Councilmember Robert White Statement on DHS Ending Pandemic Emergency Program for Medically Vulnerable People

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has announced that it will phase out the Pandemic Emergency Program for Medically Vulnerable Individuals (PEP-V) in part due to the lapse of federal government funding to support the program. In this transition, we must ensure that DC residents experiencing homelessness who are currently being housed temporarily in hotels through PEP-V have a safe and stable place to stay as the program phases out.

The challenge of protecting medically vulnerable unhoused residents from COVID-19 and other health risks is not going anywhere, and congregate settings are not appropriate or safe for everyone. I’ll be conducting close oversight of this process to ensure that the city meets the needs of unhoused residents who should not be in congregate settings.

In addition, DHS has used PEP-V sites to house people who have housing vouchers but who have not yet found housing. I will work with DHS to ensure that people who have vouchers get into housing as I work with agencies to speed up the housing process.

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