Dozens of homeless individuals and families on Guam will have homes to live in through the Section 8 emergency housing vouchers awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority will issue 87 vouchers. Housing officials expect the voucher funding to be received on July 1.
GHURA has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Guam Homeless Coalition to assist with the identification and certification of eligible individuals and families, and making direct referrals to GHURA to be eligible for permanent housing.
As of January 2020, Guam had an estimated 790 experiencing homelessness on any given day, according to HUD.
To qualify for assistance under the voucher program, an individual or family must meet one of the following eligibility criteria:
Homeless or lacking a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence; an unaccompanied youth under 25 years of age, or families with children and youth;
· At-risk of homelessness; will imminently lose their primary nighttime residence;
· Fleeing, or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking;· Recently homeless and for whom providing rental assistance will prevent the family’s homelessness or having high risk of housing instability.
“Words cannot express how pleased we are to find a more permanent or longer-term solution for many of our homeless families, particularly for those with young children. Through the efforts of our private partners on the Guam Homeless Coalition and the Lt. Governor’s Interagency Council on Coordinating Homelessness Programs, I’d like to believe that we collectively have made huge strides in protecting our homeless population during this pandemic," GHURA executive director Ray Topasna said.
"These 87 Emergency Housing Vouchers are truly a blessing from HUD and we will do our best to quickly issue them out to homeless families. Some of our homeless friends may be in shelters and some still don’t have a place to sleep, so while funding will not be available to us until July 1, the Coalition has been given the green light from GHURA to start working on referrals as early as today,” he added.