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HUD Releases Interim ESG Regulations and Final Homeless Definition Regulations

November 15, 2011

In response to the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009 (HEARTH Act), enacted into law on May 20, 2009, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published two sets of regulations today: 1) interim regulations on the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program with conforming amendments to the Consolidated Plan regulations, and 2) final regulations on the definition of homelessness used for HUD’s homeless assistance grant programs.  

Implementing the New ESG Program & the New Definition

HUD provided an initial allocation for FY2011 ESG grantees earlier this year to allow grantees to renew funding of existing ESG programs. A second FY2011 ESG allocation was released in conjunction with the interim regulations which will allow grantees to provide prevention and rapid re-housing assistance with ESG funds. The second allocation of FY2011 funds is subject to the new ESG regulations.  

After the public comment period and revision to the interim regulations, HUD will issue the final ESG regulations. The new definition of homelessness also goes into effect 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register. This means the second phase of ESG funding, as well as the CoC grants awarded under the 2011 Continuum of care competition will be required to use the new definition.

Key Resources

HUD has been working on a number of new technical assistance and training resources to get grantees and partners up to speed on the new requirements.

  • Be sure to join HUD for its Thursday, November 17 webinar series, Ready, SET, Go at 3:30 ET. HUD is presenting an introduction to the ESG program, including information on the purpose of the program, eligible costs, program requirements, and grant administration. The webinar, which will be delivered a second time on Thursday, is intended to provide viewers with the “big picture,” while future webinars will focus on specific elements of the new regulation. To register for future HUD’s webinars, visit HUD’s Homelessness Resource Exchange.
  • Sign up for HUD’s Emergency Solutions Grants Program listserv, which will be used to notify ESG recipients and subrecipients, CoC leaders, field office staff, and other interested parties about policy changes and clarifications, program management tools, and other items of general interest regarding HUD’s Emergency Solutions Grants Program and the new definition. To join the listserv, click here or go to HUD’s Homelessness Resource Exchange (HRE) and click “Listservs” in the banner.  

In the coming weeks, USICH will also be adding the “HEARTH Corner” to its biweekly newsletter – a regular feature dedicated to exploring topics on HEARTH implementation and their relationship to Opening Doors. 

USICH congratulates its partners at HUD for reaching this important milestone. Working with 19 member agencies, USICH is keenly aware of how vulnerable programs are in this budget environment.  The additional resources allocated to ESG in FY2011 is a testament to the hard work by the HUD team as well as the hard work done in the field every day.