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?