From Dave Christopolis, Three County CoC Coordinator:
Hello CoC providers and homeless advocates,
HUD has released its 2013 Notice of Funding Announcement which sets forth the process required to submit grant proposals to fund eligible activities/programs under the Continuum of Care competition. The CoC through Hilltown CDC the Collaborative Applicant must submit a request for funding by February 3, 2014. There is a potential 5% cut to our Annual Renewal Demand depending on how we score in our application and how much funding HUD has available to allocate. As a result, HUD requires us to evaluate and rank our programs with the lowest ranking programs being the most at risk to lose funding should there not be enough funds to fully fund all renewals requests.
There are significant changes in this year’s CoC NOFA. There will be more information to follow for existing providers and providers interested in applying for funds.
It is not clear whether we will be able to fund any new projects this year through what has been typically known as the “bonus round.” The NOFA states that there are no bonus projects this year and that the only funding that will be available for new projects in a CoC is if the CoC decides not to renew an existing project and reallocate existing funds or reallocate apportion of an existing program.
The only two eligible activities allowed under a reallocation of existing funds are:Permanent Supportive Housing for chronically homeless families and Rapid Rehousing for families with children.
The Three County CoC will seek to renew $1.6 million in funds for 20 current grant agreements across our CoC. We are at risk of losing 5% of our grant (about $80,000) if we fail to meet minimum scoring criteria. Loss of this amount of funds could result in our CoC losing one or more programs because a number of programs have annual CoC-funded budgets less than this amount.
NEW: For the first time CoCs will submit a regular application for FY13 funds, and the scoring of that application will be used to determine the allocation of FY14 funds. A shortened FY14 competition will begin soon after Congress approves a budget. The score we obtain on our application will impact us for two funding rounds.
***Important – Housing First and Chronic Homeless Emphasis – Important***
NEW: HUD is strongly emphasizing the federal plan to end homelessness, and particularly the goals and strategies to end chronic homelessness by 2015. Scoring this year includes strong encouragement for the CoC and its providers to:
- Use all available PSH units (new units or turnover) for chronically homeless persons, even if the units are not dedicated for that population;
- Operate at least 75% of all CoC programs as Housing First projects, which do not require sobriety or mental health treatment as a condition of acceptance; and
- Demonstrate use of strategies that target assistance to the hardest to serve.
How do we do this? We look at our current menu of programs and services and see where we can consolidate programs and most importantly where we can convert TH programs into PSH programs. It is very clear in the NOFA that HUD sees TH programs as costly and less of apriority for funding.
We will also be scored on our system’s performance in other areas.
- · Overall decreases in homeless with an emphasis on chronic homeless
- · housing stability demonstrated by the number of participants currently in permanent housing or who have exited from our programs to permanent housing in the last year, divided by all program participants
- · The rate at which CoC participants increase income between program entry and program exit.
- · Providing our clients access to mainstream benefits (health insurance, food stamps, section 8 etc.)
- · Using rapid rehousing and prevention to assist homeless families
- · A focus on veterans
- · A focus on youth
I will provide more guidance as I receive it from HUD. Stay tuned for instructions on how you can help us prepare and conduct our annual Point-In-Time count on January 29, 2014.