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House Committee Expresses Concern Over CoC Renewals

Local Communities Should be Preparing for Decreased Renewal Funding

Tom LathamThe U.S. House Appropriations Committee Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) Subcommittee expressed grave concern about the renewal of Continuum of Care funding in its recent committee report.

Quoting from the report,

The Committee is concerned about the so-called ‘‘renewal burden’’ in the Continuum-of-Care program. This number is exploding in growth—in the hundreds of millions each year—and is completely unsustainable … The Continuum of Care is supposed to be a competitive grants program. However, a ‘renewal burden’’ is antithetical to the concept of competition. Competition for scarce resources is what drives better performance and spurs innovation. Automatic renewals are just the opposite—creating inefficiencies and removing all incentives to perform better.

The Committee directs the Department to report to the Committees on Appropriations within 90 days of enactment on how the Continuum of Care can be run more like a true competition—on both the national and local level—assuming scarce resources.

It is not very often that report that we see report language with such a serious tone. It emphasizes the opinion that HUD funding should not cover all project renewals and leads to the following questions:

  • Which programs deserve to have their funding renewed?
  • Will next year’s funding process be more competitive?
  • How would HUD decide which programs to renew funding for?
  • Would it make a cut across all renewals?
  • Or target low preforming programs?
  • How can communities make their own decisions about which projects may not be high performing enough to be renewed?
  • Is this an opportunity to steer funding away from low performing projects to new funding opportunities?

National advocacy groups such as the Corporation for Supportive Housing and the National Alliance to End Homelessness are working on a response and advocacy strategy tied to their push to increase McKinney Vento funding to $2.23 billion but in the meantime, this report language is truly a “call to action.”

How will your continuum of care prepare for the likelihood that not all currently McKinney-Vento funded programs will be renewed next year?

Click here for a PDF document with the complete report language.

Click here for the full report.

by Kate M. Kelly

Kate Kelly joined Monarch Housing Associates in March of 2011. Her responsibilities include writing policy and other website updates, coordinating state and federal advocacy update and assisting with fundraising efforts. To read more about Kate and all of our staff click here. Click here to send Ms. Kelly an email.

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