The City of Cleveland received some unexpected news about a large decrease in funds for the Emergency Solutions Grant which supports the emergency shelters and the housing rental assistance programs in Cleveland. City and County staff have not developed a plan yet for how these reduced funds will be distributed locally. It was reported by HUD that Cleveland would receive a 22% decrease in funds while Akron received a 25% decrease.
Cleveland has used its funding to pay for basic emergency shelter staffing, food, and transportation costs in the shelters. We have decided to use the housing assistance funding to pay for rental assistance for families to avoid shelter or move quickly out of the limited shelter spaces. This is especially critical at a time when we are seeing record numbers of families entering the shelters. For the past two years, we have seen a huge increase during the summer months of families asking for shelter help in Cleveland and many other cities.
We have posted a table showing the cuts in Emergency Solutions Grants for cities and for counties here. (Thanks Gloria for making these colorful graphs). HUD attributes these cuts to the Sequestration funding cuts and the austere budget passed by Congress earlier this year. They have also begun using the American Community Survey from the US Census as the basis for distributing these funds. Previously, they were using this strange formula which very few understood. It is obvious that Cleveland and other similar Midwestern cities benefited from the previous formula. We will keep you up to date on how this will impact the shelters.
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