Deadline extended for Service Coordinator CARES Act Spending

Regulation | January 07, 2021 | by Juliana Bilowich

The spending deadline for HUD's COVID-19 payments for grant-funded Services Coordinators has been extended from December 31st to March 31st, 2021. 

As grant-funded Service Coordination programs receive initial approval from HUD for extra COVID-19 payments, HUD has extended the spending deadline from the end of the 2020 calendar year until March 31st, 2021.

For Service Coordination programs funded through grants, extra COVID-19 payments were authorized by Congress in March and announced by HUD in the fall. These one-time payments are estimated to amount to 9% of Service Coordinator operating budgets and were set up separately from payments for budget-based service coordinators and operating expenses.

Following initial application approval, next steps for grant-funded Service Coordinators receiving CARES Act payments include the submission and approval of a spending plan; providers have 20 days to submit their plan for HUD approval.  Expenses for additional COVID-19 costs incurred by the Service Coordinator need to have occurred prior to the end of the performance year, which has been extended by HUD from December 31st to March 31st, 2021. Grantees will need to approve an updated Notice of Award from HUD.

Specifically, in order to be included on CARES Act payment spending plans, expenses for COVID-19 costs need to have taken place between March 27th, when the CARES Act was enacted, and March 31st. In addition, under the original awards, funds could continue to be drawn down from eLOCCS until January 31st, 2021; HUD has not issued an updated timeframe for drawdowns.

LeadingAge has been working with HUD to bring clarity to the timeline; on December 30th, HUD sent a stakeholder message to grantees with the following update:

"When HUD began this process we did not know how the pandemic would impact HUD-assisted properties. While we sought to get assistance to properties quickly, there were delays moving this unique Congressional appropriation forward. As a result, funds are reaching owners at the end of their grant periods. We are exploring options to enable owners to access these funds to address COVID impacts after the end of December and hope to have an update on this soon. We understand and regret the confusion this situation has caused."

On January 7th, HUD issued another stakeholder statement with the following message:

"HUD listened to your concerns regarding the limited amount of time to spend CARES Act funds for Service Coordinator and Congregate Housing Grants. With this in mind, we are pleased to announce that the period of performance for these grants is extended through March 31, 2021.

Next week HUD will begin issuing amendments to the Notices of Award for these grants. We ask that you work with your Grant Specialists to approve amended Notices of Award as soon as possible to ensure you have the maximum amount of time allowable to use these funds.

We appreciate the important work being performed by our multifamily partners during these challenging times and thank you for your service to make these funds available to your residents."

In the meantime, LeadingAge members are submitting spending plans for COVID-19 Service Coordinator expenses that have already occurred or that will occur before the March 31st. To review a list of eligible expenses, please see HUD's instructions for CARES Act payments to grant-funded Service Coordinators