HUD Guidance on Sub-awarding Homeless Assistance Funds to PHAs and Local Redevelopment Authorities

Today, the HUD Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) published a new notice (CPD-17-01) that provides guidance on how Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program funds can be sub-awarded to Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) and Local Redevelopment Authorities (LRAs). On July 29, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) which included language, first proposed by NAHRO, that amended the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S. 11373(C)) to permit local governments receiving ESG funding to sub-award their ESG funds to PHAs and LRAs for eligible ESG activities. This change saves grantees from having to go through a costly and time-consuming procurement process if they wish to devolve their funds to any PHA or LRA. This change became effective upon enactment of HOTMA last year and required no regulatory rulemaking. This new notice provides additional guidance on the allowable sub-awards to PHAs and LRAs and the key requirements (e.g. consistency with the Consolidated Plan) that apply to sub-awarded funds

The FY 2017 Continuum of Care Program Competition is Now Open

On July 14, HUD announced the publication of the FY 2017 Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Competition Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), making available approximately $2 billion in FY 2017 for the CoC Program. The CoC Program is a HUD administered program designed to promote a community-wide commitment to the goals of ending homelessness and provides funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, States, and local governments to quickly re-house individuals and families experiencing homelessness. As of July 18, the FY 2017 CoC Consolidated Application and project applications are available in e-snaps.

The submission deadline is Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 8:00 PM EDT.

Listed below are a number of highlights and special considerations for the FY 2017 competition. More information can be found on HUD’s FY 2017 CoC Program Competition: Funding Availability Page.  Continue reading

HUD Publishes Coordinated Entry Requirements for Homeless Assistance Programs

Yesterday, HUD published long-awaited guidance (Notice CPD-17-01) establishing the additional requirements for the development and implementation of a “centralized or coordinated assessment system” (i.e., “coordinated entry” or “coordinated entry process”) for recipients and subrecipients of the Continuum of Care (CoC) and Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) programs.

The coordinated entry processes are intended to help communities prioritize people who are most in need of homeless assistance and help grantees and stakeholders strategically allocate their resources by providing information about local service needs and gaps. Each CoC must establish or update its coordinated entry process in accordance with the 2012 CoC interim final rule and this notice by January 23, 2018.

Once the coordinated entry process is established, updated and/or operationalized by CoC program recipients and subrecipients, HUD will expect the coordinated entry process to be used for all ESG programs and projects within the CoC’s geographic area. However, HUD does not require victim service providers under ESG to use the CoC’s coordinated entry process.

Additional analysis of this HUD guidance will be provided to members in a forthcoming edition of the NAHRO Monitor.

HUD Finalizes Rule to Expand Housing Protections for Survivors of Violence

On October 24, HUD announced the impending publication of a final rule that will expand the housing protections for victims of  domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking (hereinafter known as “victim”) regardless of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age. The final rule will fully codify the provisions of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013) into HUD’s regulations.

At its core, VAWA 2013 prohibits housing providers from denying or terminating housing assistance on the basis that an applicant or tenant is a victim. HUD’s final rule expands the universe of HUD rental assistance programs subject to the VAWA 2013 statute beyond Public Housing and Section 8 programs to also include:

  • Housing Trust Fund (HTF) – a program originally not listed under VAWA 2013;
  • HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program;
  • Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) program;
  • HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless programs;
  • Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities;
  • Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly;
  • Section 221(d)(3) Below Market Interest Rate (BMIR) Program
  • Section 236 Rental Program

These programs, along with properties assisted through the USDA Rural Housing programs and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, are collectively referred to as “covered housing programs.”

Overall, HUD’s final rule:

  • Codifies the core protections under VAWA 2013 across HUD’s covered programs by ensuring survivors are not denied assistance as an applicant, or evicted or have assistance terminated due to the individual’s victim status, or for being affiliated with a victim.
  • Provides a model emergency transfer plan for housing providers and explains how housing providers must address their tenants’ requests for emergency transfers.
  • Offers protections against the adverse effects of abuse that can often have negative economic and criminal consequences on a survivor. For example, a perpetrator may take out credit cards in a survivor’s name, ruining their credit history. Covered housing providers may  not deny tenancy or occupancy rights based solely on adverse factors that are a direct result of being a survivor.
  • Makes clear that under most circumstances, a survivor need only to self-certify in order to exercise their rights under VAWA, there by “ensuring third party documentation does not cause a barrier in a survivor expressing their rights and receiving the protections needed to keep themselves safe.”

HUD’s final rule is currently pending publication in the Federal Register. Once published, the rule’s regulations will become effective after 30 days.

An in-depth analysis of the final rule can be found in the October 30, 2016 edition of the NAHRO Monitor (members only).