Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced Friday that the department will allocate $685 million in COVID-19 relief funding to help low-income Americans residing in public housing. 

The funding, made available through the CARES Act, will be allocated through the Public Housing Operating Fund and can be used by Public Housing Authorities to prepare for a coronavirus outbreak, prevent a coronavirus outbreak and respond to a coronavirus outbreak. Allocations can be given to help source and purchase personal protective equipment for PHA staff, coordinate and provide virus testing for staff and residents, isolate those suspected of being exposed or those at high-risk of serious complications if infected, among other provisions.

“The CARES Act funding announced Friday will go a long way to protect all residents, including seniors living in HUD-assisted housing,” the agency told McKnight’s in a statement. “HUD and its state and local partners are committed to working together to keep some of our most vulnerable citizens safe, especially during these unprecedented times.”