Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities

Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program

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Program Description

The Emergency Solutions Grants program, formerly the Emergency Shelter Grants Program, is a competitive grant that awards funds to private nonprofit organizations, cities, and counties in the State of Texas to provide the services necessary to help persons that are at-risk of homelessness or homeless quickly regain stability in permanent housing. The ESG program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and is administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) in the State of Texas.

ESG Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

On March 27, 2020, the CARES Act was signed into law to prevent, prepare for and respond to the Coronavirus pandemic. The CARES Act provides for $4 billion to be distributed through the ESG Program nationally, and includes waivers of certain provisions of the ESG regulations. The first allocation of ESG CARES Act funding (ESG CARES 1) released by HUD allocated $33,254,679 to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. This funding has been programmed for street outreach, emergency shelter, rapid re-housing and homelessness prevention. On June 9, 2020, the HUD released the second allocation through the CARES Act for the ESG nationally, of which $64,537,937 was allocated to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The Department’s 2020 One Year Action Plan outlined that ESG CARES second allocation funding (ESG CARES 2) is programmed for rapid re-housing, homelessness prevention, Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), and administration.

Eligible Activities

The ESG program provides funding to:

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

Agencies offering ESG and ESG CARES services in Texas

Program Year Funds Awarded List of Agencies Funded
2023 $9,367,485 2023 ESG Annual Awardees (PDF)
2022 $9,381,281 2022 ESG Annual Awardees (PDF)
2020 $61,305,690 ESG CARES 2 Awardees (PDF)
2020 $5,554,004 ESG CARES 3 Awardees (PDF)

Applying for Funding

  • Eligible applicant organizations include units of general purpose local governments and private nonprofit organizations with a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.
  • ESG is a complex program with different requirements including specific eligibility, reporting, and environmental requirements. Organizations interested in applying for ESG funds for the first time are invited to carefully review all program requirements found on HUD's Homelessness Resource Exchange website and all guidance provided by TDHCA to current subrecipients.

Strategic Goals

TDHCA has developed strategic goals to guide the use of ESG funds in the state of Texas. These priorities are based on HUD’s programmatic framework, as outlined on HUD's Homelessness Resource Exchange website in the HEARTH Act and the ESG Interim Rule, and the Pathways Home: A Framework to Address Homelessness in Texas. TDHCA’s strategic goals for the ESG program are to:

  1. Increase community wide planning and strategic use of resources to prevent and end homelessness.
  2. Improve coordination of mainstream and targeted services, capitalizing on existing strengths and increasing efficiency.
  3. Build on lessons learned, incorporate and national and local best practice models.
  4. Shift the emphasis from outputs to outcomes, improving data collection and performance measurement.