Emergency Solutions Grant


FY 2021 Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) – Request for Applications

The Asheville-Buncombe NC-501 Continuum of Care (CoC) is charged by the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) to submit a community-wide application for Emergency Solution Grant (ESG) funds. This year the NC-501 CoC is eligible for $128,271 in ESG funding.

The complete FY 2021 ESG application information and application documents are available at:


There have been some changes in the ESG application process this year, so please read the application announcements and information contained in this announcement carefully.

The local deadline for applications is 12:00 p.m. Friday, September 11, 2020. Applicants must be also available to provide a 5-10 minute presentation at a virtual meeting of the Finance Workgroup of the Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee on Thursday, September 17 at a time to be determined.


ESG funds are intended to be used as part of a homelessness crisis response system using a low-barrier, Housing First approach to ensure that homelessness is rare, brief, and non-recurring. ESG-funded projects are designed to:

  • Engage homeless individuals and families living on the street;
  • Help operate emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families;
  • Provide essential services to shelter residents;
  • Rapidly re-house homeless individuals and families; and
  • Prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless.

Eligible project types serve two primary functions, Emergency Response activities and Housing Stability activities.

Emergency Response activities include street outreach and emergency shelter operations and services. Emergency Response applications must use a low-barrier, Housing First model that prioritizes rapid placement and stabilization in permanent housing.

Housing Stability activities include Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Assistance. Housing Stability applications must also support the Housing First model.

Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) activities are also eligible, but only in conjunction with another eligible activity.


To be eligible to apply for ESG funding, agencies must:

  • Serve individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Buncombe County;
  • Utilize a Housing First approach and participate in Coordinated Entry;
  • Be prepared to utilize or already utilizing the Homeless Management Information System to record client level data (or comparable database if Domestic Violence Provider);
  • Be ready to serve eligible clients beginning January 1, 2021 and use all funds by December 31, 2021.

There are two application review phases for ESG funding. The initial process is a local review conducted by the Finance Workgroup of the Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee (HIAC). After completing its review, this group makes recommendations to HIAC, which are then provided to the State ESG office for final review and award determination.

Organizations not currently funded in the FY 2020 annual ESG allocation that are interested in being recommended for ESG funding must complete a full application and apply through the NC-501 Continuum of Care.

Organizations currently funded in the FY 2020 annual ESG allocation that are interested in being recommended for ESG funding must submit their Renewal Certification to apply through the NC-501 Continuum of Care. However, agencies that want to apply for funding in an activity in which they are not currently funded must to complete a full application for that new activity.

DEADLINE: All new Project Applications and Renewal Certifications, along with all supporting documentation, must be submitted no later than 12:00 p.m. on Friday, September 11, 2020 via the Smartsheets link found at https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/94348fd852da410daf0441332f31b393.

No matching funds are required but applicants are encouraged to demonstrate how additional non-ESG funds are leveraged.  

Although the City of Asheville is responsible for conducting local application review and submitting the ESG regional Application, the City will not be serving as Fiscal Sponsor for ESG funding in FY 2021. Agencies that are awarded will contract directly with the ESG Office. However, applicant agencies will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Asheville outlining the CoC’s requirements for community participation, performance, compliance and reporting.

The final Regional Application will be submitted to the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) by October 16, 2020. 


Both new applicants and currently funded organizations seeking funding for a new activity must also submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) for funding through this ESG funding process. Submission of a LOI does not constitute an application nor does it constitute approval for funding. In no more than one page, a Letter of Intent should include:

  • Agency Name;
  • Primary contact person;
  • Contact Email and Phone Number;
  • Anticipated ESG Funding Request for FY 2021;
  • A brief description of the proposed project including the name, project type, location, number of persons to be served, proposed use of funds, staff capacity, and how the project utilizes a Housing First Approach and will participate in Coordinated Entry.  

All LOIs must be sent to Brian Huskey no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 28, 2020.


All prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the in-person technical assistance webinar sessions below, being offered by the NC ESG Office and NCDHHS, to review and discuss the ESG annual application:

Wednesday, September 2 2020, 10am – 12pm:   Registration link: http://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/1701725550323719952

Friday, September 4, 2020, 1 pm – 3pm:  Registration link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1814918073380065296 

City of Asheville Community Development staff are also available to answer questions and provide application technical assistance.


Brian Huskey: bhuskey@ashevillenc.gov, (828) 793-0247

Emily Ball: eball@ashevillenc.gov, (828) 747-8510

Emergency Solutions Grant Supplemental COVID-19 (ESG-CV)- Funding Availability


In order to address the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) is providing a supplemental allocation of ESG funds as authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law 116-136.  These special ESG-CV funds are to be used to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) among individuals and families who are homeless or receiving homeless assistance. The funds will also support additional homeless assistance and homelessness prevention activities to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. This initial allocation nationally, totaling $1 billion, was based on HUD’s FY 2020 formula allocation.

The initial allocation to the NC-501 Asheville-Buncombe Continuum of Care is $430,000. There will be a second additional allocation of approximately $800,000 later this year.

Asheville’s ESG allocation comes from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). NCDHHS requires that communities use these funds strategically by helping as many people as possible exit homelessness into permanent housing in an efficient and strategic way. Getting people off the streets and out of shelters is critical to helping reduce the spread of COVID-19 among those we know are already at great risk.


NCDHHS has identified the Back@Home model as its recommended mechanism for delivery of ESG-CV funds.  Back@Home, a best-practices statewide Rapid Rehousing (RRH) model has now been ramped up in North Carolina. The model is aimed to support agencies that have both significant experience and expertise in Housing Stability activities and those that have limited experience and require additional support – and all agencies in between. To do this, the Back@Home model offers: (1) Capacity & Support; (2) Efficiencies through Shared Infrastructure; (3) Additional Access; and (4) Data Systems to Show Collective Impact and Progress Toward Shared Goals.

While the state is prioritizing Housing Stability activities with ESG-CV funds through Back@Home, up to 40% of those funds are eligible for Crisis Response activities (shelter, outreach). Any agency wishing to apply for Crisis Response funding must submit a Letter of Intent.  ESG-CV funds are intended to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19, so Crisis Response activities must be related to those goals.

If we receive Letters of Intent for Crisis Response, the full application for those activities will be due Friday, July 10, 2020.  The Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee’s Finance workgroup will review those applications and make funding recommendations to be ratified by the full HIAC, per customary practice, at its scheduled July 28, which will be held virtually. meeting.

Application Process

Agencies wishing to apply for Housing Stability funds (homelessness prevention, rapid rehousing) are requested to submit a Letter of Intent to inform the Finance Committee of the full range of project possibilities with ESG-CV funds.  Applications for Housing Stability activities will be reviewed and funding decisions will be made directly by NCDHHS.

Letters of Intent must be submitted to Emily Ball, Homeless Services System Performance Lead, City of Asheville, by 5:00 p.m. on June 30, and must include:

  • A brief description of the ESG-eligible activity your proposal will provide;
  • How many will be served;
  • Your agency’s experience and capacity to deliver this service;
  • How this activity specifically responds to the COVID-19 pandemic (for example, are you adding capacity or targeting specific populations not ordinarily served by your agency?)

Letters of Intent are not a substitute for completed ESG-CV applications nor are they a guarantee of funding.

If applicable, full Crisis Response project applications will be due for local review no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 10, 2020.

The HIAC finance workgroup will review applications on Monday, July 13, 2020

Final applications for Crisis Response and Housing Stability are due to the NCDHHS office by 5:00 p.m., Friday, July 17, 2020.

Full information about this funding opportunity, including the application instructions and forms, is available here.

The Emergency Solutions Grant COVID-19 Project Application Scorecard is available here.

All prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the RFA Webinar being offered by the NC ESG Office to review and discuss the ESG-CV Round 1 Funds. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the NC ESG Office for those who are unable to attend. The webinar will be broadcast on Thursday, June 25, 2020, from 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm. You must register in advance: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/329923165269511184


Please contact Brian Huskey (828) 793-0247 or Emily Ball (828) 747-8510 with any questions.

2019-20 Emergency Solutions Grant Funding Notice for the Asheville-Buncombe Continuum of Care


Related Services

women cafe owners
Business Inclusion

The Business Inclusion Office for the City of Asheville actively seeks to identify minority and women-owned businesses for an opportunity to participate as providers of goods and services to the city.

code purple text
Cold weather emergency shelter

When extreme cold weather is expected, the Asheville Homeless Coalition issues a Code Purple Alert. Participating homeless shelters voluntarily add space beyond their normal capacity to keep as many people as possible out of the cold. To find out when Code Purple is in effect, visit the Homeless Coalition’s Code [...]

Emergency Solutions Grant News

affordable housing illustration
Asheville launches affordable housing initiative shaped by Harvard research 

  Program is designed to help landlords make providing affordable housing more feasible   Twenty-five landlords in Asheville now have a chance to be part of an innovative solution to the affordable housing crisis in our area.      Thrive Asheville, an initiative of UNC Asheville that brings together local community advocates, policymakers, and professionals from diverse perspectives to find equitable solutions [...]

Census NC graphic
Complete the Census to preserve federal funds for Asheville, Buncombe County

  Currently, North Carolina is severely undercounted in the 2020 Census. We are on track to lose $7.4 billion in federal funding annually. These are our tax dollars — hard earned and rightfully ours — and this funding is critical. The only way to access that money is to be fully counted. Here’s what it will affect: Roads [...]

Parklet photo
City of Asheville launches shared streets and parklet programs

  The City of Asheville is continuing to support economic recovery by allowing businesses and organizations to use public and private properties more flexibly to align with public health guidelines.   As businesses, particularly restaurants, continue to work through capacity constraints and physical distancing guidelines, the City has launched Parklets and Shared Streets as tools to temporarily create [...]