What can CoCs do right now to prepare for the Continuum of Care Program NOFA?

Last week, we blogged about what the 2017 CoC Program NOFA Registration Notice tells us about the upcoming competition. As communities anxiously await the release of the NOFA, there are a number of steps CoCs can take now to get ready. These steps, which are outlined in the Alliance’s CoC Awards Preparation Checklist, include:

  • Review 2016 Consolidated Application. Carefully review last year’s application, with an eye toward where you scored low and a plan for addressing these areas.
  • Develop a Governance Plan. Meet with your Governance Committee to create resource reallocation strategy, establish a Ranking and Review Committee, and prepare a request for proposals incorporating CoC priorities.
  • Review Funded Projects. Review projects to determine which are not spending their funding or meeting performance benchmarks and examine costs per permanent housing exit.
  • Review Fidelity to Housing First. Examine project policies and procedures to ensure they align with Housing First. Determine what program changes can be made to better align with Housing First.
  • Review Ranking Process and Forms. Review last year’s process to understand if the forms align with the HUD policy priorities, focusing on performance for each project, and prioritizing projects that are efficient with funds. Ensure your scoring system reflect all of these decisions. HUD will also be releasing a Project Rating and Ranking Tool which can be used by CoCs to evaluate projects and set ranking priorities within the CoC.
  • Create Resource Allocation Strategy. Review your current projects to determine if there are any that are underutilized or underperforming or if there are funds from projects that can be recaptured to create new projects.
  • Review PIT/HIC and Performance Data. Review data to determine accuracy and if the projects you apply for reflect the information in your data. Ask how you can use data improve both system and project performance?
  • Read NOFA Notice. Review the Notice and each SNAPS CoC Competition Focus notice, which can provide information about what is expected for local communities.

Most importantly, CoCs should be continually thinking about how their system is working towards meeting HUD’s policy priorities, as outlined in the Registration Notice. These priorities, which are meant to push communities toward the system-wide goal of ending homelessness, include:

  1. Creating a systemic response to homelessness by developing systemic supports that assure homeless assistance is well coordinated, well-managed, inclusive, transparent, and achieves positive outcomes.
  2. Strategic resource allocation based on performance evaluation and data of all resources.
  3. Using a Housing First approach to move individuals and families quickly into permanent housing.

Stay tuned for the next blog where we will talk about how to make sure your CoC application is housing-first focused.