Housing Assistance has been awarded $288,000 for two innovative housing programs that will assist the elderly, disabled people and workers in essential industries. The Barnstable County Board of Regional Commissioners announced the award as part of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for 20 housing projects around the region at a ceremony in June.

“We are grateful to receive this support from Barnstable County’s ARPA funds,” said Housing Assistance CEO Alisa Magnotta. “This award is a sign of the county’s belief that housing is a critical issue in our region, and this funding will help Cape residents who are most in need of help to stabilize their housing.”

Housing Assistance’s grant will help support THRIVE (Tools to Help Residents in a Vulnerable Economy), a program that assists Cape Cod residents who are struggling to pay for housing and other bills and are employed in essential industries, including childcare, education, law enforcement, emergency response and others.

The program’s clients each get a monthly stipend of $450 toward their rent for up to 24 months and work with a HUD-certified counselor on financial plans with long-term goals in mind.

The program is aimed at workers who typically earn low pay, despite being an essential part of the Cape workforce.

The 19 households currently enrolled in THRIVE include 21 adults and 12 children and the program has the capacity for up to 40 households.

Housing Assistance’s ARPA grant will also be used to help elderly and disabled people who’ve been displaced from long-term rentals.

“These two groups have great difficulty finding new rentals because of a perfect storm of issues,” said Magnotta. “They’re on a fixed income, there is a severe lack of units, and units that do become available are expensive. This ARPA funding will help provide transitional housing to some of our most vulnerable neighbors.”

Grants were awarded via a competitive process to local governments, nonprofits, and private/for-profit organizations to support the region’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

“The $5 million in [total] funding will go toward implementing projects that will have a lasting and positive impact all across Cape Cod,” said Barnstable County Commissioners Chairperson Mark Forest.