About the ESG

The Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program is authorized by subtitle B of Title IV – Housing Assistance of S.896 The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009. The ESG interim rule (24 CFR Parts 576), published in the Federal Register on December 5, 2011, establishes the regulations for the Emergency Solutions Grant Program. The program focus is to assist people to quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis and/or homelessness. The program authorizes the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to make grants to states, units of general purpose local government, and territories for the rehabilitation or conversion of buildings for use as emergency shelters for the homeless, for the payment of certain expenses related to operating emergency shelters, for essential services related to emergency shelters and street outreach for the homeless, and for homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing assistance.

The ESG program is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. Eligible applicants include any general purpose units of local government including cities, boroughs, and townships, towns, counties, home rule municipalities, and communities that desire to apply “on behalf of” other municipalities. Local Governments may apply “on behalf of” other nonprofit organizations, which will perform services as a subcontractor. Non-profits are eligible applicants for their own projects as of this year and can apply on a regional level only which means it must be a multi-county project. If non-profits decide to apply for a regional shelter program, they must get approval from their local municipality. Applications are accepted yearly for a funding period lasting 18 months.

Funding Priorities

The FY2019 PA DCED ESG Competion Application closed as of Friday, June 14, 2019. Please visit the DCED website here to learn more information.

When the application is open, you may click here to apply.

1. The following funding priorities have been established for the 2019 ESG allocation:

    • Primary Priority – Rapid Rehousing, Street Outreach, and Housing Locator Services
    • Secondary Priorities – Homelessness Prevention, Emergency Shelter: Essential Services
    • Non-Priority – Emergency Shelter: Operations (applicants applying for operation funds may only
      request ESG funds equal to 25% of the total shelter operations budget for the 18 month award period)
  • Priority Populations – Veterans, Chronically Homeless, Families with Children or Youth

2. The two activities listed below are targeted activities for this funding round:

a. Street Outreach
In an effort to reduce statewide homelessness, in the 2019 application DCED is targeting Street Outreach projects in the Pennsylvania Balance of State CoC Counties having participated in the 2019 Point in Time count and identified homeless individuals and families that are not housed or sheltered. All eligible activities under a Street Outreach project will be considered. In making funding decisions, DCED will seek to avoid duplicated efforts.

b. Housing Locator Services
Housing locator services focus on services or activities necessary to assist program participants in locating, obtaining and retaining suitable permanent housing and increasing housing stability and self-sufficiency. Services should include: assessment, arranging, coordinating, housing stability plan development; with an emphasis on acting as a liaison to secure and maintain housing; employment; a connection to mainstream resources and services; coordination with other providers; monitoring of progress; and advocating on behalf of the client. Services should also focus on building a set of supports that can help prevent the recurrence of a housing crisis.

DCED will continue to permit applicants to design diverse projects to meet their local needs. However, we recommend each applicant to coordinate their efforts with the local Continuum of Care priorities, address DCED’s primary priority activity, and demonstrate capacity to meet all ESG program requirements.

Applicants who design regional projects will be highly considered for funding if the project addresses a statewide need that is supported by data, is administered by an organization with capacity to fulfill all programmatic requirements, and has identified its ability to meet the match requirement.

Funding Opportunities

Agencies interested in the 2019 Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program Guidelines should click here to review.  The application will be open on the Electronic Single Application on Friday, May 31, 2019 and closes Friday, June 14, 2019. The Homelessness staff conducted a webinar on April 9, 2019 on this year’s application changes and priorities.