Category Archives: Continuum of Care

FY2014 COC Competition

As posted earlier, the FY2014 CoC NOFA is out.  I’ve put together a quick summary of this year’s competition. I expect that both local CoCs will have further guidance out soon.

Due Dates

The CoC application must be submitted to HUD on or before October 30, 2014.  CoCs must notify project applicants by October 20, 2014 if they will be included in the application to HUD, so local funding competitions must close by that date. The deadlines dictate a rapid local competition–project applicants will need to submit proposals quickly.  It is critical that any provider considering a new project begin planning immediately.

Availability of Bonus Permanent Supportive Housing Project 

HUD will award approximately $40 million for new permanent supportive housing projects which will exclusively serve chronically homeless individuals or families. Based on the NOFA the Hampden County CoC is eligible for a bonus of at least $375,675, and possibly more, (There’s some confusing language in the NOFA; I’ve already requested clarification from HUD.) I don’t know the potential bonus for the Three-County CoC.

The following requirements apply to bonus projects:

  • Must provide scattered site leasing or tenant-based rental assistance, or, if there is existing site control and the ability for occupancy within six months of award, operating costs or project-based rental assistance.
  • Must request no less than 70% of total program funding for leasing, rental assistance or operating costs, and no more than 30% of the program funds for supportive services.
  • Must demonstrate plan for rapid implementation, including ability to have first program participant housed within 6 months of grant award.
  • Must agree to participate in the CoC’s coordinated assessment system, which must be implemented prior to execution of program grant award.

Scoring for bonus projects will be based on CoC need (based on a HUD-calculated need score and worth up to 60 points) and project quality (worth up to 40 points).  The Hampden County CoC’s HUD-calculated need score is 60; the Three County CoC’s HUD-calculated need score is 15.  Project quality scores are based on 5 factors: 1) Prioritizing Highest Need; 2) Using a Housing First model; 3) Demonstrated leveraging of mainstream services, especially Medicaid; 4) Leveraging of other resources (full points awarded for leveraging at least 200% of HUD award in cash and in-kind commitments); and 5) CoC Score from FY13-14 CoC application (which have been calculated but are not yet released).

Renewal and Reallocated Projects

HUD has calculated that it has sufficient resources to fully fund all renewal projects.  However, HUD will continue its tiered process for selecting projects.  Tier 1 will be the full renewal amount, minus 2%.  Tier 2 will be the rest of the full renewal amount.  The tiering process will mean that CoCs will again rank all renewal and reallocated projects, and will need to determine a process for  Tier 1 to come in with a reduction of 2% (for the Hampden County CoC this is a reduction of $50,090.)

With the exception of the Permanent Supportive Housing Bonus, the only projects that may seek funding are renewals, new reallocated projects, and CoC planning costs. (Neither Western Mass CoC is eligible for UFA costs, the other allowable category.) New reallocated projects are made available from renewal projects that are reduced or eliminated, and the only projects eligible as reallocated projects are new permanent supportive housing projects where all units will be dedicated for use by chronically homeless and new rapid rehousing projects homeless families coming from the streets or shelter.

REMINDER: Hampden County CoC Annual Meeting Friday 9/19

The Hampden County Continuum of Care is holding its Annual Meeting this FRiday, September 19, 2014, at Holyoke Community College’s Kittredge Center, at 10 am.  Existing and NEW CoC members are invited and urged to attend–please join us if you have an interest in ending homelessness in Hampden County.

The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

Annual Meeting for the Entire CoC 10-11:30 am

  • Annual Report
  • Report on the High End Utilizers grant
  • Vote on CoC participation in the Zero 2016 campaign
  • Governance Charter review and vote on proposed updates
  • Election of 2014-2015 Board of Directors and Officers

Please note that the CoC Board of Directors will have a business meeting immediately preceeding the Annual Meeting.  Members of the Board of Directors will receive a separate email about this meeting.

Zero: 2016 – What does zero look like?

The Hampden County CoC will be deciding on September 19 if we will be part of the Zero: 2016 campaign.

The Zero: 2016 campaign is the national initiative to meet key milestones in ending homelessness:

  • Zero veteran homelessness by the end of 2015, and
  • Zero chronic homelessness by the end of 2016.

We all know that homelessness is not static, and that there are new people experiencing housing crisis and becoming homeless all the time.  So what does zero homelessness mean?

The folks at Community Solutions (creators of the Zero: 2016 campaign have provided the answer. New guidelines released today help communities understand what it means to get to zero.  Read the guidelines for more, but here’s the quick answer: the community is housing as many or more of the target population each month–on an ongoing basis–as the number of that population is counted on the night of the point-in-time count. So, if our community is housing 22 veterans a month and we count 17 on the night of the point-in-time count, we’ve reached zero.  For people in the target population who become homeless, this would mean that, in general, they would be housed within the first month of becoming homeless.

Tomorrow (9/10) at 3:30 pm, Community Solutions will host a final Q & A about the campaign and the metrics for reaching zero.  Anyone interested can register for the webinar here.



ANNOUNCEMENT: Hampden County CoC Annual Meeting September 19, 2014

The Hampden County Continuum of Care is holding its Annual Meeting on September 19, 2014, at the Holyoke Community College Kittredge Center.  The meeting is open to the public, and anyone who wishes to join the CoC is urged to attend.

The agenda is still in draft form, but here’s an early look at the plan for the meeting:

Business Meeting for the CoC Board of Directors 9-10:00 am

  • Vote on requirement for PSH providers to use VI-SPDAT
  • Vote on CoC policies and procedures
  • Vote on process for selection of projects for FY14 CoC application

Annual Meeting for the Entire CoC  10-11:30 am

  • Annual Report
  • Governance Charter review and vote on proposed updates
  • Election of 2014-2015 Board of Directors and Officers
  • Vote on participation in the Zero 2016 campaign

The CoC seeks stakeholders from throughout Hampden County to serve on the 2014-2015 Board of Directors. If you are interested, please contact Gerry McCafferty.