Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $3,354,677 to the Maine State Housing Authority (MaineHousing) to combat youth homelessness throughout the State of Maine. This funding will benefit housing partners across the state, including: New Beginnings in Lewiston, Shaw House in Bangor, and Preble Street in Portland.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson called Senator Collins to notify her of the approval of this grant, for which Senator Collins strongly advocated. The funding was awarded through HUD’s Youth Homeless Demonstration Program (YHDP), a program that Senator Collins worked to create.
“This important funding supports Maine’s efforts to help our state’s most at-risk youth with additional resources and promote their health, independence, and overall wellbeing,” said Senator Collins. “As the Chairman of the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, I have championed funding for this important grant program, and I will continue to work to prevent and end youth homelessness.”
“We are very excited to learn of this grant award,” said Daniel Brennan, Director of MaineHousing. “This funding will enable us to continue to work with our partners in the homeless community to combat youth homelessness. Sadly, the number of homeless youth has been increasing; this grant gives us the opportunity to turn that around. Investing in young people is an investment in their future and Maine’s future.”
MaineHousing is an independent authority created by the Maine State Legislature in 1969 to address problems of unsafe, unsuitable, overcrowded, and unaffordable housing. The agency couples the efficiencies of the private financial markets with public purpose goals to provide affordable home ownership and rental housing opportunities for Maine people. MaineHousing administers a number of federal housing-related programs, including LIHEAP.
As the Chairman of the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Collins has worked to secure robust funding to meet the housing needs of the most vulnerable Americans and to strengthen communities. Earlier this year, legislation she co-authored to make critical investments in housing assistance and economic development was signed into law. Highlights of the legislation included $80 million to support comprehensive efforts to end youth homelessness in urban and rural areas, as well as $20 million for new Family Unification vouchers targeted to youth exiting foster care and at risk of homelessness.
In March, Senator Collins hosted Secretary Ben Carson in Lewiston to see firsthand how federal housing programs are improving the health, safety, and overall wellbeing of Mainers and strengthening local communities. During their trip, Senator Collins and Secretary Carson visited the New Beginnings Drop-In Center, a partner of MaineHousing that will benefit from this grant.