The total Emergency Solutions Grants program (ESG) allocation for FY 2013 is $215 million, which is a $71 million reduction from the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 funding amount. This year, the ESG allocation was affected by a shortfall in the Homeless Assistance Grants appropriation to cover both increased renewal demand in the Continuum of Care (CoC) program and maintain ESG funding at the FY2013 level. The existing shortfall was further affected by the 5 percent Sequestration reduction. Congressional direction to HUD in handling the CoC/ESG funding shortfall was to mandate that at least $200 million be allocated to ESG, which became $190 million after the 5 percent sequestration cut. However, HUD chose to allocate $215 million to ESG, $25 million over the Congressional minimum.
HUD also indicated that there was an impact on individual allocations due to a change in data used to determine need.
Changes in the number of ESG entitlements and individual recipient allocations are largely due to the application of the recent American Community Survey (ACS) data to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program formula. Because the percentage of ESG funds allocated to ESG recipients is determined by the percentage of the total allocation of CDBG funds for the prior fiscal year, the use of ACS data for the CDBG formula in FY 2012 has affected ESG recipients’ FY 2013 grant amounts.
Click here for a more comprehensive explanation about the transition from Census to ACS data and the implications on CDBG and ESG grant amounts.