The Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) program is a voucher program funded through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).  ARPA was signed into law on March 11, 2021 and included funding for approximately 70,000 EHVs.  HUD announced EHV awards on May 10, 2021 and the Orange County Housing Authority (OCHA) was allocated 557 EHVs. 

EHVs are to assist individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness; at risk of homelessness; fleeing, or attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking; or were recently homeless and for whom providing rental assistance will prevent the family’s homelessness or having high risk of housing instability.[1] 

In order to ensure those most in need are assisted first, HUD requires a partnership with the Continuum of Care (CoC) and/or other organizations for direct referrals. 

For individuals or families who believe they may be eligible for the EHV program, please dial 2-1-1.  2-1-1 staff will provide a link to the appropriate provider for a connection to CES.

Eligibility and selection criteria: The CoC, through the Coordinated Entry System (CES), will determine whether the individual or family qualifies under one of the four eligibility categories mentioned above and provide verification and supporting documentation of that determination to OCHA.  Referrals to the Emergency Housing Vouchers are being made in accordance to the Coordinated Entry System (CES) Prioritization Policy for all eligible populations. The CES Prioritization Policy creates a prioritization schema that focusses on serving those with the longest lengths of homelessness and highest vulnerabilities with available housing resources.

For reference the CES Prioritization Policy can be found here - https://www.ochealthinfo.com/sites/hca/files/import/data/files/119100.pdf

Upon receipt of the referral from CES, OCHA will make a determination of eligibility to receive housing assistance, if eligible, an EHV will be issued to the individual or family. 

It is likely that most people eligible for this resource are already connected to the CES and will be referred by CES access point case managers assigned to provide housing support and connection.


[1] Notice PIH 2021-15