Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program
The federal Emergency Solutions Grant program (ESG) provides funds for a variety of activities to address homelessness as authorized under the federal Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009 and State program requirements. The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) administers the ESG program with funding received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The ESG program provides grant funding to (1) engage homeless individuals and families living on the street, (2) rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families, (3) help operate and provide essential services in emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families, and (4) prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless.
In 2016, in an effort to align the Department's ESG funds with 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 Applicants and Eligible Areas to Be Served
The Department subgrants its funding to subrecipients in Continuum of Care (CoC) service areas that have at least one jurisdiction that does not receive ESG funds directly from HUD (“Nonentitlement”). In the CoC 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 CoC, 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.
HCD allocates its funding to the State’s 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 the Department of Housing and Community Development (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 ESG funds in collaboration with their CoC throughout their CoC Service Area, including ensuring access to ESG funds by households living in Nonentitlement Areas. A minimum of 40 percent 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). HCD 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.
California ESG Program
The 2016-17 budget bill, SB 837 (Section 72), created the California Emergency Solutions Grants (CA ESG) Program for which $35 million has been made available to support rapid rehousing, emergency shelter, and other services to address homelessness throughout the State. The legislation provides that the CA ESG program shall be administered by the Department in a manner generally consistent with the Federal ESG Program, and requires the Department to adopt program guidelines to address changes that may be needed to expand the program to cover all areas of the State, or to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the program. Funds for CA ESG were available in 2017.
- 2017 CA ESG Guidelines (DOC)
ESG NOFA for the Continuum of Care (COC) Allocation and Application Forms
- 2018 ESG Continuum of Care NOFA Amended (PDF)
- 2018 ESG Continuum of Care Application (XLS)
- 2018 ESG CoC Resolution (PDF)
- Payee Data Record (PDF)
ESG NOFA for the Balance of State (BOS) Allocation and Application Forms
- 2018 ESG Balance of State NOFA (PDF)
- 2018 ESG Balance of State Competitive Application (XLS)
- 2018 ESG Balance of State Non-Competitive Application (XLS)
- 2018 ESG Balance of State CoC Recommendation (XLS)
- 2018 ESG BoS Resolution (PDF)
- Payee Data Record (PDF)
- 2018 ESG CoC (Administrative Entities) Application Webinar-Recording (6-27-18) (MP4)
- 2018 ESG Balance of State Application Webinar-Recording (6-27-18) (MP4)
ESG Program Awards
- 2017 ESG Award Lists (12/21/2017)
- 2017 ESG Continuum of Care, Administrative Entity Allocation Funding List (PDF)
- 2017 ESG Balance of State Allocation – Noncompetitive Component Funding List (PDF)
- 2017 ESG Balance of State Allocation – Regional Competition Component Funding List (PDF)
- 2016 ESG Award Lists (PDF)
- 2014 ESG Award List - (5/2015) (PDF)
- 2013 ESG Award List - (6/2014) (PDF)
- 2012 ESG Award List - (6/2013) (PDF)
Current ESG Forms
- ESG Request for Funds (RFF) and Sample Request for Funds
- Use this form for requests for reimbursement
- ESG Authorized Signatories Identity Form
- Detailed list of positions and individuals authorized to sign the RFF in lieu of the Authorized Representative listed on the Resolution.
- ESG Budget Revision Workbook
- Use this form to request revisions (budget or line item) or Contract Amendments.
- ESG Certificate of Completion
- Use this form to close out the contract when funds have been exhausted or contract period ends, whichever comes first.
- ESG Eligible Expense Guide (PDF)
- STD 204 - Payee Data Record
- Required when receiving payment from the State of California in lieu of IRS W 9
- ESG Staff Representatives by County (PDF)
- List of ESG by County with contact information.
- Annual Performance Reports
ESG State Regulations
ESG Federal Regulations
Check the HUD Exchange for:
- the text of The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009 (HEARTH Act), and
- the “homeless” definition contained in the HEARTH Act Final Rule.
- 2016 CA ESG Stakeholder Feedback Session - (PDF), (MP4)
- 2015 Rapid Re-Housing 101 & Rapid Re-Housing Institute
View the ESG FAQs. (PDF)
2018 ESG BoS FAQ (PDF)
2018 ESG CoC FAQ (PDF)
For more helpful information about the program, check the Training and Technical Assistance page.
Plans & Reports
- 2015-2025 Statewide Housing Plan
- California Inter-Regional Partnership (IRP) Program Final Report (2005)
- The Future of Infill Housing: Opportunities, Potential, Feasibility and Demand (2005)
- Recommendations of the Interagency Task Force on Homelessness (2003)
- Raising the Roof - California Housing Development Projections and Constraints (2001)
- Housing: California's Foundation for Economic Growth (PDF)
- Draft Substantial Amendment to 2015-16 Annual Action Plan and Public Notice (PDF)
- 2010-2015 California Consolidated Plan
- Annual Plan, CAPER (updated annually)