HUD and HEARTH Requirements

Published: December 22, 2012

NOTE: This toolkit was published by Building Changes in 2013 to help counties meet a 2014 state mandate that all counties have a coordinated entry system for clients entering the homeless system. It has not been updated since then and does not necessarily reflect current or best practice.


HEARTH is mandating that communities funded through Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) and Continuum of Care (CoC) have a coordinated entry system. (HEARTH uses the term “centralized or coordinated assessment”.) The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which oversees HEARTH, will evaluate communities on outcomes that essentially cannot be determined without an evaluation of a coordinated entry system and its services. HUD is evaluating communities based on the following outcomes:

  • Length of time individuals and families remain homeless
  • Incidence of repeated homelessness by previously homeless households
  • Extent of outreach efforts to reach all members of a community
  • Overall reduction in the number of homeless individuals and families
  • Jobs and income growth for homeless individuals and families

HUD outcomes are influenced by other factors besides coordinated entry. Coordinated entry on its own will not provide measurable data for the HUD outcomes. Coordinated entry and other elements of systems change will be able to meet these outcomes. Therefore, counties that have had coordinated entry for a period of time should be incorporating the other systems change strategies:

  • Rapid re-housing
  • Prevention services
  • Tailored programs and services
  • Linkages to economic opportunities

And with broader systems change connected to coordinated entry, HUD will ask communities to be able to discern:

  • The appropriateness and effectiveness of the referrals through a measured reduction in shelter stays through the utilization of rapid re-housing
  • Whether the front-door approach of the coordinated system is working by tracking fewer reported new entries into homelessness because prevention and diversion resources were accessed before a household became homeless
  • A decrease in repeat episodes of homelessness, which infers families are referred to the right referral at the right time and receive appropriate services, e.g., tailored services and linkages to economic opportunity

Next: Performance-Based Contracting

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