Continuum of Care Program
The Continuum of Care (CoC) program is a consolidation of the Supportive Housing Program and the Shelter Plus Care program. It eliminates the Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation/Single Room Occupancy program; however, all activities that were eligible under that program will be eligible under the CoC program as well. The purpose of the program is to promote community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness; provide funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, States, and local governments to quickly re-house homeless individuals and families while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused to homeless individuals, families and communities by homelessness; promote access to and effective utilization of mainstream programs by homeless individuals and families; and optimize self-sufficiency among individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
A CoC is a group that is composed of representatives of organizations, including nonprofit homeless providers, victim service providers, faith-based organizations, governments, businesses, advocates, public housing agencies, school districts, social service providers, mental health agencies, and many other organizations that address indirectly or are involved in directly addressing homeless issues. These organizations consist of the relevant parties in the geographic area. The CoC lead has three primary responsibilities—to operate the CoC, to designate a Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) for the CoC, and to plan for the CoC. HUD introduced the CoC concept in 1995 to encourage and support local organizations in coordinating their efforts to address housing and homeless issues and reduce homelessness. The HEARTH Act codifies in law this planning process, a longstanding part of HUD’s application process to assist homeless persons by providing greater coordination in responding to their needs. The CoC Program Interim Rule governs the CoC program.
The CoC program will be composed of five components through which funds may be awarded:
1. Permanent Housing. Permanent housing (PH) is community-based housing, the purpose of which is to provide housing without a designated length of stay. This component includes permanent supportive housing for persons with disabilities (PSH) and rapid re-housing.
2. Transitional Housing. Transitional housing (TH) facilitated the movement of homeless individuals and families to permanent housing within 24 months of entering TH.
3. Supportive Service Only. Funds may be used for acquisition, rehabilitation, relocation costs, or leasing of a facility from which supportive services will be provided, supportive services in order to provide supportive services to unsheltered and sheltered homeless persons for whom the recipient or subrecipient is not providing housing or housing assistance, and HMIS. SSO includes street outreach.
4. Homeless Management Information System. Funds may be used by HMIS leads to lease a structure in which the HMIS is operated or as funds to operate an HMIS structure.
5. Homelessness prevention. Funds may be used by recipients in CoC-designated high-performing communities for housing relocation and stabilization services, and short- and/or medium-term rental assistance necessary to prevent an individual or family from becoming homeless.
Each year, HUD awards CoC Program funding competitively to nonprofit organizations, States, and/or units of general purpose local governments, collectively known as recipients. In turn, recipients may contract or subgrant with other organizations or government entities, known as subrecipients, to carry out the grant’s day-to-day program operations.