HUD News in Review: February 9, 2022

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This week’s HUD events include:

HUD partners with agencies to modernize Puerto Rico’s energy grid

Date Posted: February 2, 2022

HUD has joined forces with Homeland Security, the Department of Energy, and Puerto Rico to accelerate work on building back the island’s energy grid and advancing new projects to ensure Puerto Rico’s future supply of energy.

The goal is to have 100% renewable electricity and improvement of the island’s resiliency when facing hurricanes and other types of disasters.

A Memorandum of Understanding was executed and kickstarted the PR100 Study, which is a plan to help Puerto Rico meet its energy goals.

A few of the initiatives included in the plan are:

  • FEMA Permanent Work Projects Construction.
    According to the HUD press release, “at least 138 projects will be under construction bidding or have begun initial construction activities, including island-wide substation repairs, the replacement of thousands of streetlights across five municipalities, and the creation of an early warning system to improve dam safety”.
  • Implementation of $1.9 billion in HUD grant funding for electrical power system improvements
    HUD wants to help Puerto Rico enhance electrical system reliability and resilience which includes the development of both small and large microgrids and a focus on community investments for vulnerable populations and low-and moderate-income households.
  • Launch an Emergency Preparedness Tool Ahead of the 2022 Hurricane Season
    Department of Energy and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are developing a tool that will combine detailed models of the Puerto Rico electric system with hurricane forecasting to help the Government of Puerto Rico better prepare in the days leading up to a hurricane.

The Department of Energy is holding a public informational webinar on February 16, 2022 at 12:00 pm Atlantic Time to offer additional details.

Visit the event page here to learn more and register for the event.

Part 1 of ‘21 Homeless Assessment Report released

Date Posted: February 4, 2022

HUD’s Part 1 of their 2021 Homeless Assessment Report showed that more than 326,000 people were living in shelters on a single night in 2021. This is a decrease of 8% from 2020. 

Individuals considered as living in shelters were those found in emergency shelters, transitional housing, or other temporary forms of housing.

Because of COVID-19, HUD did not require the count of unsheltered people living on the streets or in other outdoor areas. However, 36% of all communities did complete full unsheltered counts and an additional 72 communities conducted a partial count, in which total unsheltered counts were reported but not household or demographic characteristics.

The report showed that the number of homeless families with children dropped in 2021, and the number of homeless veterans dropped by 10%. However, the number of chronically homeless went up by 20%.

People of color continued to make up a large percentage of America’s homeless population, with 55% of all homeless individuals being African American, Native American, Asian, or Pacific Islanders. 45% of all homeless persons were White, and 22% were Hispanic.

Read the full 2021 Homeless Assessment Report Part 1 report here.

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