HUD to Release Long-Term Outcomes of Family Options Study

On October 25, HUD will release the long-term outcomes of the Family Options Study. The study was a “multi-site random assignment experiment designed to study the impact of various housing and services interventions for homeless families.” Homeless families across the nation in twelve communities were assigned one of four possible interventions:

  1. subsidy only;
  2. project-based transitional housing;
  3. community-based rapid re-housing; or
  4. usual care.

Families were tracked for a minimum of 37 months and metrics on housing stability, family preservation, adult well-being, and self-sufficiency were collected.

HUD will be announcing the long term results of the interventions on October 25. The event can be attended in person at the Brooke-Mondale Auditorium at HUD Headquarters or via webcast.

Register for the event here.

HUD-VASH Second Round Funding Announced

Yesterday, HUD and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced a second round of HUD-VASH funding. HUD-VASH combines vouchers from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA. Since 2008, more than 79,000 vouchers have been awarded. This round of funding provides 108 vouchers and $871,056 worth of funding.

A list of PHAs that have been awarded HUD-VASH vouchers can be found at HUD’s press release here.

Administration Announces Steep Decline in Veteran Homelessness

Today–HUD, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) announced that the number of veterans experiencing homelessness in the United States has declined significantly since 2010. According to HUD’s Point-in-Time (PIT) estimates, there has been a 47 percent decrease in the number of veterans experiencing homelessness since 2010 and a 17 percent decrease since 2015.

HUD believes that this decline is a function of partnerships between HUD and VA, USICH, and other partners at all levels of government (i.e., federal, state, and local) and the HUD-VASH program. The partnerships were a result of Opening Doors, the federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness.

Read HUD’s full press release here.

Read more about Opening Doors here.

View HUD’s PIT Estimates of Veteran Homelessness in the U.S. here.

PAHRC Releases “Housing is a Foundation” 2016 Report

Today, July 20, PAHRC released its yearly research report for 2016 titled “Housing is a Foundation.” This year’s report focuses on the lack of available housing assistance, the people who receive housing assistance, and the beneficial impacts of housing assistance. The report supplies data to “foster a better understanding of the need for housing assistance and how this assistance helps meet the needs of low-income families and their communities.”

Here’s a great graphic on how helpful rental assistance is on all facets of a household.

https://www.housingcenter.com/sites/default/files/styles/panopoly_image_full/public/general/Summary.png?itok=lOA8Moub

The full report can be read here.

HUD Opens FY 2016 Continuum of Care Competition

Yesterday, HUD published the FY 2016 Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Competition Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), making $1.9 billion available in funds available for continuums across the nation. For this competition, the total amount of funding available may not cover all anticipated eligible renewal projects and HUD continues to require CoCs to rank their projects into two tiers (Tier 1 and Tier 2). The submission deadline for this competition is Wednesday, September 14, 2016.

A few notable changes to this year’s NOFA include:

  • Changes to Tiers: Funding for Tier 1 this year is equal to 93 percent of the CoC’s Annual Renewal Demand (ARD). This is an increase from 85 percent last year, which means CoCs will have a the better opportunity to protect those higher priority projects and fewer projects will be in jeopardy of cut funds.
  • New Policy Priority: Creating a systematic response to homelessness is a new policy priority this year. According to a recent CoC Competition Focus message from HUD, having a systemic response to homelessness requires establishing a coordinated entry system, cohesive planning by the entire community, making assistance appealing and accessible, and using system performance measures.
  • Additional Points: System performance and reallocation will be worth more points in this NOFA. Beginning this year, CoCs are now required to report their system performance measures into HUD’s Homeless Data Exchange (HDX) by August 1, 2016. For this competition, a CoC could receive up to 10 points for attaching their system performance measures report to it’s application.

HUD’s announcement for the competition also included a message encouraging CoCs to reallocate funds from lower performing transitional housing projects serving households fleeing domestic violence to other types of projects serving people fleeing domestic violence. This would “ensure that CoC-funded projects serving people fleeing domestic violence are as effective as possible.” HUD will soon release further guidance on this issue.

New CoC Interim Rule Will Increase Mobility for Homeless Individuals and Families

On June 14, 2016, HUD published the interim rule “Continuum of Care Program-Increasing Mobility Options for Homeless Individuals and Families with Tenant-Based Rental Assistance,” which will apply two amendments to the Continuum of Care (CoC) program regulations. The first amendment will permit program participants to retain their tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA) if the individual or family moves outside of their CoC’s geographical area. The second amendment will exempt CoC recipients and subrecipients from complying with all non-statutory program regulations when a program participant moves in order to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. HUD has elected to forego an advance notice for public comment because “a delay would be contrary to the public interest.” The interim rule becomes effective on July 15, 2016, but public comment will be accepted until August 15, 2016.

HUD is seeking comments from providers on the impact of exempting CoC recipients and subrecipients from non-statutory requirements when a program participant moves outside the CoC area to flee an imminent threat/violence and when participants request to move outside the area in order to access better opportunities and resources, and to support mobility. Comments are accepted online at: https://federalregister.gov/a/2016-13684.