The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently issued a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for $100 million in new “Mainstream” housing vouchers. These new vouchers are targeted for nonelderly people with disabilities, including those who are homeless or may become homeless. You can read more about the funding from HUD and the Technical Assistance Collaborative.
This announcement is significant for homeless service providers for several reasons:
- Although eligibility is largely tied to Public Housing Authorities (PHAs), PHAs are incentivized to work with housing and services agencies who know how to coordinate services and supports to help individuals gain stable housing.
- HUD is providing points for applications that target resources for people with disabilities who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
- Most importantly, this is an opportunity to house more chronically homeless people. If HUD sees strong applications and good results, it may open up the opportunity for additional funding for this program down the road.
The deadline for communities to apply for this funding is June 18. Here is what CoCs should do now to help their PHAs prepare a strong application:
- First, get your PHA and other key partners to the table to strategize about the application. CoCs are skilled at organizing agencies to complete competitive NOFAs in a timely manner — use that expertise to engage PHAs and get the application completed.
- Be prepared to discuss what you bring to the table as a CoC. CoCs have established relationships with the target populations and landlords, have experience implementing tenant-based rental assistance programs, and have systems in place to coordinate outreach and to identify applicants.
- Demonstrate your ability to be a strong partner and to help carry out the program.
The Alliance recently partnered with the Technical Assistance Collaborative to host a webinar explaining this funding opportunity and detailing how CoCs can get involved. You can watch the webinar below and download the slides here.
As those of us working to end homelessness know, funding for housing vouchers is scarce — this $100 million in new funding from HUD is a rare opportunity to house more people. CoCs should energize and organize their communities to submit competitive applications and continue setting bold goals to end homelessness.