The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced more than $2.6 billion in FY 2021 Continuum of Care (CoC) Competition Awards for nearly 7,000 local homeless housing and service programs across the nation. The awards will provide funding to communities to help individuals and families experiencing homelessness move into permanent housing with access to supportive services, with the end-goal of long-term stability.
“Access to stable housing is a basic necessity–the safety of a home is essential, especially as we continue to fight the COVID-19 virus,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “These Continuum of Care program grants, coupled with the historic resources in the American Rescue Plan, will deliver communities the resources needed to ensure that every person in a respective community has the equitable opportunity to a safe and stable home.”
The CoC program is the largest source of federal grant funding for homeless services and housing programs servicing people experiencing homelessness. The 2021 awards include approximately $102 million for new domestic violence support projects. The awards also fund new projects that focus on adding permanent housing to communities including new permanent supportive housing, new rapid rehousing, and projects that provide transitional housing to households and then shift them to rapid rehousing.
On August 18, 2021, HUD issued the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the FY 2021 CoC competition awards. The NOFO was the first CoC Program NOFO of the Biden-Harris Administration and reflects the Administration’s commitment to equity and evidence-based solutions to address homelessness. Additionally, for the first time, the NOFO invited Indian Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing entities (TDHE) to apply for grants through the CoC program. Specifically, HUD sought projects that:
- End homelessness for all persons experiencing homelessness;
- Use a housing first approach;
- Reduce unsheltered homelessness and reduce the criminalization of homelessness;
- Improve system performance;
- Partner with housing and health agencies, including to leverage and coordinate American Rescue Plan resources;
- Advance racial equity and addressing racial disparities in homelessness; and
- Engage people with lived experience of homelessness in the decision-making process.