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Emergency Solutions Grants Program (ESGP or ESG)


The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009 (HEARTH Act), enacted into law on May 20, 2009, consolidates three of the separate homeless assistance programs administered by HUD under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act into a single grant program, and revises the Emergency Shelter Grants program and renames it as the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program.

The interim rule, published in the Federal Register on December 5, 2011, revises the regulations for the Emergency Shelter Grants program by establishing the regulations for the Emergency Solutions Grants program, which replaces the Emergency Shelter Grants program. The change in the programís name, from Emergency Shelter Grants to Emergency Solutions Grants, reflects the change in the programís focus from addressing the needs of homeless people in emergency or transitional shelters to assisting people to quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis and/or homelessness.

The City-Parish receives formula ESGP funds from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and competes annually for ESGP funding made available through the Louisiana Housing. Through a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process, area non-profits may apply for ESGP funding to carry out the purposes of the Emergency Shelter Grant Program.


The purpose of the ESG program is to assist individuals and families quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis or homelessness. The ESG program provides funding to::

  1. Engage homeless individuals and families living on the street;
  2. Improve the number and quality of emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families;
  3. Help operate these shelters;
  4. Provide essential services to shelter residents;
  5. Rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families; and
  6. Prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless.

ESG funds are available for five program components: street outreach, emergency shelter, homelessness prevention, rapid re-housing assistance, and data collection through the Homeless Management Information System or HMIS. Below is a summary of the components and related eligible costs:

  • Street Outreach: funds may cover costs related to essential services for unsheltered persons (including emergency health or mental health care, engagement, case management, and services for special populations.

  • Emergency Shelter: funds may be used for renovation of emergency shelter facilities and the operation of those facilities, as well as services for the residents (including case management, child care, education, employment assistance and job training, legal, mental health, substance abuse treatment, transportation, and services for special populations)

  • Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing: both components fund housing relocation and stabilization services (including rental application fees, security deposits, utility deposits or payments, last monthís rent and housing search and placement activities). Funds may also be used for short- or medium-term rental assistance for those who are at-risk of becoming homeless or transitioning to stable housing.

  • HMIS: funds may be used to pay the costs for contributing data to the HMIS designated by the Continuum of Care for the area. Eligible activities include (computer hardware, software, or equipment, technical support, office space, salaries of operators, staff training costs, and participation fees).

Funds used for street outreach and emergency shelter activities are limited to 60 percent of the recipientís total fiscal year grant for ESG.

Limitations on the Use of ESG Funds
Ineligible Activities:

ESGP amount may not be used for activities other than those specifically authorized.

Primarily Religious Organizations.

Grant amounts may not be used to renovate, rehabilitate, or convert buildings owned by primarily religious organizations unless special conditions are met in compliance with program regulations.

ESGP assistance may be provided to a primarily religious organization, if the organization agrees to provide eligible activities in a manner that is free from religious influences and in accordance with principles stated in ESG Program regulations.

The use of ESGP funds for general administrative costs of non-profit subgrantees is ineligible.

Matching Funds Requirements

ESGP Sub-Recipients are required to provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to their approved ESGP funding amounts for eligible program activities. Matching funds must be derived from sources other than the Program, and only funds provided after the date of the grant award to the City Parish will be considered as eligible matching funds.

In calculating the amount of matching funds, the following types may be included: the value of any donated material or building, the value of any lease on a building; any salary paid to staff of the nonprofit sub-recipient (as appropriate) in carrying out the emergency shelter program; and the time and services contributed by volunteers to carry out the emergency shelter program, determined at the rate of $5 per hour.

City-Parish Application Procedures

There is a formal competitive application process, a Request for Proposals (RFP) for non-profit organizations to request ESGP assistance from the City-Parish. Evidence of status as a private non-profit organization, and as a tax-exempt 501(c) organization is required of all applicants. Initially required information includes: Specifics on the proposed project, including type and number of clients to be served, services provided, location, and proposed budget, written assurances that grant matching requirements can be adequately met, as well as all other grant certifications; eligibility of proposed activities; and the person or staff to be responsible for the grant administration, if funded.

Based upon HUD's or the State's application deadlines, the City-Parish Office of Community Development establishes annual RFP submission deadlines. The City-Parish receives annual ESG formula funding from HUD, and competes for ESG funds annually via application to the Louisiana Housing Corporation. All known current, past or possible ESG sub-recipients are notified as to the availability of ESG funding and proposal submission packages.

Other notices and announcements are made when appropriate to identifying other, potential sub-recipients, including public notice publication and posting on OCD's internet site.


The Office of Community Development administers the Emergency Solutions Grant Program for the City Parish. No proposals are accepted except pursuant to a specific Request for Proposals issued by OCD. Proposals must be on forms issued under the RFP and in accordance with RFP submission instructions. RFP submission deadlines are firm, and no proposal submitted after the deadline will be accepted nor considered. No RFP forms or instructions will be released until the date specified in the RFP.

Additional Information

For additional information contact:

Jim McDonnell, Division Manager
City of Baton Rouge & Parish of East Baton Rouge
Office of Community Development
P. O. Box 1471
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
Phone: (225) 389-3039 Fax: (225) 389-3939
or E-mail:

For potential applicants interested in making advance preparations for a possible submission, sample copies of the most recent RFP package are available. The latest package may be downloaded from the link provided below. For your convenience, printed copies are mailed upon request. Copies are for information only, and not to be used for a subsequent proposal solicitation.