As you have probably figured out, the CoC NOFA is very different this year. HUD has created the most competitive application process for CoC funds we have ever seen, with a strong emphasis on evaluating project and system performance and reallocating funds to effective programs that actually reduce homelessness.
The NOFA also focuses on the goals articulated in Opening Doors, including an end to veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. The application newly requires CoCs to report their actual progress toward this important goal. The exciting news is that we know this achievement is within reach for many CoCs across the country. Several communities have already announced that they have succeeded.
Over the last 10 years, HUD has invested heavily in programs that provide permanent supportive housing (PSH) for chronically homeless persons. The scaling up of PSH has resulted in a dramatic reduction in chronic homelessness in the U.S.
HUD uses a competitive application process to determine funding for programs, which has driven the country closer to the goal of ending chronic homelessness. For CoC applicants this boils down to points. HUD has for many past NOFAs given more points, or a competitive edge, to CoCs who propose to fund more PSH for chronically homeless persons.
In the world of homelessness assistance, housing is the number one priority. As we like to say at the Alliance, housed people aren’t homeless.
But what happens after people exit homelessness to housing? In an ideal world, homelessness should be rare, brief, and non-recurring. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. People who have been housed through homeless programs sometimes fall back into homelessness. Fortunately, researchers are working to determine why some households remain stably housed and others don’t.
Like many of our colleagues around the country, folks at the Alliance are now carefully examining the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFA) that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued earlier this month for Continuum-of-Care (CoC) programs.
The CoC grant application process is always a competitive one, but the competition will be more, well, competitive, this year than in prior years. So, what’s at stake? We are told that there is significant risk that some communities will gain new funding at the expense of other communities who will lose it.
After 30 years of widespread veteran homelessness, communities around the country are racing to end it by the end of this year. Some communities like Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, New Orleans, Houston, and Las Cruces, New Mexico have already announced that they’ve reached the goal.
How has the country suddenly gotten so close to bringing an end to veteran homelessness? We get this question a lot. The truth of course is that there’s nothing sudden about it. People have been working behind the scenes at the national, state and local levels for years to make this happen. Since 2009, they have reduced the number of veterans who experience homelessness on a given day by 33 percent. Here’s a look at how we got here.