The CoC NOFA is out now

The HUD CoC Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) was just posted today and we are feverishly reviewing it here at the Alliance to compare it to last year’s funding competition and assess how this will impact our efforts to end homelessness. Here are our observations so far. We’ll share more as we dig deeper into the notice. Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest news on the CoC funding.

What’s at stake this year?
Last year up to 15 percent of every continuum’s funds were up for grabs and as a result about $124 million were reallocated as a result of the NOFA competition. This year, HUD is still pushing for change and up to 7 percent of CoC funds must be placed in “Tier 2”. This means those funds could be cut. Maintaining or increasing funding will depend on how CoCs score on performance, resource allocation, strategic response, adhering to Housing First principles and ending homelessness among each of the subpopulations.

Download our NOFA Score Estimating tool to help visualize and think strategically about the scoring criteria for the 2016 Continuum of Care NOFA. The first section outlines the scoring criteria for the Consolidated Application. The second section illustrates the points available, as well as a community’s estimated points, in graphs. The third section illustrates how HUD will award points to projects in Tier 2. Communities can use this tool to discuss and understand the NOFA, but should read the NOFA and application in esnaps carefully to better understand the criteria. Questions regarding the tool can be sent to Anna Blasco at

What are the major changes in the NOFA this year?
While there are many ways in which the NOFA is similar to last year’s, here are some differences:

  1. HUD has added a new policy priority: having a systemic response to homelessness. This includes using performance measures and creating a coordinated entry system.
  2. Tier 1 funding is equal to 93 percent of a CoC’s Annual Renewal Demand (ARD). This is greater amount available in Tier 1 than last year.
  3. There are a few differences in how HUD will score elements in the application. Reallocation and system performance will be worth more points this year. Specifically, CoCs are now required to report their system performance measures into HDX by August 1st and produce a report for HUD. This counts for 10 points in the CoC application.

When are applications due?
Continuums of Care will have until Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 to complete their applications.

What should you be focusing on now?

First, give the NOFA a thorough reading and gather key stakeholders in your community to discuss the application. Work with them to determine what you can do now to maximize your points and start gathering data and relevant information to have responsive answers in the application. Second, make sure to take into account any feedback from HUD from the last competition. Third, if your CoC hasn’t approved a review and ranking process and tool, schedule a meeting with the appropriate CoC members to finalize this.

What can you expect from the Alliance?
Use our new NOFA preparation checklist. Next week the Alliance VP Steve Berg will share his major takeaways from the NOFA. And stay tuned through June and July for more NOFA Blogs.

Finally, to all those hard working Continuum of Care staff, thank you for all you do to help end homelessness! Hang in there.