Field Notes: Implementing the CoC Regulations

written by naehblog
April 3, 2013

Though the rule is out and Continuum of Care (CoC) competition season has passed – well, almost –there’s still some work left to do regarding the Continuum of Care regulations.

Around the time the regulations were released, we released several documents offering guidance on them, including a copy of our comments and a summary document. Last week, we released a brief on the next step: namely, how to implement the CoC rule and take advantage of the opportunities in it to promote best practices in your community. Here are some of the issues we address:

Coordinated Assessment: The brief talks about how to create a system that has resources for all populations, including those at-risk of homelessness and domestic violence survivors. It also offers guidance on developing the newly-mandated written standards around eligibility and prioritization for different interventions.

Transitional Housing: Transitional housing providers may be interested in making changes to their programs to align them better with the goals of the HEARTH Act, particularly when it comes to attaining shorter lengths of stay. They may choose moving toward a rapid re-housing model to accomplish this. For other programs, particularly those that want to serve the highest barrier clients, shifting toward permanent supportive housing may make more sense. Yet another option may be preserving the program model but targeting households whose needs better match up with the high cost and intensity of traditional transitional housing programs, including unaccompanied youth that cannot be reunified with family and people in recovery seeking a sober living environment.

Rapid Re-Housing: Rapid re-housing has been successful across the country in reducing lengths of stay in homelessness. However, it is sometimes targeted to households that appear to be easiest to re-house, leaving out a range of households that are perceived to have more barriers to being re-housed but could be just as successful with the intervention. The brief talks about the importance of expanding your rapid re-housing programs to include these households and also discusses funding sources that can help you do so.

Governance and Performance Measurement: “System” is one of the key words in the CoC regulations and the HEARTH Act. Different homelessness assistance providers will need to work together to achieve the HEARTH Act goals. However, even this kind of collaboration will not be enough to end and prevent homelessness if a community does not have a governance structure that can efficiently manage funds,  measure data accurately and comprehensively, and guide the community toward better performance on the HEARTH outcomes with the right incentive and support structure. How can your community develop this? You’ll have to read the brief to find out!

We hope this document helps you answer  “What next?” for your community now that the application process is over!