Question: Dear Fairy Grant-Mother, as a Housing Authority, should I only be seeking funding from HUD?

Answer: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is always the easy source to look for, when you are a Public Housing Authority. The department’s sole purpose is matters of affordable housing. Their mission of “working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination..” definitely gives clarity of their goals to assure availability of one of the most basic human needs.

But, consider your own community. You are more than just housing. You may be a provider of housing, but you are providing to a community of diverse PEOPLE, with diverse HUMAN needs. You have a pivotal role in the community, and while your name may suggest you are a “housing authority” you can use your role to bring much more into your community. The people in your community might be seeking many services beyond just housing. Employment, financial literacy, and healthy food are common areas of need.

Funding agencies such as the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services are providers of many programs that seek to further these causes. And they provide programs for which housing authorities are eligible too! In the past, Comprehensive Grants Management has won grants such as YouthBuild grant, from the Department of Labor, which has won awards over $1 million for housing authorities.

To do best by your residents, you should definitely seek to find funding opportunities beyond HUD grants. You are eligible for more than HUD grants, and your residents have needs beyond what HUD provides funding for.