Ending Homelessness Today — HEARTH Act Implementation
Resources for Meeting Ann Oliva’s Recommendations
May 08, 2013
On Monday, Ann Oliva, Director of the Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs at HUD released a letter with information and recommendations for CoC leaders and stakeholders. The letter outlined four things community stakeholders should consider in striving to reach the goals laid out in Opening Doors. We have a number of resources on our website that address the various recommendations in Ms. Oliva’s letter, and I wanted to highlight them today because I know our website can be a little overwhelming at times.
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Field Notes: The Systems Perspective
February 12, 2013
So far in our series on how programs can best implement the HEARTH Act, we’ve talked about the importance of a permanent housing focus and performance measurement. Today we explore another important aspect: collaboration.
While providers will need to make changes to their individual programs to improve performance, one of the biggest shifts under the HEARTH Act is the need for a focus on the system. Providers will need to work together and with other stakeholders to create one effective homeless assistance system. Cooperation between providers in system-wide endeavors such as coordinated assessment can lead to greater efficiency and a homeless assistance system better equipped to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness.
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A Look at the New Homelessness Numbers
December 18, 2012
On Monday, December 10, The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released national numbers from the January 2012 Point-In-Time (PIT) Counts, which give an estimate of the number of people sleeping in shelters and other housing for homeless people and also in places not meant for human habitation (aka “the streets”) at a single point in time. In this case, that point in time was mid-January, 2012.
Since a lot of people around the country are entering the final month of preparation for the 2013 PIT count, I want to start by saying that having these numbers every year has turned out to be extremely important. The enumeration is not perfect. But PIT Counts have become more rigorous over the years, and we believe they provide a reliable and worthwhile estimate.
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Field Notes: New Tools for Coordinated Assessment
July 25, 2012
Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting at and moderating the Coordinated Assessment workshop at our 2012 National Conference on Ending Homelessness. We had a big audience and some fabulous presenters. Though I’d like to think everyone came to our session because of their passion for the topic (and certainly some people did!), I have a feeling the release of the new HUD Continuum of Care regulations that mandated that communities adopt the approach probably played a bigger part in the attendance.
Communities want to make sure they’re doing things right, and because of that, we’ve had a lot of questions about how communities should get started, what they should think through carefully, and who to involve in their coordinated assessment plans. We’ve been fortunate that some communities who have developed resources for use in their own coordinated assessment processes have generously agreed to share those resources with other communities who are just now getting started.
This has allowed us update our Coordinated Assessment Toolkit with even more tools from a number of communities, including Philadelphia, PA; Memphis/Shelby County, TN; Dayton/Montgomery County, OH; and Minneapolis/Hennepin County, MN.
These new tools will help communities develop:
An assessment tool to use upon a household’s arrival to a coordinated assessment center
A data release authorization form that ensures the protection of client confidentiality
Ideas about how to staff a coordinated assessment process
A better understanding of how th... Read More »
HUD's Mark Johnston speaks at 2012 National Conference
July 17, 2012
This year will be a year of change for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and, by extension, for advocates and people working on behalf of people experiencing homelessness, said HUD’s acting assistant secretary for the Office of Community Planning and Development, Mark Johnston.
Speaking at the opening plenary session of the 2012 National Conference on Ending Homelessness on Monday, July 16, Assistant Secretary Johnston addressed what is perhaps the most significant piece of news circulating the conference, the release on Saturday, July 15 of the Continuum of Care interim regulations under the HEARTH Act.
Assistant Secretary Johnston reminded the nearly 1,500 practitioners, public officials, and advocates at the conference that the new regulations will alter how communities manage and distribute resources in the future, but will also provide communities with important tools that have the potential to strengthen prevention and rapid re-housing efforts.
He noted that the HEARTH was signed into law in 2009, the same year as the Recovery Act, which created the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP). Developing and implementing both policy initiatives have been a challenge for his agency, he said, but doing so has taught HUD officials a great deal about homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing.
“In retrospect, it was great timing,” he added.
HUD officials have incorporated lessons learned from the implementation of HPRP into their regulations for the HEARTH act.
But Assistant Secretary Johnston also acknowledged the difficult fiscal environment in which agencies and ad... Read More »
The Regs are out!
July 16, 2012
Just in time for our conference, HUD has published an interim rule for the new Continuum of Care program (CoC program). The regulations follow the HEARTH Act closely, so if you've read any of our material about the changes made by the HEARTH Act, you already know much of the story. However, there are a few new and interesting things.
First of all, the regulations provide a little more detail on what will be expected with coordinated assessment systems. Your CoC will have to develop a process that assesses people's need for housing and services. There are numerous ways HUD will allow you to structure a coordinated assessment system, including having one centralized location where the assessments take place, using a 2-1-1 based system, or having multiple entry points. In addition to conducting the assessment, CoCs will have to have uniform process for evaluating eligibility for different types of assistance for determining how people will be prioritized for different types of assistance. We discuss a lot of these issues in our Coordinated Assessment Toolkit.
There are now two types of permanent housing--permanent supportive housing and rapid re-housing. Permanent supportive will generally look and function as it does currently, however, there are a several changes. The match will be 25 percent cash or in-kind as it will be for all activities except for leasing, which has no match requirement. Projects will be allowed to get funding for rental assistance and services... Read More »