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Continuum of Care (CoC)

The CoC Program is designed to assist individuals (including unaccompanied youth) and families experiencing homelessness and to provide the services needed to help such individuals move into transitional and permanent housing, with the goal of long-term stability. More broadly, the CoC Program is designed to:

  • Promote community-wide planning and strategic use of resources to address homelessness;

  • Improve coordination and integration with mainstream resources and other programs targeted to people experiencing homelessness;

  • Improve data collection and performance measurement; and,

  • Allow each community to tailor its programs to the particular strengths and challenges in assisting homeless individuals and families within that community.

Eligible Applicants

Under the CoC Program Interim Rule, eligible applicants consist of nonprofit organizations, State and local governments, instrumentalities of local governments, and public housing agencies. An eligible applicant must be designated by the Continuum of Care to submit an application to HUD for grant funds. The Continuum's designation must state whether the Continuum is designating more than one applicant to apply for funds, and if it is, which applicant is being designated as the Collaborative Applicant. A Continuum of Care that is designating only one applicant for funds must designate that applicant to be the Collaborative Applicant. For-profit entities are not eligible to apply for grants or to be subrecipients of grant funds.

Program Components

The CoC Program interim rule provides that Continuum of Care Program funds may be used for projects under five program components:

  1. Permanent housing,

  2. Transitional housing,

  3. Supportive services only,

  4. HMIS and,

  5. Homelessness Prevention (in some cases).

Administrative costs are eligible under all components. Where possible, the components set forth in the Continuum of Care Program are consistent with the components allowable under the Emergency Solutions Grants program. The five program components that can be funded through the CoC Program are listed below.

Permanent Housing

Permanent housing (PH) is defined as community-based housing without a designated length of stay in which formerly homeless individuals and families live as independently as possible. Under PH, a program participant must be the tenant on a lease (or sublease) for an initial term of at least one year that is renewable and is terminable only for cause. Further, leases (or subleases) must be renewable for a minimum term of one month. The CoC Program funds two types of permanent housing: permanent supportive housing (PSH) for persons with disabilities and rapid re-housing. Permanent supportive housing is permanent housing with indefinite leasing or rental assistance paired with supportive services to assist homeless persons with a disability or families with an adult or child member with a disability achieve housing stability. Rapid re-housing (RRH) emphasizes housing search and relocation services and short- and medium-term rental assistance to move homeless persons and families (with or without a disability) as rapidly as possible into permanent housing.

Transitional Housing

Transitional housing (TH) is designed to provide homeless individuals and families with the interim stability and support to successfully move to and maintain permanent housing. Transitional housing may be used to cover the costs of up to 24 months of housing with accompanying supportive services. Program participants must have a lease (or sublease) or occupancy agreement in place when residing in transitional housing. The provisions of the CoC Programís TH program component have not changed significantly from the TH provisions under SHP.

Supportive Services Only

The supportive services only (SSO) program component allows recipients and subrecipients to provide services to homeless individuals and families not residing in housing operated by the recipient. SSO recipients and subrecipients may use the funds to conduct outreach to sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons and families, link clients with housing or other necessary services, and provide ongoing support. SSO projects may be offered in a structure or structures at one central site, or in multiple buildings at scattered sites where services are delivered. Projects may be operated independent of a building (e.g., street outreach) and in a variety of community-based settings, including in homeless programs operated by other agencies.

Homeless Management Information System

Funds under this component may be used only by Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) leads for leasing a structure in which the HMIS operates, for operating the structure in which the HMIS is housed, and/or for covering other costs related to establishing, operating, and customizing a CoCís HMIS. Other recipients and subrecipients may not apply for funds under the HMIS program component, but may include costs associated with contributing data to the CoCís HMIS within their project under another program component (PH, TH, SSO, or HP).

Homelessness Prevention

Recipients and subrecipients located in HUD-designated High Performing Communities (HPCs) may use CoC Program funds for homelessness prevention assistance for individuals and families at risk of homelessness. The services under this component may include housing relocation and stabilization services as well as short- and medium-term rental assistance to prevent an individual or family from becoming homeless. Through this component, recipients and subrecipients may help individuals and families at-risk of homelessness to maintain their existing housing or transition to new permanent housing. Homelessness prevention must be administered in accordance with 24 CFR part 576.

The City-Parish and the Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless (CAAH), a coalition of organizations that serve the homeless population in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas, are joined together to embrace the "Continuum of Care" concept as defined by HUD. The City-Parish and the CAAH has continuously submitted successful consolidated applications for Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance NOFAs. The competitive applications are developed cooperatively by the City-Parish and the CAAH, with the organization (CAAH) determining the priorities for types of programs being assisted. The City-Parish serves as the official grant applicant for all applications. The existing homeless assistance programs that comprise the Continuum of Care program are the following: the Supportive Housing program, the Shelter Plus Care program, and the Moderate Rehabilitation/Single Room Occupancy (SRO) program. Projects funded under Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Applications fall under the Stewart B. McKinney Supportive Housing Program.