• By Pacific island Times News Staff

GHURA receives additional $2.6M Covid-19 relief grant

The Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority announced Tuesday it has received an additional $2.6 million in Emergency Solutions Grant through the Coronavirus Aid and Relief Security Act.

ESG funds, which is being administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, are available for activities to directly and effectively prevent, prepare and respond to the impacts of Covid-19 on communities across the 50 states and insular areas.

GHURA officials said the second allocation brings Guam’s total award of ESG funds to $3.5 million.

In the coming weeks, over $740,000 (83 percent of Guam’s first allocation) will be awarded to experienced non-profit organizations already providing needed direct assistance.

Services to house and address the related needs of not only Guam’s homeless, but also the very-low and extremely low income families directly impacted by Covid-19.

A major objective is to fund activities to assist the homeless to stay safe from Covid-19 infection by providing emergency sheltering, and to support income qualified persons and families with rental assistance to help them stay housed through this difficult period of job loss and income reduction brought on by the downturn of the island’s economy.

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Additional and expanded activities are being considered and reviewed at this time to identify the best use of the second allocation. In the coming days, GHURA will announce amendments to its Consolidated Plan and Annual Action Plan detailing these Covid-19 activities.

When published, citizens will have an abbreviated five-day window in which to make comment.

“Contrary to our congressman’s recent press release stating that our vulnerable homeless population has yet to see substantial tangible outcomes with the funding long since provided, we must remind him that GHURA must still conform to all federal guidelines on how these federal monies are to be expended," GHURA Executive Director Ray Topasna said.

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"The housing authority appreciates any additional funding from Congress to aid our community respond to the pandemic and we are guided every step of the way by our federal partners. We thank the congressman for his efforts and ask that he allow us to do our jobs within the confines of the law.”

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