Here at SNAPS, we are busy preparing to
release the FY 2015 Continuum of Care (CoC) program Notice of Funding
Availability (NOFA) in the next several weeks. In the meantime, I wanted
to provide some feedback about last year’s competition and give you a sense
of our priorities moving forward.
FY 2014 Funding
In one sense, the FY 2014 funding
process was much easier because there was no CoC Application; instead, we
used the CoC’s score from the FY 2013 CoC Application. We saw an
improvement in project applications, and we think that is due in part to
the fact that project applicants and CoCs took more care to ensure that
project applications were more complete and accurate. This resulted in
fewer projects falling below threshold requirements.
Fewer CoCs reallocated funds to new
projects in 2014 than in 2013. Some CoCs may have chosen not to
reallocate because there was less time to plan before the 2014 process or
because they could apply for bonus projects. We received over 200
applications for permanent supportive housing bonus projects and were
only able to fund only 25. Needless to say, there were several excellent
projects that we could not fund because of a lack of resources.
As we move forward into the FY 2015 CoC
Program Competition we hope to see the same attention to the quality of
the project applications even as CoCs have to complete the CoC
Application once again.
FY 2015 and
The quick turnaround between 2013 and
2014 and using the 2013 CoC Application score for both years allowed us
to return to a more reasonable competition timeline. This year, our goal
is to release the NOFA in July, and in future years, we’d like to release
the NOFAs in late spring. Here is what you can expect from the next NOFA.
More Competitive Process.
We believe that we have enough funding for FY 2015 to award all
renewal projects, however, we are still implementing a tiered
funding process. Tier 1 will be a smaller percentage than in years
past, and the process for selecting projects from Tier 2 will be
much more competitive. Whether a project is funded will depend much
more on the performance of the CoC and the qualities of the project.
CoCs should be evaluating their performance and identifying lower
priority projects that can be reallocated as well as planning new
permanent housing projects that can be created through reallocation
for CoCs Implementing Strategies Consistent with Opening Doors. In FY 2015, HUD will be more aggressively
promoting the strategies outlined in Opening
Doors. This includes demonstrating progress towards
strategic resource allocation, ending chronic homelessness, ending
family homelessness, ending veteran homelessness, ending youth
homelessness, and implementing housing first approaches. As we get
closer to the target dates for the goals of ending family and youth
homelessness, you can expect to see an increased emphasis during the
competition on meeting these goals.
Reallocation Opportunities.In the past
few competitions the only new projects CoCs could apply for were
permanent housing projects. This year, we are expanding reallocation
to allow CoCs to fund projects that enhance data collection and
analysis along with coordinated entry. This means, in the FY 2015
Competition, CoCs will be able to reallocate to the following types
Permanent Supportive Housing for chronically homeless households, including
individuals, families, and unaccompanied youth
Rapid Re-housing for individuals and families, including
unaccompanied youth, who are residing on the streets or in
emergency shelters or who are fleeing domestic violence
Supportive Service Only for Coordinated Entry
It is our hope that with additional
time to plan and increased opportunities, that more CoCs will take
advantage of reallocation to reprogram funds to better meet local needs.
Housing Bonus Projects.
There will be an opportunity to apply for permanent housing bonus
projects – either rapid re-housing or permanent supportive housing.
We suggest that you read the NOFA carefully as some of the
requirements for the permanent housing bonus will likely be
different than in prior years.
As we do each year, we will post a NOFA
broadcast to walk through the highlights and will cover what you need to
know to compete for funds. Please view the broadcast and carefully review
the NOFA and detailed instructions that accompany the application to
ensure that you are as competitive as possible.
In the meantime, we have published a
variety of resources on the HUD Exchange and I recommend that you take
some time to read them as they will provide you with a sense of program
requirements, HUD policies related to ending homelessness, technical
assistance materials, and promising practices.
Thank you for your commitment to ending
Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs