Important HOPWA Reminder: Deadline for Spending HOPWA Formula and Competitive CARES Act Funds Approaching
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed in 2020 to provide relief and an emergency funding source for communities as the country navigated a new and unknown crisis. As we enter 2023, HUD would like to remind communities that there is a limited amount of time left to utilize and drawdown Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) CARES Act (CV) funds. HOPWA-CV grants, like all HOPWA grants, have three-year period of performance beginning on the date that the grant agreement with HUD is signed. The period of performance cannot be extended for CV grants. During the period of performance, grantees should make draws through the Integrated Disbursement and Information System (IDIS) no less than quarterly, meaning at least every 90 days. Timely spending of HOPWA-CV funds is important to ensure that the needs of people with HIV are met during the COVID-19 pandemic. Spending delays can leave HOPWA-eligible households vulnerable to housing instability and homelessness. COVID-19 preparedness and response activities are especially important for the health and safety of immunocompromised people. Unspent funds can signal a lack of need and may impact future emergency funding specific to the health and housing stability of people with HIV.
What are the goals for HOPWA-CV Grants?
- Make assistance available with minimal barriers and without undue delays. Respond quickly and utilize available HOPWA-CV funds.
- Adjust and target funds to activities that help meet the greatest documented needs in your community.
- Ensure that HOPWA-eligible households achieve and maintain safe stable housing.
- Support people with HIV in understanding COVID-19 safety measures and access to vaccinations and care.
Is COVID-19 impact documentation needed for households to receive CARES funding?
- Documentation of individual/household impact from COVID-19 – such as proving that individuals tested positive for COVID-19 – is not required. Rather, documentation in client files can focus on how the HOPWA-CV funds were utilized to help the household overcome housing stability and/or health-related challenges caused or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Must HOPWA Grantees expend remaining HOPWA-CV funds on currently funded activities or can they implement new activities that are not currently funded?
- Both formula and competitive grantees can make changes to funded HOPWA-CV activities. The supplemental HOPWA funds provided under the CARES Act can be used by grantees as additional funding to maintain operations and for rental assistance, supportive services, and other necessary actions, in order to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. View list of eligible activities for HOPWA-CV grants.
- Formula – To reallocate remaining balances of HOPWA-CV funds between currently funded activities or fund a new activity not described in your approved annual action plan (AAP), you may need to create a substantial amendment to your annual action plan. Be sure to follow the amendment process outlined in your citizen participation plan. For questions about whether an amendment is necessary or about the steps to amend a plan, reach out to whomever is responsible for your Consolidated Plan/Annual Action Plan within your organization and your HUD Field Office.
- Competitive – To reallocate remaining balances of HOPWA-CV funds between currently funded activities or fund a new activity not described in your approved HOPWA-CV grant, you may need to request a grant modification from your HUD Field Office. For questions about whether a grant modification is necessary or about the steps needed to modify a HOPWA-CV grant, you can request HOPWA Technical Assistance or contact your HUD Field Office.
Do grantees need to submit a waiver request to use short-term rent, mortgage, and utilities (STRMU) for up to 24 months per household when using HOPWA-CV funds?
- No, a waiver request is not needed to use HOPWA-CV funds to provide STRMU for up to 24 months. The STRMU Funding Options Technical Assistance resource explains how STRMU funded by CARES Act and/or FY20 funds designated for COVID-19 response can be implemented. This activity represents an extended STRMU option made available through the CARES Act that is also applicable to FY20 funds designated for COVID-19 response. Households receiving this category of STRMU may receive up to 24 months (2 years) of STRMU assistance.
Is technical assistance (TA) available?
- Yes, TA is available to support HOPWA grantees with issues related to spending down HOPWA-CV funding.
- Grantees in need of TA may submit an online request through the HUD Exchange.
- Grantees and project sponsors can ask questions through the HOPWA Ask A Question (AAQ) Portal.
- Grantees can access published HOPWA-CV resources and guidance on the HOPWA Guidance for COVID-19 page.
HOPWA Mailing List Subscription
HOPWA uses two different listservs to communicate competition and program updates:
- Subscribe to the HUD.gov listserv for information developed by HUD/Office of HIV/AIDS Housing.
- Subscribe to the HUD Exchange listserv for information and guidance produced by HUD technical assistance providers regarding the HOPWA program.
HOPWA grantees and interested stakeholders should consider subscribing both to the HUD.gov mailing list and HUD Exchange mailing list.