Eligible Activities

Subrecipients may use ESG funds for five program components: Street outreach, emergency shelter, homelessness prevention, rapid re-housing assistance, and HMIS. The five program components and the eligible activities that may be funded under each are set forth in CFR 576.100 through CFR 576.107. Eligible administrative activities are set forth in CFR 576.108.

The total amount of the fiscal year grant that may be used for street outreach and emergency shelter activities cannot exceed the greater of:

  • 60 percent of the total fiscal year grant; or
  • The amount of Fiscal Year 2010 grant funds committed for homeless assistance activities.

Subject to the cost principles in OMB Circulars A-87 (2 CFR 225) and A-122 (2 CFR 230) and other requirements in this part, employee compensation and other overhead costs directly related to carrying out street outreach, emergency shelter, homelessness prevention, rapid rehousing, and HMIS are eligible costs of those program components. These costs are not administrative costs.

Street Outreach Component

Subject to the expenditure limit in CFR 576.100(b), ESG funds may be used for costs of providing essential services necessary to reach out to unsheltered homeless people; connect them with emergency shelter, housing, or critical services; and provide urgent, non-facility based care to unsheltered homeless people who are unwilling or unable to access emergency shelter, housing, or an appropriate health facility. For the purposes of this section, the term "unsheltered homeless people" means individuals and families who qualify as homeless under paragraph (1)(i) of the "homeless" definition under CFR 576.2. Street outreach activities include:

Engagement

The costs of activities to locate, identify, and build relationships with unsheltered homeless people for the purpose of providing immediate support, intervention, and connections with homeless assistance programs and/or mainstream social services and housing programs.

Eligible costs:

  • Initial assessment of needs and eligibility
  • Providing crisis counseling
  • Addressing urgent physical needs
  • Actively connecting and providing information and referrals
  • Cell phone costs of outreach workers during the performance of these activities.

Case Management

The costs of assessing housing and service needs, and arranging, coordinating, and monitoring the delivery of individualized services.

Eligible costs:

  • Centralized or coordinated assessment system as required under CFR 576.401(a)
  • Initial evaluation/verifying and documenting eligibility
  • Counseling
  • Developing/securing/coordinating services
  • Helping obtain Federal, State, and local benefits
  • Monitoring/evaluating program participant progress
  • Providing information and referrals to other providers
  • Developing an individualized housing/service plan

Emergency Health Services

Outpatient treatment of urgent medical conditions by licensed medical professionals in community-based settings (e.g. streets, parks, and campground) to those eligible participants unwilling or unable to access emergency shelter or an appropriate healthcare facility.

Eligible costs:

  • Assessing participants' health problems and developing treatment plans
  • Assisting participants to understand their health needs
  • Providing or helping participants obtain appropriate emergency medical treatment
  • Providing medication and follow-up services

Emergency Mental Health Services

Outpatient treatment of urgent mental health conditions by licensed medical professionals in community-based settings (e.g. streets, parks, and campground) to those eligible participants unwilling or unable to access emergency shelter or an appropriate healthcare facility.

Eligible costs:

  • Crisis interventions
  • Prescription of psychotropic medications
  • Explanation of the use and management of medications
  • Combinations of therapeutic approaches to address multiple problems

Transportation

Travel by outreach workers, social workers, medical professionals, or other service providers during the provision of eligible street outreach services

Eligible costs:

  • Transporting unsheltered people to emergency shelters or other services
  • Costs of a participant's travel on public transit
  • Mileage allowance for outreach worker to visit participants
  • Purchasing or leasing a vehicle for use in conducting outreach activities, including the cost of gas, insurance, taxes and maintenance for the vehicle
  • Cost of staff to accompany or assist participants to use public transportation

Emergency Shelter Component

Subject to the expenditure limit in CFR 576.100(b), ESG/Emergency Shelter funds may be used for costs of providing essential services to homeless families and individuals in emergency shelters, renovating buildings to be used as emergency shelters for homeless families and individuals, and operating emergency shelters.

Essential Services 

ESG funds may be used to provide essential services to individuals and families who are in an emergency shelter as follows:

Case Management

The costs of assessing, arranging, coordinating, and monitoring the delivery of individualized services to meet the needs of the program participant is eligible. Component services and activities consist of:

Eligible costs:

  • Using the centralized or coordinated assessment system
  • Initial evaluation required under CFR 576.401(a), including verifying and documenting eligibility
  • Counseling
  • Developing, securing and coordinating services and obtaining Federal, State, and local benefits
  • Monitoring and evaluating program participant progress
  • Providing information and referrals to other providers
  • Providing ongoing risk assessment and safety planning with victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking
  • Developing an individualized housing and service plan

Child Care

The costs of child care for program participants, including providing meals and snacks, and comprehensive and coordinated sets of appropriate developmental activities, are eligible. The children must be under the age of 13, or disabled children under the age of 18.

Education Services

When necessary for the program participant to obtain and maintain housing, the costs of improving knowledge and basic educational skills are eligible. Services include instruction or training in consumer education, health education, substance abuse prevention, literacy, English as a Second Language, and General Educational Development (GED) is eligible. Component services or activities are screening, assessment and testing; individual or group instruction; tutoring; provision of books, supplies and instructional material; counseling; and referral to community resources.

Employment Assistance and Job Training

When necessary for the program participant to obtain and maintain employment, services are available in assisting participants to secure employment and job training. Eligible costs include: classroom, online and/or computer instruction; on-the-job instruction; job finding, skill building; reasonable stipends in employment assistance and job training programs; books and instructional material; employment screening, assessment, or testing; structured job seeking support; training and tutoring, including literacy training and prevocational training; counseling or job coaching; and referral to community resources.

Outpatient Health Services

Eligible costs are for the direct outpatient treatment of medical conditions and are provided by licensed medical professionals. ESG funds may be used only for these services to the extent that other appropriate health services are unavailable within the community. Eligible treatment consists of assessing health problems and developing a treatment plan; assisting program participants to understand their health needs; providing or assisting program participants to obtain appropriate medical treatment, preventative medical care, and health maintenance services, including emergency medical services; providing medication and follow-up services; and providing preventive and non-cosmetic dental care.

Legal Services

Legal services refer to necessary legal services regarding matters that interfere with the program participant's ability to obtain and retain housing. Eligible legal services include: hourly fees for legal advice and representation by licensed attorneys and certain other fees-for-service; client intake, preparation of cases for trial, provision of legal advice, representation at hearings, and counseling; filing fees and other necessary court costs; child support; guardianship; paternity; emancipation; legal separation; resolution of outstanding criminal warrants; orders of protection and other civil remedies for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

Life Skills Training

Life skills training involve the costs of teaching critical life management skills necessary for the program participant to function independently in the community. Eligible costs include: budgeting resources; managing money; managing a household; resolving a conflict; shopping for food and needed items; improving nutrition; using public transportation; and parenting.

Mental Health Services

Direct outpatient treatment of mental health conditions by licensed professionals.

Eligible costs:

  • Crisis interventions
  • Individual, family or group therapy services
  • Prescription of psychotropic medications or explanations about the use of management of medications
  • Combinations of therapeutic approaches to address multiple problems

Substance Abuse Treatment Services

Substance abuse treatment services provided by licensed or certified professionals, designed to prevent, reduce, eliminate or deter relapse of substance abuse or addictive behaviors.

Eligible costs:

  • Client intake and assessment
  • Outpatient treatment for up to thirty days
  • Group and individual counseling
  • Drug testing

Transportation

Eligible transportation costs consist of a program participant's travel to and from medical care, employment, child care, or other eligible essential services facilities; and costs of staff travel to support provision of essential services. Eligible costs include; cost of a program participant's travel on public transportation; mileage allowance for staff to visit program participants; and purchasing or leasing a vehicle used for transport of participants and/or staff serving participants, including the cost of gas, insurance, taxes and maintenance for the vehicle.

Operations

ESG funds may be used to provide operations costs to operate and maintain emergency shelters and provide emergency lodging when appropriate.

Eligible costs:

  • Maintenance (including minor or routine repairs)
  • Rent
  • Security
  • Fuel
  • Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Food
  • Furnishings
  • Equipment
  • Supplies necessary for the operation of the emergency shelter
  • Hotel or motel vouchers for family or individual (only eligible when no appropriate emergency shelter is available)

Renovation

ESG funds may be used to renovate an emergency shelter.

Each building renovated with ESG funds must be maintained as a shelter for homeless individuals and families for not less than a period of 3 or 10 years, depending on the type of renovation and the value of the building. The building for which ESG funds are used must meet state or local government safety and sanitation standards, as applicable and minimum safety, sanitation, and privacy standards per ESG interim regulations. The emergency shelter must be owned by a government entity or private nonprofit organization.

Eligible costs:

  • Labor
  • Materials
  • Tools
  • Other costs for renovation, including soft costs
  • Major rehabilitation of an emergency shelter
  • Conversion of a building into an emergency shelter

Homelessness Prevention Component 

ESG funds may be used to provide housing relocation and stabilization services and short- and/or medium-term rental assistance necessary to prevent individuals or families from becoming homeless. The annual income of the individual or family must be below 30 percent of median family income, must lack sufficient resources and networks necessary to retain housing and the assistance is necessary to help program participants regain stability in their current permanent housing or move into other permanent housing and achieve stability in that housing. The program participant's eligibility must be re-evaluated not less than once every three months.

Rapid Re-Housing Assistance Component

ESG funds may be used to provide housing relocation and stabilization services and short- and/or medium-term rental assistance as necessary to help individuals or families living in shelters or in places not meant for human habitation move as quickly as possible into permanent housing and achieve stability in that housing. The program participant's eligibility must be re-evaluated not less than once annually.

THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS APPLY TO PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS ASSISTED THROUGH ESG FOR BOTH THE HOMELESSNESS PREVENTION AND THE RAPID RE-HOUSING ASSISTANCE COMPONENT:

At re-evaluation the program participants' income must be at or below 30 percent of median family income.

Housing Relocation and Stabilization Services

The subrecipient may set a maximum dollar amount and/or a maximum period of time (not to exceed time allowed per interim regulations) that all program participants may receive for each type of financial assistance. ESG funds may be used to pay the cost of providing the following services. (The following assistance cannot be provided to a program participant who is receiving the same type of assistance through other public sources.)

Eligible costs:

  • Rental Application Fees (when charged by owner to all applicants)
  • Security Deposit (no more than 2 months' rent)
  • Last Month Rent (applies to the 24 month cap)
  • Utility Deposits (when required by utility company for all customers)
  • Utility Payments (up to 24 months of payment per service)
  • Moving Costs (e.g., truck rental, moving company, up to 3 months storage)
  • Housing Search and Placement
  • Housing Stability Case Management
  • Mediation
  • Legal Services
  • Credit Repair (e.g. budgeting/money management)
Tenant Based Rental Assistance

General Provisions

For short-term and medium-term rental assistance, ESG funds may provide a program participant with up to 24 months of rental assistance during any 3 year period. This assistance may be short-term rental assistance, medium-term rental assistance, payment of rental arrears, or any combination of this assistance.

  • Short-term rental assistance is assistance for up to 3 months of rent
  • Medium-term rental assistance is assistance for more than 3 months but not more than 24 months of rent
  • Payment of rental arrears consists of a onetime payment for up to 6 months of rent in arrears, including any late fees on those arrears
  • Rental assistance may be tenant-based or project-based

Discretion to Set Caps and Conditions

The subrecipient may set a maximum amount or a percentage of rental assistance that all program participants may receive, a maximum number of months that all program participants may receive rental assistance, or a maximum number of times that all program participants may receive rental assistance. The subrecipient may also require all program participants to share in the costs of rent. All units must meet Fair Market Rent requirements as established by HUD.

Use with Other Subsidies

Except for a one-time payment of rental arrears on the tenant's portion of the rental payment, rental assistance cannot be provided to a program participant who is receiving tenant-based rental assistance through other public sources.

Rent Standards

Rental assistance cannot be provided unless the rent is at or below the Fair Market Rent established by HUD, as provided under 24 CFR part 888, and complies with HUD's standard of rent reasonableness, as established under 24 CFR 982.507. A complete listing of Fair Market Rents for Illinois counties can be found at:

http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn

For purposes of calculating rent under this section, the rent shall equal the sum of the total monthly rent for the unit, any fees required for occupancy under the lease (other than late fees and pet fees) and, if the tenant pays separately for utilities, the monthly allowance for utilities (excluding telephone) established by the public housing authority in which the housing is located.

The rent charged for a unit must be reasonable in relation to rents currently being charged for comparable units in the private unassisted market and must not be in excess of rents currently being charged by the owner for comparable unassisted units.

The rental unit must meet minimum habitability standards found at 24 CFR 576.403.

Rental Assistance Agreement

The subrecipient may make rental assistance payments only to an owner with whom the subrecipient has entered into a rental assistance agreement. The rental assistance agreement must set forth the terms under which rental assistance will be provided, including the requirements that apply under this section. The rental assistance agreement must provide that, during the term of the agreement, the owner must give the subrecipient a copy of any notice to the program participant to vacate the housing unit, or any complaint used under state or local law to commence an eviction action against the program participant.

For tenant-based, a rental assistance agreement with the owner must terminate and no further rental assistance payments under that agreement may be made if:

  • The program participant moves out of the housing unit for which the program participant has a lease
  • The lease terminates and is not renewed
  • The program participant becomes ineligible to receive ESG rental assistance

Late Payments

The subrecipient must make timely payments to each owner in accordance with the rental assistance agreement. The rental assistance agreement must contain the same payment due date, grace period, and late payment penalty requirements as the program participant's lease.

Lease

Each program participant receiving rental assistance must have a legally binding, written lease for the rental unit, unless the assistance is solely for rental arrears. The lease must be between the owner and the program participant. Where the assistance is solely for arrears, an oral agreement may be accepted in place of a written lease.

HMIS Component

Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) is a locally administered, electronic data collection system that stores longitudinal person-level information about persons who access the homeless service system. The HEARTH Act makes the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) participation a statutory requirement for ESG recipients and subrecipients. Victim service providers cannot, and legal services organizations may choose to not, participate in HMIS. Providers that do not participate in HMIS must use a comparable database that produces unduplicated, aggregate reports instead.

Eligible Costs:

  • Computer hardware, software, and software licenses
  • Office space, utilities, and equipment
  • Obtaining technical support
  • Salaries for HMIS operation
  • Staff travel to attend HUD sponsored or approved training
  • Participation fees charged by HMIS Lead

General Restrictions

Activities funded under this section must comply with HUD's standards on participation, data collection, and reporting under a local HMIS.

If the subrecipient is a victim services provider or a legal service provider, it may use ESG funds to establish and operate a comparable database that collects client-level data over time and generates unduplicated aggregate reports based on the data.

Administration

Costs associated with the planning and execution of ESG activities including salaries, wages and related costs such as general management, oversight and coordination, monitoring, and evaluation.