COVID-19 Funding and Waivers

We are following and sharing federal flexibilities or funding sources for SDOH-related programs amid  the COVID-19 public health emergency. Please check back – we will be updating regularly.



Find more information on NASDOH policy activity and HHS SDOH policy activity activity on our other policy pages.  

Health and Human Services

Joint HHS-HUD Agency Efforts  to Combat COVID-19

HHS and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the January, 2022 launch of a national Housing and Services Resource Center (HSRC) to improve access to affordable, accessible housing. HSRC will implement a federally coordinated approach to providing resources, program guidance, training, and technical assistance to public housing authorities and housing providers; state Medicaid, disability, aging, and behavioral health agencies; the aging and disability networks; homeless services organizations and networks; health care systems and providers; and tribal organizations. The launch of HSRC follows the expansion of the Advancing Community Living Through Coordination Between Housing and Voluntary Community Services partnership between HHS and HUD.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge announced a joint-agency effort in May, 2021 to increase access to COVID-19 testing and vaccinations among disproportionately affected communities, including HUD-assisted households and individuals experiencing homelessness. The effort will use the Health Center COVID-19 health Vaccine Program to provide vaccines directly to health centers across the country.

Administration for Children and Families

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has published a list of programs that will receive a combined total of $6.3 billion through the CARES Act. Many of these programs address immediate social needs such as low-income home energy assistance program, child care and development block grant, community services block grant, head start, runaway and homeless youth programs, family violence prevention and services, child welfare services, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

Read more about the funding increases for these programs here.

Additionally, the Administration for Children and Families has developed a series of frequently asked questions to address state concerns about how TANF funds can be used to response to an increased need for basic assistance and other financial benefits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes information about TANF’s administrative liabilities for both states and tribes.

Read the FAQs for more information.

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE)

ASPE published a brief outlining how virtual technical assistance can be used to improve human services, and a fact sheet to support human services virtual case management.

ASPE also put together a list of HHS COVID-19 information and guidance to support human service programs.

Medicare and Medicaid

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has made available many waivers and flexibilities for health care providers including expanding telehealth, allowing care by phone, flexibility for the health care workforce, transferring of patients, and expanding hospital capacity.

Read more about all of the CMS waivers and flexibilities.

United States Department of Agriculture

Nutrition programs

In  response to COVID-19, USDA is using all available program flexibilities and contingencies to serve program participants across their 15 nutrition programs. States have been granted waivers to ease program operations and protect the health of participants.

See each state’s waivers for more information.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced new child nutrition flexibilities and waivers at the beginning of the month, which follow a set of waivers issued in April for the 2021-2022 school year. These waivers provide states and schools continued flexibility to maintain children’s access to nutritious meals during unanticipated school closures and supply chain challenges. Taken together, these waivers advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to providing safe, healthy meals to children throughout the pandemic and to building back better.

Housing and Urban Development

Housing and homelessness prevention programs

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued a memorandum  providing regulatory waivers of certain Continuum of Care (CoC), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), Housing for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA), and Consolidated Plan requirements to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and provide additional supports to individuals and families eligible for CoC, ESG, and HOPWA assistance who are economically impacted by COVID-19.

Read more about HUD waivers.


Community Development Block Grant Program

HUD released a guide for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grantees that gives examples of eligible activities to support coronavirus response, which includes SDOH-related activities like delivering meals on wheels to quarantined or home-bound individuals and providing mobile-health services.

Read more about HUD’s guidance here.