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The Middlesex County Continuum of Care (CoC) has issued a Notice of Intent for applicants interested in applying for 2017 HUD Continuum of Care (CoC) funding.  Applications are due by Friday, June 9th at 2:00PM.  For more information, including Technical Assistance, please consult the below Notice of Intent.
 
 To:      All Middlesex County Community Agencies
 
From: Melissa Bellamy, CoC Chairperson
 
Re:      Middlesex County Continuum of Care 2017 Local Application Process
 
Date:   Tuesday, May 16, 2017
 
The Middlesex County Continuum of Care, a local planning committee charged with the responsibility of reducing the incidence of homelessness in Middlesex County, has begun the process for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 2017 Continuum of Care Application.
 
In preparation for submission of the CoC application for HUD funding, the Middlesex County Continuum of Care Technical Review Committee is now accepting applications from all agencies interested in applying for funding to support both NEW and RENEWAL projects through the Middlesex County Continuum of Care process.  
 
Projects may apply for renewal funding if the program was awarded funds for any CoC Program, SHP or S+C grants in a preceding competition where the program expires in calendar year 2018.  Please note, projects that renewed in FY 2016 cannot request more funding than was awarded in their FY 2016 grant, and projects that submitted applications in the FY 2016 CoC Competition that were not awarded funds in the recent announcement cannot submit a renewal application.
 
The HUD Continuum of Care program provides funding to programs serving homeless individuals and families in the community that are in accordance with the goals of:
 
1.      Ending Veteran Homelessness – HUD encourages CoCs to prioritize veterans to the extent possible, in existing permanent housing programs with a focus on those veterans not eligible for VA funded housing or services.  In addition, CoCs should coordinate with the local VA and VA funded programs to ensure access and opportunities for all homeless veterans,
 
2.      Ending Chronic Homelessness – HUD encourages communities to increase the number of units dedicated and prioritized for the chronically homeless,
 
3.      Ending Family Homelessness – HUD encourages communities to increase availability of rapid re-housing opportunities for homeless families,
 
4.      Ending Youth Homelessness – HUD encourages communities to work closely with youth service providers to identify the unique need of homeless youth and increase resources and programs available to address their housing and service needs.
 
For the FY 2017 CoC Competition, HUD identified the following funding priorities which will inform its evaluation of CoCs and project efforts toward ending homelessness for all populations:
 
  1. Creating a systemic response to homelessness – CoCs should use CoC Program performance measures such as the average length of homeless episodes, rates of return to homelessness, and other factors that determine the effectiveness of serving people experiencing homelessness.  Additionally, CoCs should be doing everything they can to create and use an effective Coordinated Entry process, promote participant choice, coordinate homeless assistance and mainstream housing service providers to ensure people experiencing homelessness receive assistance quickly that results in obtaining and maintaining housing, and make the delivery of homeless assistance open, inclusive, and transparent.
 
  1. Strategically allocating and using resources – HUD calls for communities to critically evaluate all funding requests to ensure effective resource allocation.  This process must include a comprehensive project review, evaluation of project use of mainstream resources, leveraging additional community-based resources through partnerships, and reviewing the efficacy of transitional housing.
 
  1. Using a Housing First Approach – HUD encourages CoCs and CoC-funded projects to adopt a Housing First Approach which prioritizes getting homeless persons into permanent housing quickly and wrapping the needed services around them.  Housing First approaches include low barriers to program entry, removal of barriers for program retention, client centered services based on goals developed by the household, and prioritizing those households who are most in need.  A system level Housing First approach should also include use of a centralized/coordinated assessment process and an inclusive decision-making structure for system development.
 
In accordance with the FY 2017 HUD funding priorities, the Middlesex County Continuum of Care will consider the following types of proposals for new project application in the FY 2017 Competition.
 
1.      Permanent Supportive Housing projects that will primarily serve chronically homeless individuals and/or families, including unaccompanied youth.  This may include funding for acquisition, rehabilitation, new construction, rental assistance, leasing, services, or operating dollars.  Projects may also request up to 7% in administrative funds.
 
2.      Rapid Re-Housing for homeless individuals and/or families, including unaccompanied youth.  Rapid rehousing projects may serve homeless households who do not have a disabling condition.  Programs will need to serve only those living on the streets or in emergency shelter as well as those fleeing domestic violence.  Rapid Re-Housing projects may request short-term (1-3 months) or medium-term (3-24 months) rental assistance, service funding and up to 7% in administrative funding.
 
3.      Joint TH and RRH Component projects, which will combine Transitional Housing (TH) and Rapid Rehousing (PH-RRH) into a single project to serve individuals and/or families experiencing homelessness.
 
4.      Supportive Services Only Projects for Coordinated Entry.  Projects may request supportive services and up to 7% in administrative funding to support communitywide centralized/coordinated assessment process.
 
5.      HMIS.  Projects may request funding for the costs associated with the HMIS that must be carried out by the CoC HMIS Lead Agency.
 
For more details on the HUD funding priorities applicants are strongly encouraged to review the FY2017 CoC Registration which may be found at www.hudexchange.info. For additional information on the Middlesex County CoC local selection process please see the links below.  For information on the characteristics of persons who are homeless in Middlesex County in order to customize your consideration of HUD priorities to the needs present in Middlesex County, and to provide documented support of need for your application, please consult the Middlesex County HMIS administrator and local Point in Time data.
 
Agencies interested in applying for funding must submit a completed application by 2:00 pm, Friday, June 9th.
 
Applications (one original with all HMIS reports and attachments and 5 copies without attachments) may be submitted by mail or in person to: Harriet Slonim, Middlesex County Division of Housing, County Administration Building, 75 Bayard Street, 2nd Floor, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 by the above deadline. A PDF file of the application should also be emailed to harriet.slonim@co.middlesex.nj.us by the same deadline date and time.
 
A Technical Assistance Conference Call will be held on Tuesday, May 23rd at 2:00 pm. It is mandatory for all new applicants and all agencies in attendance will receive additional points on their application score, so all renewal applicants are also encouraged to participate. The toll-free call-in number is 1-800-356-8278 with access code 206811.
 
Agencies submitting an application may be required to participate in program presentations before the CoC Technical Review committee.
 
 
Any questions regarding the 2017 Middlesex County Local Application process should be made in writing by emailing Melissa Bellamy at melissa.bellamy@co.middlesex.nj.us.
 
 
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