Is a household eligible for Homeless Prevention if their current unit does not meet minimum habitability Standards?
Homelessness Prevention assistance may be provided to households who meet the criteria under the At Risk of Homelessness definition, or who meet the criteria in paragraph (2), (3), or (4) of the homeless definition, lack the resources to obtain other permanent housing, and have an annual income that does not exceed 50% of AMI when using ESG-CV and annual ESG funds to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the impacts of coronavirus. When using annual ESG funds for homelessness prevention purposes NOT related to preventing, preparing for, responding to, and mitigating the impacts of coronavirus, individual and family income must be below 30% of AMI at intake and at or below 30% of AMI at re-evaluation.
While there are no Federal occupancy standards, an ESG recipient or subrecipient cannot use ESG funds to help a program participant remain or move into housing that does not meet the minimum habitability standards (e.g., the unit provides an acceptable place to sleep and adequate space). (24 CFR 576.403(c)). If a family has been determined eligible for homelessness prevention assistance but their unit does not meet ESG habitability standards or other local requirements, they would still be eligible for assistance, however, they would have to move to another unit in order to receive rental assistance. For additional guidance please review guidance on ESG Minimum Habitability Standards for Emergency Shelters and Permanent Housing.