Archive for November 15th, 2011

15th November
written by Catherine An

This morning, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released new interim regulations for the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program. Additional fiscal year 2011 ESG allocations (in the amount of $90 million) and the final regulation on the definitions of homelessness were also published.

The new ESG regulations reflect priorities reflected in the HEARTH Act, a bill passed in 2009 intended to modernize and streamline HUD’s McKinney-Vento programs.

The ESG program expands upon the Emergency Shelter Grant, adding homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing as eligible activities under the new Emergency Solutions Grant. The name change, as the HUD points out, is reflective of the new priorities of the program. In addition to  providing street outreach and shelter services, communities can use ESG to fund rapid re-housing and expand homelessness prevention activities. HUD explicitly states their new priorities in developing ESG regulations:

-       Broaden existing emergency shelter and homelessness prevention activities;
-       Emphasize rapid re-housing;
-       Help people quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis and/or homelessness.

Other priorities identified by HUD for the new ESG regulations include enhancing alignment of ESG regulations with and implementing lessons learned from HPRP. HUD is also emphasizing the importance of centralized and coordinated assessment.

In a webinar HUD hosted about the new regulations (a repeat webinar about the regulations is slated for Thursday, Nov. 17), the agency outlined the components of the ESG program:

-       Street outreach
-       Emergency shelter
-       Homelessness prevention
-       Rapid Re-housing
-       Homelessness Management Information System
-       Administration

Moving forward, recipients of ESG resources are encouraged to review regulations and coordinate and consult with their CoC to ensure that the new program requirements are met.

The Alliance will host a webinar on Tuesday, November 29 at 1 pm ET to review the regulations. During this webinar, presenters will summarize the interim regulation and its impacts, as well as lessons learned from the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) that can be applied to the new ESG program.

The Alliance will continue to publish explanation and analysis of the new regulations in the following weeks. Please visit the Alliance website regularly for updates and/or sign up for the Alliance newsletter.

Also new: Late last night, the final fiscal year (FY) 2012 funding bill for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was made public. The bill, H.R. 2112, represents a compromise between the House and Senate versions. H.R. 2112 would also fund the Departments of Transportation, Agriculture, Commerce, and Justice, and related agencies. The legislation would cut about $3.8 billion overall from HUD programs, though it does maintain level funding for HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants. We’ll talk about this more on Thursday when Alliance VP [and blog favorite] Steve Berg will have an analysis of the overall bill and its potential impact on homeless assistance programs and people experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness.

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