FAQ for 2023 for Grant Competition for U.S. Dept. Housing & Urban Dev. Continuum of Care funds in Monroe/Northeast Louisiana region (LA-505 CoC)

ADDED 8-21-2023 Q: My agency is considering writing a new rapid rehousing (RRH) project application (or expansion to an existing project) so we can serve a wider geographic area than we can with our current grant(s). Our new project proposal would address a specific subpopulation of persons experiencing homelessness rather than serving all persons who meet the HUD homeless definitions for CoC-funded projects. To qualify for the bonus points available for 2023, however, a new RRH project would need to serve the general population. Our question: Could a new project RRH application serving a subpopulation realistically be competitive with others that are open to all? 

A: In general, more rapid rehousing is good, regardless of population, according to our gaps analysis and the Board’s priorities. From a competitive standpoint for our local competition, it will be a challenge to compete with other new/expansion RRH applications that don’t specialize because they would get the extra 10 bonus points. However, there are other bonus points available, that I expect few if any will try to qualify for. If I were an applicant in your position, I’d take a hard look at those to see if I could qualify for any. Still, even if an RRH application didn’t qualify for any bonus points, such an application would no doubt be competitive against other types of projects because of our local need. The advice of all grant writing experts would apply: write the proposal emphasizing your strong points in the narrative pieces. The NOFO metrics and thus our local score sheets obviously prioritize applications with strong applicant capacity and experience, a recap of local need, and how (and how well) the proposed project would meet the need. 


Q: Can two renewal projects of different types (examples: TH and RRH, TH-RRH and RRH, etc.) be consolidated into one project and be expanded with new funds in the 2022 Competition?  A: Not all in the same competition. The FY 2022 NOFO does allow a renewal project to change component, or to consolidate with another project of the same type, or to be increased through expansion, as follows:        Transition Grants: (NOFO pp. 26-27): See definition of Transition Grant. A grant’s project component (type of project) can be changed through transitioning an eligible renewal project through reallocation to another project component. The reallocation is voluntary and not available for any new project applications other than as the new project proposed by the recipient of the renewal project being transitioned. The CoC must consent. There are specific requirements on how a project is transitioned. See NOFO pp. 26-7 for full details.       Expansion Projects (NOFO pp. 44): Renewal project applicants can apply for an expansion project to add funds to an existing project to increase nbr units, persons served, services provided to existing participants, or add additional activities to HMIS and SSO-CE projects.        Consolidation Projects: (NOFO p. 45-46): Applicants may use the consolidation process if both projects are in good standing with the CoC and HUD, budget and period of performance requirements are met, etc. (see p. 45). Both projects must be the same component. For example, a transitional housing project (TH) and a rapid rehousing project (RRH) can’t consolidate into a TH-RRH project. But two RRH projects can combine. Also, a transition grant can’t consolidate with any other project.       

Q: May we submit additional materials other than those specified on the HOME Coalition’s website or the score sheets and other published materials as well as any covered in the NOFO 2022? If so, how can we submit those?

A: Yes on a limited basis. If you have never before received grant funding through the Monroe/NELA LA-505 competition OR any grant funds through the U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development Continuum of Care Program, you can and should feel free to submit letters of support from CURRENT funders, Continuums of Care in the competitions in which you were funded, or other pertinent sources that can speak to your capacity as a grantee of federal funds and/or HUD CoC Program funds. If you cannot attach these in esnaps, please email them (USE READ RECEIPT) to homecoalition@gmail.com no later than when the project applications are due to the CoC (Aug. 31 at 11:59 pm). Please do NOT send items that do not directly address your organization’s capacity to provide the specific services you are proposing or that directly address your history or capacity to administer federal grant funds. Do NOT provide paper copies of anything. Do NOT provide any confidential information such as identifying information about or testimonials from specific persons served. If you are unsure if a particular document will be accepted, please EMAIL a question about the document to homecoalition@gmail.com. A response will be provided within 72 hours of your request.

Q: Can I submit my project application to you in advance for feedback before I make the formal online submission?

A: No.

Q: Can I ask questions related to the application process?

A: Yes. Please email all questions to homecoalition@gmail.com. All questions and answers will be posted on this webpage unless the question is specific to only one applicant agency. Please make every effort to submit questions no later than 24 hours before the project applications are due to the CoC (Aug. 31 at 11:59 pm) to ensure staff will have time to answer and post your question and answer so it can be equally accessible to all applicants. ALSO, Please be sure you are subscribed to the HOME Coalition’s email mailing list as well as the HUD Exchange email mailing list. If you are not sure if you have subscribed to the HOME Coalition’s list, email homecoalition@gmail.com. If you are not currently subscribed you will be. You can access the HUD Competition 2022 mailing list sign up here (link below also). You should ALSO sign up for the mailing list for announcements and news about HUD CoC funding and programming here (link also below). 

SIGN UP FOR HUD ANNOUNCEMENTS ABOUT THIS COC COMPETITION: https://www.hud.gov/subscribe/signup?listname=SNAPS%20Competitions&list=SNAPS-COMPETITIONS-L


Q: Should I hit the Submit button in esnaps at the end of my project application(s)? Doesn’t the HOME Coalition need to score the applications before they are submitted to HUD?

A: Yes you MUST submit your application in esnaps for the HOME Coalition to be able to access and score it. Otherwise, it’s not considered submitted timely. When you complete an application in esnaps, it is visible only to the HOME Coalition, not to HUD. Once all applications are scored and ranked, those applications are attached to one regional application and then submitted to HUD by the HOME Coalition.

Q: What if I submit my application then realize I need to correct something?

Don’t stress out. As long as you make the request BEFORE the Aug. 31 at 11:59 pm deadline, you can notify the CoC Director at homecoalition@gmail.com. The application can be released back to you for changes. Then you must again submit the application(s) no later than Aug. 31 at 11:59 pm to go through the scoring and ranking process. Applications not submitted in esnaps by that time are not eligible to be ranked and scored unless you have been directed because of technical difficulties with esnaps to submit a paper form.  

Q: Do you have any tips for applicants?

A: Yes. See below

1. Be sure to read ALL the instructions pertinent to the application. This includes the NOFO, the esnaps instructions, any FAQs HUD has posted, and all instructions including the score sheets and FAQs on this webpage.  

2. DO NOT WAIT until the last minute to submit your
application in esnaps. Technical difficulties can and do happen.

3. The esnaps instructions provided by HUD are very detailed and necessary to successfully use esnaps. Users are encouraged to follow
them EXACTLY. Experienced esnaps users typically remark that the system is very sequential – it’s better not to skip around in the application the first time
you fill it out. Experienced users also sometimes recommend printing out the instructions and following them slowly step by step.

4. You can stop at any point as you work on your application in esnaps and save the application then log out and come back later to add more to it. The system saves your partially completed application as you left it as long as you Save before you exit.

5. Save often as you fill out a project application in esnaps. If you don’t Save frequently, the system will log you off, sometimes without your being aware of it. You will lose any data you entered since the last time you Saved. Esnaps is used by all CoCs in the U.S. and its territories. Thus, if it’s late in the application period for project applications (i.e., after August 15), traffic on the system is heavy as thousands of applicants attempt to finish their applications. Users are most likely to be logged off quickly then after a period of inactivity. Save save save!