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Michigan To Receive Stimulus $$ To Keep Families In Their Homes

March 3, 2009

Lansing, MI - Michigan will receive more than $52 million from President Obama's stimulus package to prevent an increase in homelessness during the recession. It's part of the nearly $1.5 billion being allocated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to help renters as well as homeowners.

President and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, Nan Roman, says a 34 percent increase in homelessness is being predicted as a direct result of current economic conditions. The stimulus money will go to programs to help people in danger of losing whatever place they call home, she explains.

"That money is going to go to communities throughout Michigan and the country, to help people with rent payments and utility payments and, for people who are losing their housing, to get them quickly back into other housing."

Before the recession, Roman says, homelessness had actually decreased about 10 percent across the country. Since then, however, there have been stiff upticks in homelessness in many communities. Part of the problem is the economy - but supply also figures into the equation. Although home prices have dropped, many are still out of reach for would-be renters and owners, she says.

"The country is short millions of units of affordable housing. There are millions more low-income families who need housing than there are units of housing affordable to them."

More information is available online, at www.endhomelessness.org.

Tony Bruscato, Public News Service - MI