By MICHAEL CASEY
BOSTON (AP) — States and localities are increasingly tapping federal funds to help finance efforts to build more affordable housing, repair dilapidated units or reduce their homeless numbers. Housing advocates believe the money from the $350 billion Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds could transform the way communities address the growing homelessness problem and a shortage of affordable housing. Several places, including Washington, D.C., the state of Massachusetts and Clark County, Nevada, have allocated tens of millions of dollars for new homes. Others, like the state of New York, the city of Austin, Texas, and Maricopa County in Arizona are investing in upgrades to their homelessness outreach and preventive efforts.