California’s Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Funding from HUD to Solve Homelessness Increased by 79% During the Past Decade

Funding Increased Unevenly among the State’s 44 Continuums of Care

 Some CoCs Experienced More Than a 100% Increase during the Past Decade
And Others a Single Digit Increase or a Decrease as Noted in Table 2

 Collectively, Funding for Each Region—Northern, Central, and
Southern California—Increased Unevenly as Noted in Table 1

 (Click here to see Map of California CoCs by Region)

Information gathered from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Continuum of Care web page, reveals that during the past decade, annual Continuum of Care Program funding from HUD to California’s 44 Continuum of Care (CoCs) increased as noted in the chart below from $274,202,077 in 2011 to $491,195,402 in 2020, which represents an increase of $216,993,325 or 79%.

During the first half of the past decade, funding increased from $274,202,077 in 2011 to $336,507,106 in 2015, which represents an increase of $62,305,029 or 23%. During the second half of the past decade, funding increased from $353,937,202 in 2016 to $491,195,402 in 2020, which represents an increase of $137,258,200 or 39%.

Table 1 notes the increases in funding for each of the three regions listed below.

  • Northern California CoCs received an increase of $105,589,056 or 107% when the total funding awarded in 2011 is compared to 2020.
  • Central California CoCs received an increase of $8,810,942 or 49% when the total funding awarded in 2011 is compared to 2020.
  • Southern California CoCs received an increase of $102,593,327 or 65% when the total funding awarded in 2011 is compared to 2020.

NOTE: Due to the pandemic, HUD announced that 2020 funding only includes a “non-competitively renew for one 12-month period existing CoC renewal projects (including Shelter Plus Care and Youth Homeless Demonstration Program (YHDP) projects), CoC planning awards, and Unified Funding Agency (UFA) Costs awards expiring during Calendar Year (CY) 2021 (between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021). Renewal amounts will be adjusted to account for changes in Fair Market Rent (FMR) as applicable. This process includes any current CoC Program-funded project and award that has an expiration date in CY 2021.”

(Click here to see Map of California CoCs by Region)

Table 2 compares the funding awarded to each CoC in 2011 to 2020. Nearly all CoCs experienced an increase in awarded funding.* Yuba City & County/Sutter County CoC first received CoC Program funding in 2015 in the amount of $2,490.
**Tehama County CoC first received CoC Program funding in 2015 in the amount of $5,629.
***Lake County CoC first received CoC Program funding in 2019 in the amount of $6,280.
****Alpine, Inyo, Mono Counties CoC first received CoC Program funding in 2015 in the amount of $2,015 (known as CA-615 in 2015) and renumbered CA-530 in 2016 and received $3,091 in CoC funds.
*****Nevada County CoC first received CoC Program funding in 2019 in the amount of $176,410. Prior to 2019, Nevada County was part of the CA-515 CoC.
******Oxnard CoC CA-611 and Ventura County CoC CA-605 merged in 2011 and became the CA-611 Oxnard, San Buenaventura/Ventura County CoC

What Happens Next

The 2021 Continuum of Care Program competition will likely begin in a few months. More than $2 billion dollars will be available through HUD of which approximately $500 million will be awarded to California’s 44 CoCs.

Most of the approximately $500 million will be to renew currently funded projects. As noted in the following table, approximately 90% of the total State award has been awarded for renewal projects.

Of the approximately $500 million that will likely be awarded to California’s CoCs in 2021, approximately 90% or $450 million will be to renew currently funded projects. Of the remaining $50 million, approximately $10 million will be awarded to CoCs as planning grants, which was the case in past years. Planning grant funding is used by CoCs to evaluate outcomes of projects for which funds are awarded in the geographic area; developing a communitywide or region-wide process involving a wide-range of public and private organizations; developing a Continuum of Care system; and evaluating the outcomes of projects for which funds are awarded in the geographic area.

Most of the remaining $40 million will likely by awarded for new or expanded permanent supportive housing, rapid-rehousing projects, and joint transitional housing-rapid rehousing projects. In 2019, about $30 million was awarded to these new or expanded projects. Some of the remaining $40 million may be awarded to expand current Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS). About $9 million was awarded to expand current HMIS in 2019.

California’s 44 CoCs will likely receive $500 million or 20% of the 2021 Continuum of Care Program funding when awarded late this year, which has been the case during the past few years. The State of New York’s 25 CoCs, will likely be awarded approximately $250 million or 10% of the funding and Illinois’ 19 CoCs will likely be awarded approximately $125 million or 5% of the funding.

3 Comments

  1. Natalie Komuro on March 15, 2021 at 9:37 am

    Thank you for this analysis. This is stunning. A few thoughts and questions most of which I know are beyond the scope of this, isn’t that what research does for us?
    a. Smaller CoC’s saw much smaller increases. Wondering if this tracks with transiency between CoCs (people leaving less funded areas to get help in better funded areas). I am of course noticing Glendale CoC in particular, which services a significant number of people from the LA CoC.
    b. At what point does this system stop growing and reaches a sustaining level? With 90% funding renewals, are we are there? (I don’t think so, but wonder what this means in terms of federal policy.)
    c. Did any of the increases translate into wage increases for front-line staff? We place significant demands on front-line workers. Are they getting proper compensation and benefits? Did the increases for wages keep pace with the increases of rent subsidies based on FMR? I’m increasingly frustrated by advocacy that ignores the pressures places on the people doing the work.
    d. How does this compare with overall funding for affordable housing and other essential services, such as mental health and addiction recovery?
    e. How is this tracking against PIT Count numbers? (I think I know, so the follow up is, how does the fact of increased spending get messaged against a backdrop of increasingly visible homelessness?)
    f. Also, because I’m in a hurry and not looking it up, did HUD’s CoC funding didn’t increase 79%, did it? If not, then I’m wondering at what cost to other CoCs?

  2. Gloria M. Sandoval on March 18, 2021 at 11:25 am

    Are HUD federal funds the same ones that come through state of California funding? Or does CA offer yet other funds from state funds? Would appreciate knowing this in particular that apply to Merced CoC. Another question: how prevalent is the purchasing of closed motels to be used for permanent supportive housing in CA? Who becomes the “owner/landlord”?

    • Joe Colletti, PhD on March 18, 2021 at 10:19 pm

      HUD federal CoC Program funds do not come through the State. State provides other funds such as $500 million in HEAP and $950 million in HHAP. State provide $800 million for Project Homekey, which was used to purchase 96 permanent supportive housing projects of which many were motels/hotels. Another $750 million will likely be provided by the State for Project Homekey round 2. Owners may be public or private agencies.

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