ConnectHomeUSA: Expanding Digital Inclusivity in HUD-Assisted Communities
Posted On: December 20, 2023
Bridging the Digital Divide with ConnectHomeUSA
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has recently announced an expansion of the ConnectHomeUSA (CHUSA) initiative. This program is pivotal in HUD’s digital inclusion strategy. It aims to provide affordable internet access, digital devices, and skill training to HUD-assisted families. Since its inception in 2015, CHUSA has grown to involve 100 communities, demonstrating a strong commitment to bridging the digital divide in urban, rural, and Tribal areas.
The latest expansion aims to include more communities, emphasizing HUD’s commitment to digital inclusivity. HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge believes equitable access helps families succeed.
“HUD is committed to ensuring families and their children have access to affordable and reliable internet,” she said.
The expansion focuses on welcoming new communities while continuing to support existing ones. To qualify, interested communities should send a Letter of Intent to CHUSA_applications@hud.gov. That letter should address the criteria outlined in the Federal Register Notice. The application period is open from December 19th, 2023, to February 15th, 2024. To aid potential applicants, HUD will host a webinar on January 11th, 2024, offering insights into the application process.
Next Steps for Owner/Agents
Owner/Agents in HUD-assisted housing play a critical role in this initiative. To participate, they should familiarize themselves with CHUSA’s goals and requirements. This involves understanding the digital needs of their residents and actively engaging in local digital inclusion efforts. Collaboration with local authorities and aligning with other federal initiatives like the Affordable Connectivity Program is also crucial.
The ConnectHomeUSA expansion signifies a significant stride in ensuring equitable digital access for all. By engaging more communities, HUD reinforces its commitment to closing the digital gap, ensuring families and children have the resources to thrive in an increasingly connected world.