopted a "Housing First" model designed to help these families move into permanent housing rather than live in temporary shelters. With the onset of the Great Recession, however, many low-income families lost their jobs and their housing. As a result, many turned to EA for help to the point where the state had to house families in hotels and motels because the family shelters were full.
Starting in FY 2013 the state began limiting homeless families' access to EA shelters, including hotels and motels, while increasing funding for some affordable housing resources. As of FY 2013 EA shelters, including hotels and motels, are only available to low-income families who have lost their housing due to domestic violence, fire, natural disaster, eviction due to loss of income or disability or because they were living in unhealthy conditions not meant for human habitation. All other families, who would have been eligible for EA in previous years, would only receive access to affordable housing resources. As of August 2013, of the 3,631 families served by EA, 1,608 were living in hotels and motels because the family shelters were full.
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