As mentioned in the FY 2015 Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Competition Recap In Focus Message, many projects were not renewed and now face the extremely difficult task of finding alternative funding, downsizing, or closing. All of these providers will need to work to ensure that the people currently being served by those projects are not harmed. This listserv message provides information and links to existing resources that are available to help providers and CoCs with this process.
As is always the case, these resources will not be able to help every provider with every unique problem that presents itself during this process. If additional assistance is needed, please reach out to your local HUD field office or request technical assistance through the HUD Exchange.
Extending Grants with Remaining Funds
Recipients of grants that were not renewed in the FY 2015 Competition that have funds remaining on their existing contract have the option to extend their grant term for the purposes of using remaining funds to ramp down and close out the grant. If you are interested in exploring this option, please contact your local HUD field office and your Community Planning and Development (CPD) Representative will determine whether the request can be approved.
If your request is approved, it will be solely for the purpose of ramping down and closing out the grant. It will not be eligible to renew as part of the FY 2016 CoC Program Competition.
If your grant does not have funds remaining upon expiration of the grant term, then HUD cannot extend your grant. Additionally, HUD cannot reimburse recipients for any costs incurred after the grant expiration date.
Housing Options for Program Participants in Projects that are Downsizing or Closing
It is crucial that recipients and subrecipients try as hard as possible to ensure that program participants do not become homeless once the project shuts down. To assist with this, HUD is reminding you of the following information regarding eligibility requirements for other CoC or Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program-funded assistance when coming from the following types of CoC Program funded projects:
- Rapid Re-Housing Programs (RRH). As clarified in FAQ 529 and FAQ 530, program participants that are being served with RRH assistance maintain their homeless or chronically homeless status for purposes of eligibility for other permanent supportive housing projects, such as HUD-VASH and CoC-funded permanent supportive housing (PSH), so long as they meet any other additional eligibility criteria for these programs. This means, program participants that are being served in an RRH project that was not funded in the FY 2015 CoC Program Competition may transfer to a PSH project so long as they met the eligibility requirements for that project prior to entering the RRH project.
- Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH). There are a couple of options available to program participants residing in PSH projects that are winding down or closing.
- They may be transferred to another CoC Program-funded PSH so long as they met the eligibility requirements of the new PSH prior to entering the original PSH. This means, program participants who originally met the definition of chronically homeless prior to entering the PSH that is winding down may be served by a PSH project that is dedicated to serving individuals and families experiencing chronic homelessness and program participants who did not meet the definition of chronically homeless may be served by a PSH project that is not dedicated to serving individuals and families experiencing chronic homelessness.
Note: Program participants who met the definition of chronically homeless in place at the time they entered the original PSH may transfer according to this policy into a project dedicated to individuals and families experiencing chronic homelessness. This means they are not required to meet the definition of chronically homeless established in the Defining Chronically Homeless Final Rule, published December 4, 2015, unless they entered PSH after January 15, 2016.
- They may be assisted with ESG-funded Homelessness Prevention assistance (e.g., moving costs, rental assistance, housing stability case management, housing search and placement, etc.) so long as they meet the criteria under the “at risk of homelessness” definition or paragraph (2), (3), of (4) of the “homeless” definition and have an annual income below 30 percent of median family income for the area as determined by HUD.
- Transitional Housing (TH). Program participants who are residing in TH are considered homeless and are, therefore, eligible for a few other forms of assistance funded through the CoC and ESG Program.
- Other TH. If you are unable to find a permanent housing placement for program participants in TH, program participants residing in TH are eligible for other CoC Program-funded TH.
- RRH funded through the ESG Program. HUD has emphasized the use of RRH to help individuals and families move from the streets and emergency shelters into permanent housing; however, ESG-funded RRH may be used to help program participants in TH programs that are closing to prevent them from returning to the streets or emergency shelters so long as it is consistent with the recipients or subrecipients written standards for administering assistance. You should consult with your local ESG recipient(s) to determine if this option is available for program participants in your project.
- PSH. Some program participants residing in TH are eligible for PSH. Section V.F.2.d.(a) and (b) of the FY 2015 CoC Program NOFA established additional eligibility requirements for PSH funded through this competition. Past NOFAs contained similar eligibility criteria, but each PSH project would have to consult their grant agreement. In general, however, program participants with a qualifying disability who are residing in TH who resided on the streets or in emergency shelters prior to entering the TH or who were fleeing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking are eligible for non-dedicated PSH. Keep in mind, however, that many CoCs have adopted the order of priority established in Notice CPD-14-012: Prioritizing Persons Experiencing Chronic Homeless in Permanent Supportive Housing and Recordkeeping Requirements for Documenting Chronic Homeless Status. If your CoC has adopted these orders of priority, then persons residing in TH are fourth in the order of priority and may only be served in PSH to the extent that there are no households meeting the first three orders of priority. Please check with your CoC to determine whether these priorities have been adopted.
Additionally, many CoCs have access to resources that are not funded through HUD’s CoC or ESG Programs that are available to house program participants who are homeless or who are residing in a HUD-funded program dedicated to persons experiencing homelessness. For example, many Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) have preferences for individuals and families who are homeless. CoCs that have a PHA with a homeless preference within their geographic area should explore the possibility of transferring a program participant into the Section 8 or Housing Choice Voucher Program. Communities may also have access to other federal programs, such as the HOME program, which can provide tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA).
Guidance for Recipients with Properties that have a 15- or 20-Year Use Restriction Covenant that were not Funded
Some recipients are required to use the property within their project for the purpose for which they were funded for 15 or 20 years and this requirement applies even if ongoing funding for operating these projects is not awarded. For projects with this requirement that were not funded and who cannot continue operating for its intended purpose for the period remaining in its use restriction due to the lack of funding, HUD may approve a conversion of the property to another purpose that serves low-income or homeless people. HUD may also approve an exception that allows the sale of a property and in these cases, HUD does not require the recipient to repay the assistance so long as proceeds from the sale are used for homeless assistance.
In January, HUD published a guidance document on converting site-based projects that details some options available to recipients with properties under use restriction. If you are interested in carrying out one of the options in this guidance document, or if none of these options are viable options for your property, please contact your local HUD field office.