Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program
The Emergency Solutions Grants program (ESG) provides funds for a variety of activities to address homelessness as authorized under the federal HEARTH Act of 2009 and State program requirements. The State of California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD or Department) administers the ESG program with funding received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The federal ESG program provides grant funding to (1) engage homeless individuals and families living on the street; (2) rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families (2) help operate and provide essential services in emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families; (4) prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless.
In an effort to align State ESG with federal ESG and the HEARTH Act priorities, HCD has redesigned how it allocates and distributes funding. The redesigned ESG program aims to do the following: align with local systems’ federal ESG and HEARTH goals; invest in impactful activities based on key performance goals and outcomes; improve geographic distribution of funded activities and continuity of funded activities, and create a streamlined delivery mechanism.
HCD distributes federal Emergency Solutions Grant funds to eligible subrecipients with one- or two-year grants.
ESG funds may be used for four primary activities: Street Outreach, Rapid Re-Housing Assistance, Emergency Shelter, and Homelessness Prevention. In addition, ESG funds may be used for associated Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) costs, and administrative activities, for some subrecipients. Refer to the current Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for any limitations on these activities.
ELIGIBLE SUBRECIPIENTS AND ELIGIBLE AREAS TO BE SERVED
The Department subgrants its funding to subrecipients in Continuum of Care service areas that have at least one jurisdiction that does not receive ESG funds directly from HUD (“Nonentitlement”). In the Continuum of Care Allocation, local governmental entities are eligible subrecipients, who in turn select homeless service providers to receive the funds. In the Balance of State Allocation, private nonprofit organizations or units of general purpose local government are eligible subrecipients that receive ESG funds directly from the Department. (The two allocations are described further below.)
State ESG–funded activities may serve the entire service area of the Continuum of Care, but must serve Nonentitlement areas within the service area. For a list of CoC Service Areas eligible to participate in the State’s ESG program, refer to Appendix A of the current NOFA (available May 2016).
Funding distribution and Application ProcessHCD allocates its funding to the State’s Continuum of Care (CoC) service areas using a formula method set forth under Section 8402 of the State ESG Regulations to two allocations
Continuum of Care (CoC) Allocation
CoCs within this allocation have at least one city or county that receives ESG funds directly from HUD. Within the CoC Allocation, Administrative Entities (AEs) are selected by HCD to administer an allocation of funds provided through a formula for their service area. These AEs must be local governments of ESG Entitlement Areas and must commit to administering State ESG funds in collaboration with their CoC throughout their Continuum of Care Service Area, including ensuring access to ESG funds by households living in Nonentitlement Areas. A minimum of 40% of each AE Allocation must be used for Rapid Rehousing activities.
Balance of State (BoS) Allocation
CoCs within this allocation have no cities or counties that receive ESG funds directly from HUD.
Within the BoS Allocation, CoCs may select providers to receive a portion of funds available noncompetitively for Rapid Rehousing (RR). The Department will administer these contracts with providers. Remaining funds within the BoS Allocation will be divided into three regional allocations. CoCs will recommend homeless service providers to compete for these funds within their regional allocation under a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) issued by HCD.
The NOFA under the regional allocations is expected to be released in May, with applications due in July.
Awards under both the CoC and BoS allocations are expected in to be made in September/October.
Program Publications and Forms2016 ESG: Solicitation of Interest Forms
Solicitation of Interest forms were sent in January in order to identify local government AEs within the CoC Allocation and CoCs within the BoS Allocation willing to recommend providers for ESG funding.
- 2014 ESG
- 2014 ESG Award List - (5/2015) – (Adobe PDF)
- Current ESG Forms
- ESG State Regulations
- ESG Federal Regulations
- Federal Statute
- HUD Overview of the Emergency Solutions Grant Program
- ESG Program Grant Program Fact Sheet (07/2014)
- Coordinated Entry Policy Brief (02/2015)
- System Performance Measures Introductory Guide (05/2015)
- HMIS Data Standards Manual (09/2015)