HUD is committed to ending homelessness and believes good, reliable information is essential to that effort. We have made a long-term investment in Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS) to provide this information. HMIS has become integral to day-to-day delivery of resources to individuals and families experiencing homelessness, monitoring the use of federal funding, informing funding decisions, and allowing communities to develop data-driven strategies to positively impact their efforts to end homelessness.
Some Continuums of Care (CoCs) have an HMIS infrastructure that is nimble and has the capacity to adapt to ever-changing information needs. Others struggle and would benefit from funding dedicated to improving HMIS. That’s why we are excited about HUD’s recent publication of the HMIS Capacity Building Project Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA).
This NOFA provides $5 million in one-time funding to help communities improve their CoC’s HMIS. Improvements can mean different things for different communities. It may mean consolidating HMIS implementations to gain economies of scale and expertise. It may mean modifying software to better support communities to meet HUD HMIS regulatory requirements. Or it may mean a concerted effort to increase the HMIS knowledge base among the HMIS system administration staff and CoC leadership.
The following activities are eligible under this NOFA:
- Consolidate HMIS software or databases with another CoC’s HMIS
- Upgrade, customize, or configure the functionality of an existing HMIS
- Improve HMIS data quality
- Increase staff skills through trainings related to HMIS governance, data quality improvements, and data analysis
How to Apply
Applicants must be existing CoC program recipients that are Unified Funding Agencies (UFAs), collaborative applicants, or HMIS Leads. The CoC will either:
- Apply to improve their existing HMIS; or
- Apply on behalf of two or more CoCs with the intent to execute an HMIS Consolidation to improve the performance of lower-performing HMISs.
Apply on Grants.gov for the HMIS Capacity Building Project NOFA.
CoCs can look at their most recent HUD Data Exchange (HDX) submissions (i.e. bed coverage, Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR), and data quality) to help assess need. For HMIS Consolidations, CoCs can look at the Appendix of the NOFA to identify high-need HMISs that, when consolidated with high performing HMISs, may be competitive for the improvement and consolidation funds provided in the NOFA.
HUD is using a two-phase process to select applicants and distribute funding.
- Phase 1: CoCs will apply to fund HMIS improvements or an HMIS consolidation. HUD will evaluate each proposed activity to ensure eligibility and evaluate the CoC’s responses to several rating factors.
- Phase 2: Based on Phase 1 results, applicants will be conditionally selected and asked to submit a budget and project proposal for review and approval. To help assure the budgets and project proposals are cost-effective, feasible, necessary, and maximize the positive impact of this funding, HUD will offer a selection of TA providers to the CoCs that are conditionally selected. The TA providers will assist with developing the budget and project proposal. HUD will distribute available funds based on the cost effectiveness, feasibility, necessity, and estimated impact of each submitted budget and proposal.
We sincerely hope that if your community needs to improve its HMIS capacity and feels these funds would benefit that effort, your CoC will apply. Applications are due January 31, 2019.
Director, Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development