Miami-Dade saw a slight uptick in federal homeless aid for 2018, thanks largely to federal administrators recognizing rising rents in the apartments used to accommodate thousands of county residents without homes.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development approved Miami-Dade for $30.6 million in homeless aid this month, according to a county press release — about $800,000 more than in 2017. Officials at Miami-Dade’s Homeless Trust, the agency that administers homeless-assistance programs, said the boost came mainly from Washington adjusting how much it grants providers for rent subsidies. A sizable portion of the 8,000 beds and units Miami-Dade provides for homeless residents are secured in market-rate apartments, meaning the Homeless Trust must compete with other renters for space.
The 2018 award comes two years after Miami-Dade was forced to cut off some homeless programs after HUD declined about $6 million in grant requests at a time when the county said it needed roughly $32 million to keep existing programs intact. HUD, under President Barack Obama, awarded Miami-Dade $30 million in 2016, prompting cutbacks at the county-level.
This is the first award announced under the administration of President Donald Trump. In late 2016, during the waning days of the Obama administration, HUD announced about $30 million for Miami-Dade in 2017, and this year’s award is nearly 3 percent higher. “We’re happy,” said Ronald Book, chairman of the board that oversees the Homeless Trust.