The holiday season is a good time to reflect on the past year. While the pandemic continued to produce challenges for us all, there was still much to be grateful for in 2021.
First, new federal resources to address the economic impacts of the pandemic included billions of dollars to assist struggling renters and homeowners as well as money to address ongoing affordable housing shortages. Our Agency looks forward to launching new programs in the coming year such as the NC Homeowner Assistance Fund, which was established through the 2021 American Rescue Plan to prevent mortgage delinquencies, defaults, displacements and foreclosures for homeowners experiencing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic. We are continuing to work with the US Department of the Treasury to finalize the program.
The American Rescue Plan also included additional HOME funding to assist individuals or households who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, and other vulnerable populations, by providing housing, rental assistance, supportive services and non-congregate shelter, to reduce homelessness and increase housing stability across the country. In addition to our recurring appropriations for the state Housing Trust Fund and HOME Match, our state budget included funding through the Workforce Housing Loan Program to address financing gaps for housing credit properties caused by significant spikes in construction costs and delays during the pandemic.
A second point of gratitude lies not only within our programs but is inherent in all the work that we do: our partners. Each year, we work with thousands of housing partners to implement programs that expand affordable housing opportunities for North Carolinians. Whether you work with renters, home buyers or homeowners; build and maintain affordable homes and apartments; provide new housing options for people with special needs; or help individuals access financial assistance for safe, affordable housing, we are grateful for your tireless commitment to ensuring that all North Carolinians are able to establish a firm foundation for their lives.
And finally, I am thankful for our staff, who not only make this work possible but make the results exceptional. Since March 2020 when the world changed for us all, the Agency staff has seamlessly adapted to new ways of working and embraced the new challenges. Their efforts continue to pay off for tens of thousands of North Carolinians each year and I am grateful for the hard work and commitment of each and every one of them.
I thank you all for your partnership and support and wish you a very happy holiday season. See you in 2022!