The Administration of Children and Families (ACF) is offering $2 million in grants for programs aimed at increasing stability and well-being for families living in affordable housing.
Agencies and tribes that own affordable housing units and provide supportive services to residents — including education or childcare services, after-school programs, older adult care, financial skills training and mental health and addiction support — are eligible to apply. Recipients must have received funding through the Community Services Block Grant.
Recipients of the block grant funding “have extensive experience assessing community-based needs,” ACF notes in documents about the grant program, called the Affordable Housing and Supportive Services Demonstration.
Eight organizations will be selected for awards ranging from $100,000 to $250,000 each to fund an 18-month project.
The goal of the project is to give ACF insight into how increasing and improving wraparound services in affordable housing settings can improve family stability. Organizations that work with families involved in the child welfare system are eligible for bonus points in the application process.
Grant documents cite the need for safe and affordable housing to support a healthy quality of life for families, and stress that squeezed rental markets and high housing costs leave low income families forced into “substandard housing with poor environmental conditions and safety risks.”
They also highlight the impact on children, pointing to research showing that housing instability, including multiple moves per year, is correlated with poorer physical and oral health, due in part to infrequent visits to healthcare providers.
Recipients must have plans that work to strengthen and expand wraparound services that build stability, safety and economic mobility; identify gaps in existing service availability and strategies for improving equitable access to services; and participate in a federal evaluation.
Through these grants, ACF seeks to support programs that will improve a range of outcomes for children and families, including increases in:
- Nurturing and attachment between children and caregivers;
- Caregiver resilience and knowledge on parenting for child development;
- Social and emotional competence for children;
- Social connections and concrete supports for families;
- Access to basic and mental healthcare services for the whole family.
The grants are also geared toward supporting programs that help low-income housing residents access services that help them work toward home ownership and build self-sufficiency and financial literacy.
Applications are due by August 18.