The FY 2015 CoC Program Registration opened Tuesday, April 28, and will close on Monday, May 18. The Registration Notice from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) contains crucial information to help communities prepare for this year’s competition, including:
- Requirements of the registration process for Collaborative Applicants;
- HUD’s policy priorities, and;
- Directions to all project applicants to continue implementing effective interventions that reduce homelessness.
In this post, which is the first in a series from the Alliance’s Center for Capacity Building on preparing for this year’s CoC Program NOFA competition, we highlight the key information and important changes that CoCs should play close attention to. (Consult the Registration Notice and CoC Program Interim Rule for more details.)
Interesting, New or Notable
- CoCs are highly encouraged to reallocate to interventions that reduce homelessness.
- Communities may apply for High Performing Community (HPC) status for the first time.
- CoCs may apply for up to the full 3 percent of planning costs, or $1,250,000, whichever is less.
- CoC Mergers are allowable and HUD will accept requests to merge, redistribute geographic areas, or split a CoC up until five days before the end of the CoC Program Registration period.
- HUD will continue the Tier 1 and Tier 2 funding process to promote a more competitive process between CoCs.
- CoCs will be required to rank all projects submitted by project applicants in e-snaps including: renewal and new projects created through reallocation, new bonus projects, and new homelessness prevention projects created by designated HPC(s). (Project applications for CoC planning and UFA Costs will not need to be ranked.)
- CoCs will have the opportunity to apply for bonus projects, though no further details on project type are provided in the Notice.
- Collaborative Applicants can apply for UFA designation.
Again this year, HUD’s first policy priority is strategic resource allocation, which means CoCs should seriously consider reallocating funds during the competition. Aside from the required tiering process, there are many incentives to reallocate funds. In this blog post, we focus on strategies for reallocation, including options for conducting your local competition process, and a discussion of scoring criteria and tools for project evaluation. In this blog we share resources to develop successful applications for new rapid rehousing projects. If you haven’t begun planning your local competition and reallocation strategies, or developing new project applications, start right away!
CoCs may reallocate funds in whole or part from existing eligible renewal projects to create one or more new projects. CoCs may use reallocation to create:
- New permanent supportive housing projects that serve chronically homeless individuals and families, including unaccompanied youth;
- New rapid re-housing projects for homeless individuals and families, including unaccompanied youth, coming directly from the streets or emergency shelter or fleeing domestic violence;
- New projects for dedicated HMIS; and
- New Supportive Services Only (SSO) projects for centralized or coordinated assessment systems.
HUD’s Homeless Policy and Program Priorities
HUD will evaluate CoC and project applications based on the extent to which they further the goals in HUD’s Strategic Plan and Opening Doors. Please note that these are not only important for Collaborative Applicants to know, but should also be communicated to CoC leadership, CoC members, and all community stakeholders to promote a system-wide understanding and strategic implementation of common priorities. HUD’s priorities are as follows:
1. Strategic Resource Allocation
Using performance and outcome data, CoCs should decide how to strategically use all federal and local resources available to end homelessness within their communities and allocate resources to effective interventions that reduce homelessness.
Decisions about resource allocation should involve:
- Comprehensive Review of projects
- Maximizing the use of mainstream resources
HUD strongly encourages CoCs to carefully review the transitional housing projects within the CoC’s geographic area for cost-effectiveness, performance, and for the number and type of eligibility criteria to determine if rapid re-housing might be a better model. For more information on targeting transitional housing to people with severe or specific needs such as homeless youth, persons fleeing domestic violence, and persons in need of assistance with recovery from addiction, see this brief: The Role of Long-Term, Congregate Transitional Housing in Ending Homelessness.
2. Ending Chronic Homelessness
To meet the goal of ending chronic homelessness by 2017, communities should create system-wide plans and policies for:
- Increasing Units: HUD encourages CoCs to create new projects through reallocation that exclusively serve chronically homeless individuals, including unaccompanied youth, and families.
- Targeting: Chronically homeless individuals and families should be given priority for PSH beds not currently dedicated to this population as vacancies become available through turnover. CoCs are encouraged to implement a process for prioritizing persons experiencing chronic homelessness consistent with Notice CPD-14-012: Prioritizing Persons Experiencing Chronic Homelessness in Permanent Supportive Housing.
3. Ending family homelessness
HUD encourages CoCs to use reallocation to create new rapid re-housing projects for families; these programs should be easy for all types of families to access, including families with high barriers.
4. Ending youth homelessness
To end youth homelessness, CoCs will have to work to integrate youth programs and use reallocation to create new rapid rehousing resources.
5. Ending veteran homelessness
Many communities will reach the goal of ending veteran homelessness by the end of this year. To accomplish this important goal, CoCs should take specific steps that also include prioritizing veterans and their families who are ineligible for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) services as well as working closely with the local VA and other veteran-serving organizations to coordinate resources including HUD-VASH and SSVF.
6. Using a Housing First approach
HUD encourages all types of projects in a CoC to adopt a Housing First approach, including but not limited to Permanent Supportive Housing and Rapid Rehousing.
Steps to support a community-wide housing first approach include:
- Removing barriers
- Centralized or coordinated assessment/Coordinated Entry
- Client-centered service delivery
- Prioritizing households most in need
- Inclusive decision-making
Steps to Register
Step One: Obtain and complete the HUD-issued Grant Inventory Worksheet (GIW)
Step Two: Log in to e-snaps to Access the Registration Forms
Step Three: Complete/Update Applicant Profile
Step Four: Complete the Registration Forms