In this year’s NOFA Registration Notice, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is strongly encouraging Continuums of Care (CoCs) to reallocate funding to interventions that more effectively reduce homelessness.
In 2015 you can reallocate funds from existing eligible renewal projects to create new rapid re-housing projects for homeless individuals and families, including unaccompanied youth, who are coming directly from the streets, emergency shelters or who are fleeing domestic violence. If your CoC decided to reallocate funds to fund rapid re-housing through the NOFA process or if you work for a foundation or a local government that wants to fund rapid re-housing, you will probably need to write a Request for Proposals (RFP) and figure out a way to evaluate applications.
Once again, NOFA season is just around the corner!
One of the more anxiety-producing aspects of recent NOFAs is the requirement that CoCs rank projects in the CoC Priority Listing section of the application. As a refresher, in recent years, CoCs have had to prioritize new and renewal projects by dividing them into two tiers, which may jeopardize funding for lower-ranked projects. Though we don’t yet know exactly what Tier 1 and 2 will look like until this year’s NOFA comes out, we know that this “CoC Priority Listing” will be a requirement of the 2015 application and that reallocation is available.
Just yesterday the mayor of Houston Annise Parker announced that her city had ended veteran homelessness. The announcement is getting a fair bit of attention in the press and online (and deservedly so), but here’s one thing those stories aren’t telling you.
Over the last two years, Houston has also reduced the number of families experiencing homelessness on a given night by 39 percent. Houston leaders attribute this progress to their investment in rapid re-housing. If they’re right, the city has more dramatic declines in its future, because they recently tripled their rapid re-housing capacity.
This video is a recording of a webinar that was the third in a series examining how communities are ramping up rapid re-housing capacity to help more people experiencing homelessness. In the webinar, which originally streamed Tuesday, May 19, 2015, speakers described citywide efforts in Houston/Harris County, TX to expand and redesign the rapid re-housing system and the efforts of Hamilton Family Center in San Francisco, CA to improve the functioning of the city's homeless service system and eradicate waiting lists by increasing rapid re-housing capacity for families.
It is possible to use rapid re-housing successfully in high cost, low vacancy markets. We’ve learned from the innovative rapid re-housing programs that creativity and flexibility are the key to making this work.
There are three Core Components of Rapid Re-Housing: housing identification, rent and move-in assistance (financial), and rapid re-housing case management and services. I’ve listed some tips that successful rapid re-housing programs in challenging rental markets have shared with us in conferences and webinars below. (I recommended reading through the core components first before reading this blog post, if they are new to you.)