About Nebraska Homeless Assistance Program (NHAP)

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What you need to know

The Nebraska Homeless Assistance Program (NHAP) is a grant program that is comprised of the Nebraska Homeless Assistance Trust Fund and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG.)

The Homeless Shelter Assistance Trust Fund is state funding that is based on a twenty-five cent set-aside on each $1,000.00 of the value of real estate sold in Nebraska and collected via the documentary tax stamp on real estate sales.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services funds all areas of the state with the Homeless Shelter Assistance Trust Fund dollars. Allocations are based on a formula. The formula is determined using a minimum funding amount for all regions, population base, poverty data, and a pro-rata percent. The formula and funding process emphasize equitable distribution as well as quality projects and programs. Recommendations from review teams inform all funding decisions.

The HUD's ESG program is a federal program that awards funds to entitlement cities and the rest of the state. Entitlement cities are responsible for distri​bution and administration of the ESG program. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for distribution of funds and administration of the ESG program for the rest of the state.


NHAP was established after the McKinney Homeless Assistance Act passed in late 1986 and was signed into federal law July 22, 1987. The McKinney legislation originally consisted of fifteen programs that addressed services, such as emergency shelter, transitional housing, job training, primary health care, education, and some permanent housing. Over the next eight years, the McKinney Act was amended four times: in 1988, 1990, 1992, and 1994. The amendments expanded the scope and strength of the original legislation.

On May 20, 2009, President Obama signed the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009. The HEARTH Act amends and reauthorizes the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act with substantial changes, including:

  • A consolidation of HUD's competitive grant programs;
  • The creation of a Rural Housing Stability Assistance Program;
  • A change in HUD's definition of homelessness and chronic homelessness;
  • A simplified match requirement;
  • An increase in prevention resources; and
  • An increase in emphasis on performance.

    To read the amended and reauthorized McKinney-Vento Act, click here:  

Homeless Assistance Act Amended by HEARTH


The purpose of the Nebraska Homeless Assistance Program (NHAP) is to provide an overall "Continuum of Care" approach to address the needs of people who are homeless and near homeless in Nebraska by:

  • Assisting in the alleviation of homelessness;
  • Providing temporary and/or permanent housing for persons who are homeless;
  • Encouraging the development of projects that link housing assistance with efforts to promote self-sufficiency

The intent of the Department is to award funds through a regional and programmatic (i.e. activity specific) allocation process. Organizations are encouraged to seek other sources of funding and collaborate and coordinate programs and services with other organizations to optimize the use of NHAP funds. 

Funding Priorities

  • Strategies that promote self-sufficiency for persons who are homeless.
  • Strategies that involve a Continuum of Care approach by providing shelter and services in collaboration with other agencies.
  • Services and programs that fill an identified gap in the regional/local Continuum of Care.
  • Services and programs that if discontinued would create a substantial gap in the regional/local Continuum of Care.
  • Services and programs designed to prevent homelessness in the regional/local Continuum of Care. ​

About NCHH

The Nebraska Commission on Housing and Homelessness (NCHH) serves as the statutorily-required advisory body to the Nebraska Homeless Assistance Program.  NCHH members are appointed by the Governor because of their interest and/or expertise in housing or homeless services.  For information on NCHH visit the NCHH website.