AGENCY: Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
DEADLINE: The deadline for submitting applications to HUD for the FY 2015 Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Competition (CoC Program Competition) is 7:59:59 p.m. eastern time, November 20, 2015. Applicants will be required to complete and submit their applications in e-snaps at www.hud.gov/esnaps.
AWARD: Approximately $1.89 billion of FY 2015 funds is available for funding. HUD will establish each CoC’s Tier 1 and Tier 2 amounts. A report that lists each CoC’s Tier 1 amount, Tier 2 amount, and permanent housing bonus amount available will be posted to the HUD Exchange website no earlier than October 9, 2015.
ELIGIBILITY: Eligible project applicants for the CoC Program Competition are nonprofit organizations, States, local governments, and instrumentalities of State and local governments, and public housing agencies, without limitation or exclusion. For-profit entities are not eligible to apply for grants or to be subrecipients of grant funds.
Awards made under the CoC Program, SHP, and S+C programs are eligible for renewal for FY 2015 funds if they are currently in operation and have an executed grant agreement that is dated no later than December 31, 2015 and expires in Calendar Year (CY) 2016
TARGET POPULATION: Chronically homeless individuals and families, youth, and veterans:
- The only persons who may be served by any non-dedicated permanent supportive housing beds are those who come from the streets, emergency shelters, safe havens, institutions, or transitional housing.
- Homeless individuals and families coming from transitional housing must have originally come from the streets or emergency shelters.
- Homeless individuals and families with a qualifying disability who were fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or other dangerous or life threatening conditions and are living in transitional housing are eligible for permanent supportive housing even if they did not live on the streets, emergency shelters, or safe havens prior to entry in the transitional housing.
- Persons exiting institutions where they resided for 90 days or less and came from the streets, emergency shelter, or safe havens immediately prior to entering the institution are also eligible for permanent supportive housing.
- The only persons who may be served by dedicated or prioritized permanent supportive housing beds are chronically homeless individuals and families.
- Rapid Re-housing projects originally funded to serve individuals and families coming from the streets or emergency shelters must continue to do so.
- New Rapid Re-housing projects created through reallocation may serve individuals, including unaccompanied youth, and families coming from the streets or emergency shelters or persons fleeing domestic violence; however, these program participants must meet the all other criteria for this type of housing (i.e., individuals and household with children who enter directly from the streets or emergency shelter).
Projects are prohibited from discriminating against chronically homeless families with children.
SUMMARY: The CoC Program is designed to promote a community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness; to provide funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, States, and local governments to quickly re-house homeless individuals, families, persons fleeing domestic violence, and youth while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused by homelessness; to promote access to and effective utilization of mainstream programs by homeless; and to optimize self-sufficiency among those experiencing homelessness.
- Strategic Resource Allocation: Using performance and outcome data, CoCs should decide how to best use the resources available to end homelessness within the community, including CoC and ESG Program funds, State and local funds, public and assisted housing units, mainstream service resources such as Medicaid, and philanthropic efforts
- Ending Chronic Homelessness:
- Increasing Units. In order to increase the number of units for chronically homeless individuals and families and work towards the goal of ending chronic homelessness, HUD encourages CoCs to create new projects through reallocation that exclusively serve chronically homeless individuals and families and/or create a permanent housing bonus project specifically for chronically homeless individuals and families.
- Targeting: Chronically homeless individuals and families should be given priority for permanent supportive housing beds not currently dedicated to this population as vacancies become available through turnover. Permanent supportive housing renewal projects serving specific disabled subpopulations (e.g., persons with mental illness or persons with substance use disorder) must continue to serve those subpopulations. However, chronically homeless individuals and families within the specified subpopulation should be prioritized for entry.
- Ending Family Homelessness: CoCs should adjust the homeless services system for families to ensure that families can easily access rapid re-housing and other housing assistance tailored to their needs. CoCs should also be working with their affordable housing community to facilitate access to affordable housing units. CoCs should also ensure that their projects address the safety needs of persons fleeing domestic violence. Rapid re-housing is designed to assist homeless individuals and families, with or without disabilities, to move as quickly as possible into permanent housing and achieve stability in that housing. Rapid re-housing assistance is time-limited, individualized, and flexible, and should complement and enhance homeless system performance. HUD encourages CoCs to use reallocation to create new rapid re-housing projects for families.
- Ending Youth Homelessness. CoCs should understand the unique needs of homeless youth and should be reaching out to youth-serving organizations to help them fully participate in the CoC. CoCs and youth serving organizations should work together to develop resources and programs that better end youth homelessness and meet the needs of homeless youth, including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth. When evaluating the performance of youth programs, CoCs should take into account the specific challenges faced by homeless youth. When CoCs identify lower performing youth serving projects, they should seek to reallocate funds from those projects to better projects serving youth.
- Ending Veteran Homelessness. Ending veteran homelessness is within reach for many communities, and CoCs should take specific steps to reach this goal including:
- CoC Program-funded projects should, to the extent possible, prioritize veterans and their families who cannot be effectively assisted with Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) services. When it is determined a veteran cannot be effectively assisted with VA housing and services and has the same level of need as a non-veteran (as determined using a standardized assessment tool) the veteran should receive priority.
- CoCs should work closely with the local VA and other Veteran-serving organizations and coordinate CoC resources with VA-funded housing and services including HUD-VASH and Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF).
- Using a Housing First Approach. Housing First is an approach to homeless assistance that prioritizes rapid placement and stabilization in permanent housing and does not have service participation requirements or preconditions such as sobriety or a minimum income threshold. Projects using a housing first approach often have supportive services; however, participation in these services is based on the needs and desires of the program participant. Specific steps to support a community-wide Housing First approach include the following:
- Removing Barriers to Entry.
- Centralized or Coordinated Assessment System.
- Client-centered Service Delivery.
- Prioritizing Households Most in Need. CoCs should prioritize those who are identified as most in need (e.g., those who have been living on the street the longest, homeless households with children living in unsheltered situations, those who are considered most medically vulnerable) for placement into appropriate housing.
- Inclusive Decision-making. CoCs should ensure that the needs of all individuals and families experiencing homelessness are represented within the CoC structure by including providers serving groups such as persons fleeing domestic violence, the LGBTQ community, victims of human trafficking, unaccompanied youth, and other relevant populations in the planning body. Including these groups in the decision-making structures of the CoC ensures that service delivery is both client-centered and culturally competent.
The project can be a new project or a renewal project.
- New Project Grant terms: The initial grant term for new project applications may be 1-year, 2-years, 3-years, 4-years, 5-years, or 15-years. However, the following exceptions apply: a. Any new project that requests tenant-based rental assistance may request a 1-year, 2-year, 3-year, 4-year, or 5-year grant term. b. Any new project that requests leasing—either leasing costs only or leasing costs plus other costs (e.g., supportive services, HMIS.)—may only request up to a 3-year grant term.
- Renewals: Awards made under the CoC Program, Supportive Housing Program (SHP), and Shelter Plus Care (S+C) are eligible for renewal for FY 2015 funds if they have an executed grant agreement by December 31, 2015 and have an expiration date the occurs in Calendar Year (CY) 2016.