The Emergency Shelter Grant Program was originally established by the Homeless Housing Act of 1986, in response to the growing issue of homelessness among men, women, and children in the United States. In 1987, the ESG Program was incorporated into subtitle B of Title IV of the Stewart B. McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11371-11378).
On May 20, 2009, President Obama signed a bill to reauthorize HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance programs, renaming the program "Emergency Solutions Grant." The bill is known as the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act. HUD is developing regulations to implement the new homeless assistance program.
The Division of Housing is changing its ESG program to meet the requirements of the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act. These changes are explained in this substantial amendment to the Consolidated Plan.
The objectives of the ESG Program are to increase the number and quality of emergency shelters and transitional housing facilities for homeless individuals and families, to operate these facilities, provide essential social services, and to help prevent homelessness. The ESG Program is designed to be the first step in a continuum of assistance to prevent homelessness and enable homeless individuals and families move toward independent living.