About the NYC Continuum of Care

Mission & Purpose

The mission of the NYC Continuum of Care (CoC) is to provide a leadership role in local planning and coordination to prevent and eradicate homelessness in New York City, while effectively implementing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Continuum of Care program. The NYC CoC works to:

  • Identify the gaps and needs of homeless households in New York City and participate in the process of prioritizing local and state funding to meet these needs;
  • Coordinate citywide applications for homeless housing and service funding, including but not limited to New York City’s annual application for HUD McKinney-Vento funding;
  • Track trends and adjust priorities to meet the changing needs of homeless households;
  • Advocate for increased federal funding to meet the needs of those experiencing or who are at-risk of homelessness in New York City and more.  

Collaborative Applicant Role

The New York City Department of Social Services (DSS), acting on behalf of the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS), currently serves as the Collaborative Applicant for the New York City Continuum of Care (NY-600).

The NYC CoC Collaborative Applicant must prepare and submit a collaborative application (known as the Annual NOFA) to the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) for Federal CoC Program funding to support the operation of homeless assistance projects comprised of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), Rapid Re-Housing (RRH), Transitional Housing (TH), and Joint Transitional Housing to Rapid Re-Housing (TH-RRH) programs, Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) operation, and CoC Planning activities. The CoC also engages in Consolidated Planning as it relates to homelessness and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) reporting.

Governance Structure

The Steering Committee, which is the primary decision-making body of the CoC, responsible for approval of all CoC policies, procedures, and governance. The Steering Committee’s decisions are made with input from CoC Committees, Sub-Committees, and Workgroups. The Steering Committee has 17 voting members who were elected by the CoC and three Co-Chairs. You may learn more about the Steering Committee and CoC committees by visiting their webpages.

CoC Membership & Meetings

General membership of the NYC CoC is open to all stakeholders interested in its purposes, including nonprofit homeless assistance providers, victim service providers, faith-based organizations, government agencies, businesses, advocates, public housing agencies, school districts, social service providers, mental health agencies, hospitals, universities, philanthropies, affordable housing developers, law enforcement, and individuals currently or formerly experiencing homelessness in New York City.

An avenue for general members to become more involved and to learn more about the NYC CoC is to attend our meetings. Each year, the NYC CoC holds two Open Public Meetings for local community members and stakeholders interested in housing and homelessness that focus on NYC CoC information, policy and programmatic initiatives, housing and homelessness initiatives, and other topics. Additionally, the NYC CoC holds quarterly Grantee Meetings for CoC-funded providers and providers interested in CoC funding. The Grantee Meetings typically include trainings, technical assistance, grant compliance and contract management, HUD policies and reporting, and other grantee-related topics.

History of the CoC Program & the NYC CoC

In 1987, the U.S. Congress passed the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, the first federal law specifically addressing homelessness, later renamed the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. With this Act, HUD held competitions for federal homeless assistance dollars annually for which individual organizations throughout the nation applied. Beginning in 1994, HUD required organizations within the community to come together to submit a single comprehensive CoC application for federal homeless assistance funding.

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009 (HEARTH Act) codified into law the CoC Program, among other amendments. The CoC Program Interim Rule, enacted in July 2012, elaborated on the implementation and planning process of the CoC program.

This Rule defines a Continuum of Care (CoC) as a group composed of “representatives of organizations, including nonprofit homeless providers, victim service providers, faith-based organizations, governments, businesses, advocates, public housing agencies, school districts, social service providers, mental health agencies, hospitals, universities, affordable housing developers, law enforcement, organizations that serve homeless and formerly homeless veterans, and homeless and formerly homeless persons.”

Since the inception of the NYC CoC and in accordance of sections § 578.7 and § 578.9 of the Interim Rule, the NYC CoC has aimed to “promote communitywide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness; provide funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, and State and local governments to quickly rehouse homeless individuals and families while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused to homeless individuals, families, and communities by homelessness; promote access to and effective utilization of mainstream programs by homeless individuals and families; and optimize self-sufficiency among individuals and families experiencing homelessness.”

Additional Resources

For more information on the NYC CoC and its responsibilities, membership, committees, and more in the Bylaws and Governance Charter, please visit the CoC Governing Documents webpage.