DES MOINES – The U.S. Department of Housingand Urban Development (HUD) recently announced that Iowa has been awarded morethan $9.1 million in federal funds to support homelessness assistanceinitiatives through the Continuum of Care (CoC) program.
HUD’s CoC program provides critically neededsupport to local programs on the front lines of serving individuals andfamilies experiencing homelessness. The program is designed to promotecommunity-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness.
“Iowa received a 3.1% increase in fundsawarded for homelessness assistance efforts through the highly-competitiveprogram over last year,” said Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director DaveJamison. “This is a credit to the system-wide performance improvements beingmade by partners throughout the state. These funds will soon be making a veryreal impact on the lives of Iowans in need.”
HUD strongly encouragedlocal applicants to prioritize their funding request very carefully, using amix of performance data and local needs. In addition, applicants wereencouraged to submit projects that were based on research-driven approaches andsupported the nation’s goals to prevent and end homelessness.
The CoC competition allows planningorganizations (called Continuums of Care or CoCs) to apply for the programthrough one annual consolidated application.
In Iowa, there are three CoCs, including DesMoines/Polk County, Sioux City/Woodury County and the Iowa Balance of State CoC,which covers the rest of the state with the exception of Council Bluffs, as it isincluded in the Omaha CoC. The Iowa Finance Authority provides administrative supportfor the Iowa Council on Homelessness, which oversees the Balance of State CoC.
The Iowa Council on Homelessness reports that11,890 Iowans experienced homelessness in 2016, a statistic that has beentrending downward.