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COVID-19 Homeless System Response: Planning a Housing Surge to Accelerate Rehousing Efforts in Response to COVID-19


Date Published: June 2020


As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and in response to COVID-19, many communities will receive significant new allocations of Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funds that can be used to quickly rehouse individuals and families experiencing homelessness and disproportionately at risk of COVID-19. Continuums of Care (CoCs) should leverage this moment to deploy surge strategies to swiftly rehouse households experiencing homelessness. This document describes how to use a housing surge to quickly move people into housing, details the key components of a housing surge, outlines the steps and best practices for operationalizing a housing surge in the context of COVID-19, and provides examples of housing surges implemented in communities in different situations. Equity tips are included in each section.

Visit the Disease Risks and Homelessness page on the HUD Exchange for a full list of resources related to COVID-19 infectious disease prevention and response for homeless providers.

The contents of these materials, except when based on statutory or regulatory authority or law, do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. These materials are intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.

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Tags: CoC COVID-19 ESG
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  • HUD
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  • HUD Approved