COVID-19: A Reminder on the Need for Affordable Housing

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Between the recommendations to shelter in your home with (2) weeks of supplies, the uncertainty of how people will pay their rent, and city efforts to quickly house the homeless amidst the current COVID-19 crisis, Coronavirus has become a reminder of how desperate the need for affordable housing in this country is.  Brookings Institution recently published an article titled America’s inequitable housing system is completely unprepared for coronavirus in which they discuss the struggles faced by individuals who have been impacted by the lack of affordable housing as they respond  to the current  pandemic.   

While the lack of affordable housing is certainly not a new issue and one that many local governments have been actively trying to address, COVID-19 has served as a sobering reminder of just how necessary the need is to have adequate and affordable housing for all.  As a firm who is passionate about helping local governments provide affordable housing in their communities, RSG wanted to highlight the following funding opportunities that can help cities and counties meet their affordable housing needs. 

  • Community Development Block Grant Program – This funding is provided in the form of grants to non-entitlement jurisdictions who will utilize funding to meet one of the national objectives to benefit to low- and moderate-income persons, aid in the prevention or elimination of slums and blight, or meet an urgent need.

  • Emergency Solutions Grants Program – This program provides funding to local governments and providers to help individuals and families experiencing homelessness through improving the quality of emergency shelters and access to essential services, rapid rehousing of those experiencing homelessness, and the prevention of becoming homeless.

  • Housing for a Healthy California – This funding will be provided to counties for activities including acquisition, new construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, and, rental assistance for existing and new supportive housing opportunities that meet the needs of the program’s target population.

  • Local Early Action Planning Grants – This grant opportunity aims to help local governments accelerate housing production and meet sixth-cycle RHNA needs through a number of eligible activities, including the adoption of planning documents and process improvements.

  • Permanent Local Housing Allocation Program – This program provides a permanent source of funding to help CA cities and counties implement plans that will increase the number of affordable housing units.

  • Regional Early Action Planning Grants – This program assists with the collaboration between councils of governments (COGs) and other regional entities on regional housing projects, including local housing production, to help meet Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA).

RSG understands that the world of grant applications can be difficult to navigate and with the added stress of COVID-19 on local governments, near impossible.  But despite current circumstances, it is important to not lose sight of addressing the ongoing need for affordable housing, not just in response to this emergency, but in preparation for the next one. 

Our firm actively provides grant application services to a number of cities throughout the state, helping a number of them successfully apply for and secure close to $ 1 million in funding for affordable housing activities.   If you are interested in any of the above listed grant opportunities and would like to know more about them or how RSG might be able to help you apply, please contact Kelly Morgan at