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HUD   >   Program Offices   >   Community Planning and Development   >   Homeless Assistance

Homeless Assistance

What's New

For more information, please click on the following links: What’s New  and What’s New Archived

Looking for Homeless Assistance?

If you are homeless, at risk of becoming homeless, or know someone that is homeless, help is available. HUD, along with many other Federal agencies, funds programs to help persons who are homeless. Local homeless assistance agencies provide a range of services and assistance, including emergency shelter, food, housing counseling, and job training and placement assistance. For general information on available resources, please visit the Resources for Homeless Persons page on the HRE.

Purpose of Programs

As amended by the HEARTH Act, Subpart C of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act establishes the Continuum of Care program. The purpose of the program is to promote communitywide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness; provide funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, and State and local governments to quickly rehouse homeless individuals and families while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused to homeless individuals, families, and communities by homelessness; promote access to and effective utilization of mainstream programs by homeless individuals and families; and optimize self-sufficiency among individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

HUD published the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program interim rule in the Federal Register on July 31, 2012. This interim rule, which became effective August 30, 2012, establishes the regulations for the new Continuum of Care (CoC) Program and focuses on regulatory implementation of the Continuum of Care Program, including the Continuum of Care planning process. The existing homeless assistance programs that comprise the Continuum of Care Program are the following: the Supportive Housing program, the Shelter Plus Care program, and the Moderate Rehabilitation/Single Room Occupancy (SRO) program. 

The Homeless Emergency and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act

On May 20, 2009, President Obama signed the Homeless Emergency and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009. The HEARTH Act amends and reauthorizes the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act with substantial changes, including:

  • A consolidation of HUD’s competitive grant programs;
  • The creation of a Rural Housing Stability Program;
  • A change in HUD’s definition of homelessness and chronic homelessness;
  • A simplified match requirement;
  • An increase in prevention resources; and,
  • An increase in the emphasis on performance.

To read the amended and reauthorized McKinney-Vento Act, see The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act as amended by S.896, The HEARTH Act of 2009.

Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH): Defining "Homeless" Final Rule

This final rule integrates the regulation for the definition of "homeless," and the corresponding recordkeeping requirements, for the Emergency Solutions Grants program, the Shelter Plus Care program, and the Supportive Housing Program. This final rule also establishes the regulation for the definition "developmental disability" and the definition and recordkeeping requirements for "homeless individual with a disability" for the Shelter Plus Care program and the Supportive Housing Program. HEARTH "Homeless" Definition (Final Rule)

Defining "Homeless" Final Rule.  To help recipients and sub-recipients understand the updated definition of homeless and administer their programs in compliance with the amended regulations, HUD is continuing to develop and release guidance and training materials. 

The following documents are now available:

The Homeless Definition and Eligibility for SHP, SPC, and ESG- This two-page document provides a high-level overview of eligibility for the Supportive Housing Program, Shelter Plus Care Program, and Emergency Solutions Grants program by Category of Homelessness. 

Frequently Asked Questions– The HRE currently contains a list questions that are frequently received and answered through the Help Desk. To access the FAQs, visit the FAQs section of the HRE and select “Homeless Definition” as the FAQ Topic.

At-a-Glance – Criteria and Recordkeeping Requirements for Definition of Homeless– This two-page document provides a high-level overview of the criteria for each category of homelessness (page 1) as well as the corresponding recordkeeping requirements for each category (page 2).  This document does not contain the same level of detail that can be found in the regulation.

At-a-Glance – Criteria for Definition of At Risk of Homelessness– This one-page document, available on the HRE, provides a high-level overview of the criteria for each category of at risk of homelessness.  This document applies to recipients of Emergency Solutions Grants funds only.  This document does not contain the same level of detail that can be found in the regulation.

Funds Available

If you are an interested citizen, contact your local Continuum of Care Contacts for more information. HUD does not provide assistance directly to citizens. If your local government officials cannot answer your questions, or if you are a local official, contact the HUD Field Office* that serves your area. Funds are granted based on the competition following the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA).

*Hearing impaired users may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

Federal Strategic Plan to prevent and end homelessness

For more information, please click on the following link:  United States Interagency Council on Homelessness 

Overview of HUD Homeless and Housing Programs

CoC Programs:
Formula Programs:
Other Programs:
Housing Programs:

Overview of the Homelessness Data Exchange (HDX)

The Homelessness Data Exchange (HDX) is an online data submission tool for reporting to HUD. The HDX allows Continuums of Care nationwide to submit data on:

  • The annual Housing Inventory Count (HIC);
  • The annual Point-in-Time (PIT) Count of Homeless Populations and Subpopulations;
  • The Homelessness Pulse Project; and
  • The Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR).

To access the HDX, please click on the following link: http://www.hudhdx.info/

Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)

A Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) is a software application designed to record and store client-level information on the characteristics and service needs of homeless persons. An HMIS is typically a web-based software application that homeless assistance providers use to coordinate care, manage their operations, and better serve their clients. For more information, please click on the following link: Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)

Requesting Technical Assistance (TA)

HUD makes Technical assistance (TA) available to help McKinney-Vento grantees and other homeless assistance providers to better plan, design, and administer their projects and Continuum of Care strategies. TA can assist grantees with specific programmatic requirements, such as performance reporting and long-term strategic planning. To request TA, click on the following link: http://www.hudhre.info/index.cfm?do=tarrs.actMakeTARequest

Other Federal Homeless and Mainstream Programs

This page provides links to the homeless assistance web sites of other Federal agencies. For Federal agencies that do not have homeless assistance web sites, links are provided directly to programs that can benefit persons experiencing homelessness. To find other Federal agencies, please click on the following link: Other Federal Homeless and Mainstream Programs

CoC Maps, Contacts, Reports, and Awards

HUD awards homeless assistance grants to organizations across the country to ameliorate homelessness and its effect on people's lives. The two primary grant types are: Continuum of Care (CoC) and Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG). Within this section, you can locate CoCs around the country, find CoC contact information, find report data, and view CoC and ESG awardees since 2005. For more information, please click on the following links: CoC Maps, CoC Contacts, Homelessness Reports, Grant Awards

Homeless Assistance Appropriations & Allocations

Code of Conduct for HUD Grant Programs

HUD's competitive funding Notice of Funding Availability (NOFAs) contain the requirement that an applicant must provide a copy of their Code of Conduct prior to entering into an agreement with HUD. Failure to provide a copy of an organization's Code of Conduct will prohibit applicants from receiving HUD funding. For more information, please click on the following link: Code of Conduct

Legislation

Legislative information from the Library of Congress. For more information, please click on the following link: HUD Legislation

Title 24--Housing and Urban Development: 24 CFR Parts 500 to 699

Fair Market Rents

For more information, please click on the following link: Fair Market Rents

Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (FFATA)

Each project awarded funding under the NOFA will be subject to the reporting requirements of the FFATA (Public Law 109-282). The reporting requirements are contained in Section III.C.5.t. of the General Section. Additional information related to FFATA can also be found online at https://www.fsrs.gov.

Join a Listserv

All of the existing HUD Community Planning and Development (CPD) listservs, including Homeless Assistance Program, HPRP, HMIS, HMIS Software Provider, HOPWA, Emergency Solutions Grants Program, and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing, have been consolidated into the OneCPD Mailing List. If you are not currently subscribed to a CPD mailing list, go to the OneCPD mailing list sign up page and select the topics for which you would like to receive information.

Listserv Archives
Under Listserv Archives, please click on any of the topic headings to view the list of messages that are available. The headings are based on topic, rather than listserv as the same message is often distributed through more than one listserv. Then, select the item that you would like to read.

Go to the OneCPD Mailing List page to view the most recent Archive.

Contact Us

Questions regarding specific program requirements should be directed to either the HUD HRE Virtual Help Desk or the local HUD CPD Field Office at:

Questions regarding the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) General Section should be directed to the Office of Departmental Grants Management and Oversight at (202) 708-0667 (this is not a toll-free number) or the NOFA Information Center at (800) HUD-8929 (toll-free). Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access these numbers via TTY by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. The NOFA Information Center is open between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. eastern time, Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) Archives

SuperNOFA Archives

CPD Document Library