CoC Project Evaluations

In the national competition, CoC's are scored on the quality of their annual evaluation and monitoring of the renewal projects submitted in the Continuum's collaborative package. In addition, annual evaluation allows the CoC to determine whether existing projects are addressing current needs, and to make adjustments in the system. Renewal project evaluations are used both to set a bar for high performance, and to select possible resources to be reallocated through the CoC application.

Report on the 2014 Evaluation Process:
Final scores for the 2014 competition are here:

The Contract Amounts on this chart have all been adjusted to reflect the 2012 awards, which received a leasing increase. In 2012 Sonoma County agencies were awarded more than $2.8 million in the 2012 round due to this increase, including three new projects: $102,198 for Coordinated Intake operating expenses; $89,810 for a new permanent supportive housing project to be opened by Catholic Charities; and $32,075 for CoC planning expenses. With the exception of the CoC planning funds, all new projects were created with reallocated funds: the only new funds awarded were for planning expenses.

Eighteen existing projects are approved for renewal in 2013. Two of these projects have been open less than a year and are approved for renewal regardless of score because performance data is as yet not complete: COTS Community Based Supportive Housing 2 (opened November 2012) and CHSC Mill Street Supportive Housing (opened February 2013). Two other renewal projects are being renewed under corrective action plans:
  • CoC Rental Assistance (formerly Shelter Plus Care) #9 – actions are being taken to: consolidate projects for more efficient administration & utilization; improve communications and processes to more quickly place new clients when openings occur; and ensure service provider partner information is accurately recorded in HMIS.
  • Catholic Charities Community Turning Point — the project is being amended to better align with the new CoC regulations and to achieve better outcomes. Specifically rather than paying for 3 residential treatment beds, the project will fund at least 6 transitional housing beds for homeless single adults in outpatient substance abuse treatment, with a residential phase paid through other means (residential treatment is no longer an eligible CoC expense).
In addition, all the new projects funded in 2012 will be up for renewal in the 2013 round, but have not been scored. Priority placement for these project will be determined by the Steering Committee after the 2013 NOFA is released.

Four projects will be reallocated this year, for a total of $192,544, 6.6% of our Annual Renewal Demand (ARD):
  • COTS will release $31,311 awarded in 2012 for Rent Right. It has become clear that the Rent Right project as designed cannot comply with the new CoC regulation. COTS has opted to fund the project through other means in order to retain its program design. Note after corrections to the Annual Performance Report, this project’s score is now above the line for unconditional renewal. Due to the 2012 award, this project will continue operating with CoC funds until February 2014.
  • Two transitional housing projects operated by Interfaith Shelter Network will be reallocated, totaling $107,683. One is the “Slater @ Meadow Lane” project, and HUD has retained the name “Vet House” for the second contract at the adjacent property. This latter contract was transferred from the Petaluma Vet House operated by North Bay Veterans Resource Center in 2008, and is not currently dedicated to serving veterans. Interfaith Shelter Network opted not to respond to the Evaluation Committee’s recommendation of reallocation largely due to financial management concerns raised by the agency’s 2012 financial audit. Due to the 2012 award, these projects will continue operating with CoC funds until November 2014.
  • YWCA of Sonoma County has opted not to renew the Homeless Intervention Partnership contract ($53,550). Changes of longstanding staff, taken together with the Evaluation Committee’s suggestions for corrective action, led to the Y’s re-evaluating the program design. The Y intends to incorporate some of the activities of this project into an application for State ESG funds, which may be more appropriate as ESG funding will allow intervention services for both “at risk” and literally homeless individuals and families fleeing domestic violence. Due to the 2012 award, the Homeless Intervention Partnership is funded through August 2014 to accomplish this transition.

For the 2013 project evaluations, materials were due to the Continuum of Care Coordinator by May 6, 2013. Please see the documents below for a full explanation of this year's process, and checklist of materials, and scoring schema.

The HMIS Questionnaire is required only of agencies that do not contract with the Sonoma County Community Development Commission (this review is conducted through the SCCDC's monitoring process for everyone else).
Following review of these documents, the CoC Coordinator and Evaluation Committee will select projects for site visits. If you had a corrective action plan in 2012, or if your project is renewing for the first time, you can expect either a visit or an interview with the Evaluation Committee as a whole. Additional visits will be scheduled based on initial scores and time available for visits.
Several of you have asked about leveraging - please see the discussion section of this page for details. For background, check out the Leveraging tutorial:

Below are the final scores and scoring schema used in the 2012 evaluations. We establish a line at 75% of the top score, to determine which programs go forward for renewal unconditionally, and which require a closer look. Those projects falling below the unconditional renewal line are given the choice of a) voluntarily allowing the CoC to reallocate the contract funds to another project; b) transferring the contract to another provider; or c) preparing a corrective action plan to address problems identified in the evaluation process. Approval of the corrective action plan is a condition to renewal in the current year; completion of the corrective action plan and scoring above the unconditional renewal line is required for submission the following year. This process was adopted to encourage continual quality improvement among CoC projects.
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More than 60% of points are objective in nature, based primarily on the most recent Annual Performance Report (APR) submitted to HUD because the data reported to HUD has a direct impact on Sonoma County's score in the CoC competition. Other objective scoring includes the extent to which the project addresses 10-Year Plan goals, the documented relative need for the housing in which the project is delivered, participation in CoC-wide activities such as the Point-in-Time Homeless Count, the Continuum of Care Planning Group and CoC working groups.

The Evaluation Committee conducts site visits to incorporate subjective input. The impression made with reviewers is discussed with the larger Evaluation Committee, so that others who know the agency can provide a counter-weight. Agency capacity scoring is done as a group, and reflects the committee's experience as a whole.