HUD Releases NOFO for Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants

On September 30, HUD announced the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants. Approximately $379 million in total will be made available to support with the implementation of neighborhood revitalization plans that are used to improve housing, economic/social factors for residents, and to create communities that attract investment for the benefit of residents.

Applications for this grant are due by Wednesday January 11, 2023. Each applicant may be eligible for up to $50 million to support implementation efforts. In addition, HUD will allocate $100 million of the total amount for Supplemental Grants to assist grantees from the fiscal years 2017 through 2020 that have already met certain requirements as per the guidelines of the grant.

For more information on this NOFO, please stay tuned for the next edition of The Monitor.

FSS Action Plan Deadline Is Approaching

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will be accepting FSS Action Plans up until the deadline on September 30, 2022.

New Action Plans must be submitted as required by the FSS final rule. The Plan should describe how a program will be administered, services that will be offered, and the size/characteristics of anticipated participants of the program.

New participants of an FSS program will not be able to be enrolled until the Action Plan is approved by HUD. The reviewal process takes up to 45 days and must be approved by HUD by November 14. Plans should be submitted via email to PHAFSSActionPlans@hud.gov with the subject line and attachment names titled by PHA’s name and number.

More information on the Plan and what to submit can be found in the August 31 edition of The Monitor here.

Continuum of Care Program Supplemental NOFO Released

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Supplemental Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to Address Unsheltered and Rural Homelessness this past August. This competitive funding opportunity would make up to $322 million available to address unsheltered and rural homelessness. Applications must be submitted in e-snaps no later than October 20, 2022, at 8:00 PM EDT.

CoC’s interested in applying must demonstrate a community-wide approach in reducing homelessness. Funding is available for four different categories which include:

  1. The Unsheltered Homelessness Set Aside
  2. The Rural Set Aside
  3. CoC Planning Unsheltered Homelessness Set Aside
  4. Unified Funding Agency (UFA) Costs Unsheltered Homelessness Set Aside

Applicants must already be an existing CoC and can apply to either funding opportunity or both depending on their needs and eligibility. The NOFO can be found here.

For more information about this NOFO please see our next edition of The Monitor on September 15.

HUD Releases FSS Sample Action Plan

On August 16, HUD released a sample version of the FSS Action Plan, which is a required document to be completed for each Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program (funded or not) to be approved by HUD. The FSS Program, which has recently seen changes due to the announcement of the final rule effective June 17, 2022, implements the requirement for all grantees to submit new Action Plans. The Plan should describe how a program will be administered, services that will be offered, and the size/characteristics of anticipated participants of the program.

In the sample, HUD includes instructions for grantees/programs in creating their Action Plan, an Action Plan template, and a checklist for specific items to be addressed in the Plan. The sample also includes resources that can help in the submission process, which must be completed by September 30, 2022. The reviewal process of an Action Plan takes up to 45 days. New participants of an FSS program will not be able to be enrolled until the Action Plan is approved by HUD.

The Sample Action Plan can be found here.

More information and details on how to create your Action Plan for the FSS Program will be in the August 31 addition of the NAHRO Monitor.

HUD Issues Notice on FSS Escrow

On July 27, the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued Notice PIH-2022-20, which clarifies portions of the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program final rule. The final rule was published in May of this year and went into effect on June 17, 2022. The sections that are clarified in the notice cover the establishment of an escrow account for FSS participating families, the use of forfeited FSS escrow funds, and reporting requirements of financial data as related to FSS escrows.

The notice provides the following information summarized below:

Establishing an FSS Escrow Account

  • PHAs or owners are required to deposit FSS escrow funds of all families participating in an FSS program into a single interest-bearing depository account.
  • The escrow account may be part of the PHA or owner’s overall account or a separate account.
  • Funds deposited into either account must only be used for the purposes of escrow.
  • The total of the account funds must be supported by accounting records that show the balance applicable to each FSS participating family.

Forfeited FSS Escrow Funds

  • The final rule requires that all forfeited escrow funds be used by a PHA/owner to benefit any FSS participants in good standing with the program regardless of the original funding source.
  • The funds may only be used for activities such as transportation, child care, training, fees associated with employment or professional development, training for FSS Coordinators, and any other activities as determined by HUD.

Reporting Financial Data

  • PHAs that administer the Section 8 and/or Section 9 programs must submit annual financial data to HUD.
  • Data must be submitted electronically and be prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
  • The FSS program provides an accounting brief that provides clarity for this process. The brief can be found here.

For more information, see the notice here.

NOFO Deadline for ROSS Program is Fastly Approaching While FSS NOFO is Set to Be Announced

The deadline for the Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency – Service Coordinator (ROSS-SC) Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is approaching as applications are set to close by July 18, 2022. The grant program will provide funds to hire a Service Coordinator with the goal of assisting residents of Public and Indian Housing through economic improvements and housing self-sufficiency. Funding flexibility will also be given for grantees to provide direct services to ROSS participants. Approximately 125 awards are set to be granted with available funds totaling to $35 million.

In addition, the Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program announced on July 12, 2022 that their NOFO is set to be released this summer. Potential applicants should make sure their SAM.gov registration and Unique Entity ID (UEI) is up to date in preparation for the upcoming grant application. Guidance on how to ensure up to date information for your future grants can be found here.

More information regarding the ROSS FY2022 NOFO will be found in our next addition of The Monitor.

U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Releases Guidance on Addressing Encampments

On June 15th, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) released guidance for addressing encampments that can be found here. Unsheltered homelessness and encampments have been considered by USICH to be a crisis in the United States. According to USICH, more individuals that experienced homelessness in 2020 were living on the streets than in shelters for the first time.

The guidance lists seven core principles in addressing encampments, which includes:

  1. Establishing a Cross-Agency, Multi-Sector Response
  2. Engage with Encampment Residents to Develop Solutions
  3. Conduct Comprehensive and Coordinated Outreach
  4. Address Basic Needs and Provide Storage
  5. Ensure Access to Shelter or Housing Options
  6. Develop Pathways to Permanent Housing and Supports
  7. Create a Plan for What Will Happen to Encampment Sites After Closure

This release follows the unanimous vote by USICH to approve the national goal to significantly reduce homelessness. The goal and strategies to achieve it will be published in the newest federal strategic plan to be released later this year.

More information regarding the guidance will be provided in the next edition of the Monitor published on June 30.

Applications for the Adult and Juvenile Crisis Stabilization and Community Reentry Programs Now Open

The Bureau of Justice Assistance is now accepting applications for funding meant to enhance and or implement services to individuals who were or are involved in the criminal justice system.

There are two deadlines for applications: July 28, 2022 at 8:59 p.m. ET through Grants.gov and August 2, 2022 at 8:59 p.m. ET through JustGrants. The applications are meant to be completed in two steps through both of these websites. Applicants must ensure that their System for Award Management (SAM) registration is current.

Applications are open to state, local, and tribal governments, as well as, nonprofit organizations with or without 501(c)(3) status. The funding would be meant to expand or enhance existing programs that are focused in the following:

  • clinical services
  • reducing recidivism
  • improving reentry
  • providing recovery treatment for those with mental health and or substance use issues
  • other related services to those involved in the criminal justice system

Additional information on eligibility can be found here.

The full notice for applying to this program can be found here.

HUD Proposes Final Rule to the FSS Program

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released its final rule, which will amend regulations to implement changes to the Family
Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. After consideration of public comments made about the new regulations in Section 306 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, HUD has decided to further revise and incorporate the changes proposed in the previous amendments.

The final rule, which is targeted to improve the program for PHAs, multifamily property owners, and eligible families, will include several revisions. Some revisions include: allowing HCV and Section 8 families to be eligible for the FSS program; revising definitions; further revising the Contact of Participation (CoP); revising the lists of activities for which forfeited escrow funds may be used; and making changes to portability provisions.

The rule is set to go into effect 30 days after publication. Compliance of the proposed rule is required no later than 180 days after date of publication.

Further information on the FSS program can be found here.

The proposed rule from September 2020 can be found here.

HUD Issues Notice on Submitting Consolidated and Annual Action Plans for FY 2022

In March, HUD submitted a notice to instruct all grantees of programs under the Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) on the timing of their plan submissions. Programs within this notice include: the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), Housing Trust Fund (HTF), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) and Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA).

The notice provides the following information:

  • Grantees and HOME participating jurisdictions (PJs) should not submit their Plans until the actual grant amounts have been determined and announced by HUD.
  • Instructions to grantees/PJs on waiver applications and CPD’s flexibility pertaining to consolidated planning citizen participation requirements for submissions.
  • Instructions to grantees/PJs regarding costs incurred prior to the execution of a grant agreement.
  • Waiver information for Entitlement CDBG grantees and HOME PJs that are meant to assist in the implementation of pre-award costs instructions.

HUD notes that the provisions within the notice apply equally to grantees’ 3-to 5-year Consolidated Plans as well as to annual Action Plans. This can apply as a stand-alone document or part of the overall Plan submission.

For questions concerning this notice, individuals should contact their local HUD Field Office Community Planning and Development Division.