HCN News & Notes

FEMA Awards $22.3 Million to Massachusetts for COVID-19 Sheltering Expenses

BOSTON — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be sending more than $22 million to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to reimburse it for the cost of operating shelters for the homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development will receive $22,327,692 in federal funding to cover the increased costs of sheltering the homeless in a pandemic environment between July and December 2020.

The agency contracted with 23 individual homeless-shelter providers across Massachusetts to safely provide non-congregate sheltering to homeless populations during that time, with increased social distancing and other health measures in place to prevent the spread of the disease.

“FEMA is pleased to be able to assist Massachusetts with these costs,” FEMA Region I acting Regional Administrator Paul Ford said. “Providing resources for our partners on the front lines of the pandemic fight is critical to their success and our success as a nation.”

FEMA’s Public Assistance program is an essential source of funding for states and communities recovering from a federally declared disaster or emergency. So far, FEMA has provided more than $807 million in Public Assistance grants to Massachusetts to reimburse the Commonwealth for pandemic-related expenses.