The Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) - formerly called the Emergency Shelter Grant - is grant program awarded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, designed to assist households who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless. Particular emphasis is placed on helping individuals or families connect with or remain in permanent housing after they experience a housing crisis or homelessness. Eligible activities include short-term homelessness prevention assistance to prevent households at imminent risk of losing their home; and assistance to homeless households moving into permanent affordable housing. ESG funds may also be used to support shelter operating costs, essential services, and outreach activities.
The selection of recipients of Emergency Solutions Grants occurs annually with the availability of applications typically beginning in November of each year. Anyone interested in applying for funds may request an RFP here. Organizations that receive an Emergency Solutions Grant must match grant funds dollar for dollar with their own locally generated amounts.
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 Homeless Assistance Act with substantial changes including changes to the ESG Program.
The Emergency Solutions Grant, as authorized under HEARTH, allows communities to set priorities on the use of funds based on the needs of the community. These standards serve to outline the specific guidelines and priorities that will be used by the City of Lowell's Department of Planning and Development in awarding and administering ESG funds. Lowell's Written Standards may be viewed here.
If you have any questions or comments about the City of Lowell's ESG program, please contact the Community Development Department via 978-674-4252.