On January 23, 2017, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a Notice Establishing Additional Requirements for a Continuum of Care (CoC) Centralized or Coordinated Assessment System (the Notice) regarding the development and implementation of Coordinated Entry. HUD has also published a Checklist of Essential Elements (the Checklist) to provide communities with a comprehensive list of coordinated entry requirements outlined in the Notice as well as additional recommended and optional policy considerations.
The Notice establishes new requirements that CoCs and recipients of CoC Program and Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program funding must meet related to the development and use of a centralized or coordinated assessment system. It also provides guidance on additional policies that communities should consider incorporating into written policies and procedures to achieve improved outcomes for people experiencing homelessness. Each CoC is expected to establish or update its coordinated entry process in accordance with the interim rule and this Notice by July 4, 2017.
Critical components of the Notice include:
- Core components remain unchanged – The Notice adds additional requirements but does not change the core components of the coordinated entry requirements from the CoC Program interim rule. Coordinated entry processes must still cover the entire CoC, be easily accessible, well-advertised, and include standardized tools and processes. They must still cover access, assessment, and referral.
- Definitions and additional requirements – The Notice clarifies the definitions of a variety of terms, including assessment, scoring, prioritization, and determining eligibility, and adds additional requirements for the development and implementation of coordinated entry processes. The additional requirements are each written with specific elements that must be included by the CoC into coordinated entry policies and procedures. They cover every aspect of coordinated entry, from prevention, outreach, and emergency services, to prioritization, participant autonomy, staff training, data security, and ongoing planning.
- Additional Policy Considerations – The Notice includes several additional policy considerations that communities are encouraged but not required to consider. Topics include, implementing a person-centered approach, the importance of cultural and linguistic competencies, progressive and phased approaches to assessment tools and process, the incorporation of mainstream partners, data and using HMIS, and the role of waiting lists.
The Checklist identifies aspects of coordinated entry that are required, recommended as good practice but not required, and those that may be appropriate for some CoCs but are not universally applicable. It is designed to help your community:
- Identify key aspects of design, implementation, and management
- Compare the list against existing plans or practices
- Develop a set of policies and procedures to support processes and functions
HUD will be publishing additional guidance in the coming months to complement the Checklist. All Coordinated Entry Resources can be accessed from the Coordinated Entry Landing Page. If you have a question, please submit it to the HUD Exchange Ask A Question (AAQ) portal.