To help individuals and families experiencing homelessness move into permanent housing, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced $2.8 billion in Continuum of Care (CoC) Competition Awards for thousands of local homeless service and housing programs across the United States. The awards, previewed by HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge at the National League of Cities, reflects the Biden-Harris Administration’s continued commitment to addressing the nation’s homelessness crisis using equity and evidence-based solutions, as reflected in All In: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. The plan sets a goal of reducing homelessness by 25 percent by 2025 and ultimately ending it.
“Helping people move into stable housing from temporary shelters and encampments on the streets is essential to ending homelessness,” said HUD Secretary Fudge. “Working with our local partners, these Continuum of Care program grants, deliver communities the resources they need. Together we can work toward a world where homelessness is a brief and rare occurrence, and every person has access to a safe, affordable and stable home so that they and their families can thrive.”
In August 2022, HUD issued the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the fiscal year 2022 CoC competition awards. Included in the $2.8 billion of total awards, approximately $80 million was made available for non-competitive Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) renewal and replacement grants. The 2022 awards also include over $52 million for new projects that will support housing and service needs for survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
Specifically, HUD sought projects that:
End homelessness for all persons experiencing homelessness;
Place emphasis on racial equity and anti-discrimination policies for LGTBQ+ individuals;
Use a Housing First approach;
Reduce unsheltered homelessness and reduce the criminalization of homelessness;
Improve system performance;
Partner with housing agencies to leverage access to mainstream housing programs;
Partner with health agencies to coordinate health and supportive services, including to prevent and respond to future infectious disease outbreaks;
Advance racial equity and addressing racial disparities in homelessness;
Engage people with lived experience of homelessness in decision-making; and
Support local engagement to increase the supply of affordable housing.
California is slated to receive $525,839,973 for 773 projects across the state through the HUD awards.
The CoC program is designed to promote a community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness. The program is the largest source of federal grant funding for homeless services and housing programs servicing people experiencing homelessness.
The recent annual funding builds on a $315 million first-of-its-kind package of resources that HUD awarded in January 2023 to help communities provide housing and supportive services to people in unsheltered settings and people experiencing homelessness in rural areas. As a part of the January funding, communities were asked to develop a comprehensive approach to addressing unsheltered and rural homelessness that involves coordination with health care providers, other housing agencies such as public housing authorities, and people with lived experience of homelessness.