The new Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) regulations released by HUD on November 15, 2011, will have a dramatic impact on the Consolidated Plans of all entitlements communities in NJ. Click here to read a full overview of these changes.
All jurisdictions are required to describe efforts to:
Strengthen coordination among Continuums of Care, public and assisted housing providers, and health, mental health, and service providers.
Coordinate housing assistance and services for homeless persons and recently homeless persons now living in permanent housing.
Enhance cooperation among State and local governments in implementing the Consolidated Plan
Among the changes are:
The new rule defines “At Risk of Homelessness” and allows some local discretion regarding defining “the housing characteristics associated with instability and an increased risk of homelessness” which the jurisdiction has identified as an important risk factor that is not otherwise covered in the “at-risk of homeless” definition.
Create more direct Consolidated Plan – Continuum of Care connection.
Increase access to mainstream services
On homeless strategies & resource allocation, jurisdictions must now consult with:
Continuums of Care serving the jurisdiction
Public and private service agencies
Publicly-funded institutions and systems of care that may discharge persons into homelessness
Business and civic leaders
Jurisdictions must now estimate number/type of formerly homeless families/individuals receiving rapid re-housing assistance nearing termination of assistance and in need of housing assistance
Jurisdictions must now describe the nature/extent of homelessness.
Jurisdictions must now include a narrative:
Describing the characteristics and needs of low- and extremely-low income individuals and families with children who are housed but threatened with homelessness, and
Specifying housing characteristics linked with instability and increased risk of homelessness.
Jurisdictions must now describe strategies to reduce and end homelessness through:
Outreach and assessment
Addressing emergency shelter and transitional housing needs of homeless persons; and
Assisting homeless individuals & families make the transition to permanent housing and independent living through:
Shortening period of time homeless
Facilitating access to affordable housing, and
Preventing returns to homelessness; and
Helping low-income persons avoid homelessness, especially those with extremely low incomes who are:
Likely to become homeless after being discharged from publicly funded institutions and systems of care •Receiving assistance from public and private service agencies.