Community Helps Identify CESH Funding Priorities

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News Date: 
October 23, 2018
Cal. Emergency Solutions Workshop

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) announced the availability of approximately $53 million in California Emergency Solutions and Housing Program (CESH Program) on August 15, 2018. The City was designated as the Administrative Entity (AE) by the Continuum of Care (CoC) through the Leadership Council and expects to receive approximately $1 million in CESH funds to administer for the Monterey/San Benito Continuum of Care area to assist persons who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness

The City held a community workshop on September 28, 2018 to receive community input to establish and set up CESH activity priorities. After the workshop, staff took to the streets of Chinatown to obtain feedback from those experiencing homelessness’ needs. The City also worked with the Executive Officer of the Coalition of Homeless Service Providers, Katherine Thoeni and the Leadership Council to prioritize the CESH funding. The City requested that the funding be targeted to begin a new, pilot program in a targeted area to solve homelessness utilizing HUD’s best practices heavily focused on Street Outreach, Housing Navigation, Housing Locators, Rental Assistance and emergency housing interventions. The intent is to try a new program and build on successes in the program throughout the CoC.

On October 15, 2018 the City submitted its application to HCD requesting funding for the following established priorities:

  1. Rental assistance, housing relocation, and stabilization services to ensure housing affordability to individuals experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness. Rental assistance provided pursuant to this paragraph shall not exceed 48 months for each assisted household, rent payments shall not exceed 48 months for each assisted household, and rent payments shall not exceed two times the current HUD fair market rent for the local areas, as determined pursuant to 24 CFR part 888.
  2. Flexible housing subsidy funds for local programs that establish or support the provision of rental subsidies in permanent housing to assist homeless individuals and families. Funds used for purposes of this paragraph may support rental assistance, bridge subsidies to property owners waiting for approval from another permanent rental subsidy source, vacancy payments, or project-based rent or operating reserves.
  3. Operating support for emergency housing interventions, including, but not limited to, the following:
  1. Navigation centers that provide temporary room and board and case managers who work to connect homeless individuals and families to income, public benefits, health services, permanent housing, or other shelter.
  2. Street outreach services to connect unsheltered homeless individuals and families to temporary or permanent housing.
  3. Shelter diversion, including, but not limited to, homeless prevention activities such as those described in 24 CFR 576.103, and other necessary service integration activities such as those described in 24 CFR 576.105, to connect individuals and families to alternate housing arrangements, services, and financial assistance.