HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) issued Notice CPD-21-08 reestablishing waivers of Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) requirements implementing the $3.96 billion supplemental ESG funds (ESG-CV) provided by the CARES Act. The notice also announces new requirements. Notice CPD-21-08 supersedes Notice CPD-20-08 (see Memo, 9/8/20). The CPD Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) will conduct a webinar about the updated ESG-CV notice on Thursday, July 29, 2021 from 1-2:30 pm ET. Registration is not required, but SNAPS recommends joining the webinar 15 minutes before the start time. Join the webinar at: https://adobe.ly/3zn0dT0
The notice reminds readers that to receive ESG-CV funds, jurisdictions had to submit a Substantial Amendment to their Annual Action Plans. The CARES Act has an August 16, 2021 deadline for submitting Substantial Amendments. Unlike conventional Substantial Amendments, the 30-day consultation and public participation requirements are waived. However, a jurisdiction must publish a description of activities to be funded with ESG-CV and whether planned activities have occurred.
Highlighted changes in Notice CPD-21-08 include:
- Emergency Shelter Activities. Removes the prior January 31, 2022 deadline for using ESG-CV for the costs of providing emergency shelter.
- Temporary Emergency Shelter Activities. Removes the prior January 31, 2022 deadline for using ESG-CV for the costs of providing temporary emergency shelter. Also, jurisdictions (“recipients”) may convert temporary emergency shelter acquired or improved with ESG-CV into emergency shelter without triggering disposition requirements.
- New Eligible Activities. New eligible activities include:
- Loaning cell phones with wireless plans to assisted people (“program participants”) so that they can obtain and maintain housing
- Providing personal protective equipment to assisted people
- Providing laundry services to people living in unsheltered locations
- Making vaccine incentive payments to people experiencing homelessness
- Providing furniture and household furnishings to assisted people while they are receiving rapid re-housing or homelessness prevention assistance
- Providing essential services to people receiving rapid re-housing and homelessness prevention assistance as well as those living in hotels and motels paid for with ESG-CV
- Paying for renters’ insurance for people receiving rapid re-housing or homelessness prevention assistance
- Assuring that the coordinated entry system can quickly prioritize and connect people to appropriate housing and services to prevent and respond to coronavirus
- Providing sponsor-based rental assistance for people receiving rapid re-housing or homelessness prevention assistance
- Aligning Eligibility and Re-evaluation Income Limits. The income limit to be eligible for homelessness prevention and to continue to receive homelessness prevention or rapid re-housing assistance is raised from 30% of median family income to “very low-income” (in general, 50% of median family income).
- New Rental Assistance Allowances. Jurisdiction or subrecipients providing project-based rental assistance may pay for rent for a maximum of 30 days from the end of the month in which a unit was vacated while a jurisdiction or subrecipient attempts to house another household in that unit. In addition, if a household moves into a unit in the middle of the month, the initial payment of a half month’s rent does not count toward a household’s total rental assistance. Also, jurisdictions and subrecipients may allow households to enter into subleases when receiving rapid re-housing or homelessness prevention assistance.
- Helping Current ESG Program Participants Maintain Housing. Waives the prior 24 months in a 3-year period limit for receiving services or rental assistance. Also, if someone moves into a unit in the middle of the month, the initial payment of a half-month’s rent does not count toward a household’s total rental assistance. In addition, the Notice removes the 12-month limit on medium-term rental assistance.
- Permanent Housing - Habitability and Housing Quality Standards. Jurisdictions and subrecipients must ensure that housing meets minimum habitability standards established in 24 CFR 576.403(c) or Housing Quality Standards (HQS) established under 24 CFR 982.401 before helping people remain or move into housing. In addition, jurisdictions may provide housing relocation and stabilization services for people receiving homelessness prevention assistance without conducting habitability or HQS inspections.
- Housing Stability Case Management. Jurisdictions and subrecipients may pay for housing stability case management for up to 60 days (instead of 30 days) while people seek housing.
- Making Subaward Funds to Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Authorities. Removes the prohibition on jurisdictions and subrecipients making subawards to Indian Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities.
- Including Indian Tribes in the Definition of “Subrecipient.” Waives the definition of “subrecipient” to expressly include Indian Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities.
- Providing Additional Flexibilities for Puerto Rico and the Territories. Waives the definition of “State” to include an instrumentality of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Also, the definition of “Territory” is waived to include an instrumentality of a Territory.
Notice CPD-21-08 is at: https://bit.ly/3iFgmN4
More about ESG-CV is on page 10-47 of NLIHC’s 2021 Advocates’ Guide.
More about the regular ESG program is on page 4-84 of NLIHC’s 2021 Advocates’ Guide.