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HOME tenant-based rental assistance overview

The HOMEFederal program established by Congress in 1990 that is designed to increasing decent affordable housing for low- and very low-income families and individuals. State and localities receive HOME fund from HUD each year, and spend it on things such as: rental assistance, assistance to homebuyers, new construction, rehabilitation, improvements, demlition, relocation, and administrative costs. Investment Partnership Program (HOME) provides formula-based block grants that localities and states can use to support a variety of activities related to affordable housing.

Among other eligible uses, states and local jurisdictions can utilize federal HOME funds to expand the amount of tenant-based rental assistance available to low-income households. Specifically, HOME grantees may provide tenant-based rental assistance contracts of up to two years in duration that are renewable at the jurisdiction’s discretion. Cities, towns, and counties have authority to tailor tenant-based rental assistance through the HOME program to meet specific needs, including limiting program eligibility to specific groups (e.g., seniors, persons with a disability, etc.), and provide additional types of assistance to complement the tenant-based rental assistance, such as security deposits and help covering utility costs.

Sixty percent of HOME funds are awarded directly to participating jurisdictions, which include larger localities (or consortia of smaller contiguous localities) and states. The remaining 40 percent is given to states for allocation to small cities, towns, and rural areas that do not receive an award from HUD. Because participating jurisdictions receive formula allocations each year, they will likely be better-equipped than smaller jurisdictions to administer a tenant-based rental assistance program on a longer-term basis.

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