Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act

On May 20, 2009, President Obama signed the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009. The HEARTH Act amends and reauthorizes the McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance Act with substantial changes, including:

To read the amended and reauthorized McKinney-Vento Act, see The McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance Act, as amended by the HEARTH Act.

On July 6, 2012, the President signed into law P.L. 112-141, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). Subtitle C, of Title II, Division F contained the following four HEARTH Act technical corrections:

HEARTH Act Updates

Homeless Definition

Homeless Definition Final Rule Published

HUD published the final rule on the definition of homelessness in the Federal Register on December 5, 2011, which integrates the regulation for the definition of "homeless," and the corresponding recordkeeping requirements for the Shelter Plus Care (S+C) Program and the Supportive Housing Program (SHP). HUD incorporated this definition into the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program and the Rural Housing Stability Assistance Program (RHSP). This final rule also establishes the regulation for the definition "developmental disability" and the definition and recordkeeping requirements for "homeless individual with a disability" for the Shelter Plus Care Program and the Supportive Housing Program.

The proposed rule was released and provided necessary clarification on terms within the statutory definitions of "homeless," "homeless individual," "homeless person," and "homeless individual with a disability" and contained proposed recordkeeping requirements designed to assist communities appropriately document an individual or family's homeless status in the case file. Through the proposed rule, HUD solicited public comment and suggestions on the proposed clarifications, which HUD then considered when making changes for the final rule. The public comment period closed on June 21, 2010.

On January 17, 2011, HUD published the Notice on Limitation on Use of Funds to Serve Persons Defined as Homeless Under Other Federal Laws, which is only applicable to those recipients whose approved FY2011 applications (new or renewal) proposed to serve families with children and/or unaccompanied youth. This Notice provides guidance to Continuums of Care and recipients of FY 2011 Supportive Housing Program and Shelter Plus Care Program competitive grant funds, on information provided in the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) Questions and Answers: A Supplement to the FY2011 CoC Homelessness Assistance NOFA and Application.

For more information on the Homeless Definition, view the following resources:

Continuum of Care Program

CoC Program Interim Rule Published

HUD published the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program interim rule in the Federal Register on July 31, 2012. This interim rule, which became effective August 30, 2012, establishes the requirements for the CoC Program, including requirements for applying for, and administering, grant funds as well as the regulatory implementation of the Continuum of Care and its responsibilities. The CoC Program consolidates the following Homeless Assistance programs: the Shelter Plus Care Program, the Supportive Housing Program, and the Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program. Additionally, the CoC Program interim rule incorporates the Final Homeless Definition. 
The public comment period closed on November 16, 2012.

For more information about the CoC Program, visit the CoC Program Page.

Emergency Solutions Grants Program

ESG Program Interim Rule Published

HUD published the interim rule for the amended Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program along with the corresponding confirming amendments to the Consolidated Plan regulations at 24 CFR Part 91. The ESG Program interim rule incorporates the Final Homeless Definition. The interim rule was published in the Federal Register on December 5, 2011 and became effective on January 4, 2012. The public comment period closed on February 3, 2012.

For more information about the ESG Program, visit the ESG Program Page.

Homeless Management Information Systems

HMIS Proposed Rule Published

HUD published the proposed rule for Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS) Requirements in the Federal Register on December 9, 2011. This proposed rule provides for:

  1. Uniform technical requirements of HMIS;
  2. Proper collection of data and maintenance of the database; and
  3. Confidentiality of the information in the database.

The public comment period closed on February 7, 2012.

Rural Housing Stability Assistance Program

RHSP Program Interim Rule Published

HUD published the proposed rule for the Rural Housing Stability Assistance Program (RHSP) in the Federal Register on March 27, 2013. This proposed rule provides for the establishment of regulations to implement the new RHSP. In addition to proposing the regulatory framework for the new RHSP, this rule also proposes to establish a definition for “chronically homeless” that includes a definition of homeless occasion that better targets persons with the longest histories of homelessness and the highest level of need.

The public comment period for the RHSP requirements closed July 1, 2013. The comment period regarding HUD's proposed revisions to the chronically homeless definition closed May 28, 2013.

For more information about the RHSP Program, visit the RHSP Program Page.