ESG Draft Regulations: What they Mean for Connecticut

HUD has published new draft regulations for the HEARTH Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program, which replaces the Emergency Shelter Grant. The new regulations add rapid re-housing and more targeted prevention to the traditional shelter and prevention activities that were part of the Emergency Shelter Grant.

Connecticut grantees will receive a combined additional allotment of more than $1 million dollars during the current federal fiscal year to be used for Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing activities. Prevention funds can only be used for those who are at extremely high risk of homelessness, a far more targeted eligibility than the HPRP program.

CCEH has begun working with DSS and municipalities on preparing implementation of new HEARTH/ESG regulations and will provide further training and information once HUD publishes the final regulations

New Funding for Rapid Re-Housing and Prevention. In Connecticut, six ESG grantees will soon begin implementation of the new regulations including the Department of Social Services and the cities of Hartford, New Britain, New Haven, Waterbury and Bridgeport. As of this date both Hartford and Bridgeport have issued RFP’s for ESG services. Shelters and others in these communities should note that they will need to apply for funds.

Changes for Shelters and Outreach Programs.
Notable features of the new regulations include a 60% cap on the allowable allocation for homeless outreach and emergency shelter, limitations for outreach to street homeless only, the implementation of minimum standards for homeless shelters, street outreach, prevention and rapid re-housing services and required HMIS reporting.

Perhaps most significant for CoCs, the draft provision includes references to a future requirement of a centralized or coordinated intake system in each Continuum of Care for people seeking ESG funded homeless prevention services. HUD will provide guidance on minimum requirements for this system when they issue draft HEARTH/CoC regulations later this year.

Helpful links for more information on the new Emergency Solutions Grant: