MSHDW NEWS: 10/9/2014

Hello, everyone!  Listed below are some news + updates.  Thank you for your participation!

Systems Administrator 
HMIS Support Team 

Always have ServicePoint manuals readily available while using HMIS. Contact us with questions and/or concerns. NEVER guess! Spending a few moments to properly enter data saves everyone hours (assessing/correcting errors). Thank you!

Final FY 2015 Fair Market Rents Released

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October 09, 2014  
Final Fiscal Year 2015 Fair Market Rents Released
HUD has published the 2015 Fair Market Rents (FMRs) on the HUD USER website. Effective October 1, 2014, these FMRs are used in the Housing Choice Voucher, the Moderate Rehabilitation, and the project-based voucher programs, as well as other programs that require location-specific economic data.
The FMRs are estimated at 40th and 50th percentile rent levels. Qualifying areas are granted higher FMRs based on the 50th percentile, rather than the 40th percentile, of the local rent distribution to achieve deconcentration of voucher-based units in high poverty areas. An area that qualifies for a 50th percentile rent level is set at that level for three years, after which deconcentration progress is evaluated. For the FY2015 FMRs, 16 FMR areas are calculated at the 50th percentile.
Section 8(c)(1) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 requires the Secretary of HUD to publish FMRs periodically, but not less than annually, to be effective on October 1 of each year. The tables, documentation system, a copy of the preamble, and preliminary comments posted in response to the proposed FY2015 FMRs are available from HUD USER at
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Systems Administrator 
HMIS Support Team 

Always have ServicePoint manuals readily available while using HMIS. Contact us with questions and/or concerns. NEVER guess! Spending a few moments to properly enter data saves everyone hours (assessing/correcting errors). Thank you!

CoC Program Competition Puts Strong Emphasis on Reallocation

United States Interagency Council on Homelessness - No on should experience homelessness. No one should be without a safe, stable place to call home.

Reallocations Help Communities Make the System Changes Needed to End Homelessness

October 9, 2014
Reallocations in the FY 2014 CoC Program Competition
New Video: Reallocations in the FY 2014 CoC Program Competition

The FY 2014 CoC Program Competition Closes Oct. 30, 2014
USICH Compiles Resources for Cocs, including new Reallocation Guide
New USICH Resource goes in-depth on reallocation
Last month, HUD released a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Continuum of Care Program Competition, launching a competition for approximately $1.83 billion in Fiscal Year 2014 for FY 2014 CoC Funding Notice under the FY 2013 - FY 2014 CoC Program Competition. The FY 2014 CoC Program Funding Notice carries forward and continues the policy priorities outlined in combined FY 2013-FY 2014 CoC Program Competition NOFA, which are focused on accelerating progress on Opening Doors. Specifically, this program competition emphasizes the investment of resources in permanent supportive housing and encourages prioritization of services for people experiencing chronic homelessness. In addition, it promotes the adoption of the Housing First approach and the expansion of rapid re-housing to advance our goals of ending family homelessness. Moreover, it encourages communities to retool their homeless crisis response systems and calls for increased collaboration with VA Medical Centers and runaway and homeless youth service providers. Finally, this competition is intended to support the strategic use of CoC resources, data-driven decision-making, evidence-based programming, goal setting, and leveraging of mainstream systems.

The FY 2014 funding notice includes a number of new important changes and considerations unique to the FY 2014 funding round. No CoC application is required for this competition; CoCs will only need to include project applications and rankings. In addition, HUD is setting aside approximately $40 million for a funding bonus to create new dedicated permanent supportive housing to serve people experiencing chronic homelessness. Although all CoCs approved in the FY 2014 CoC Registration process may apply, priority will be given to those CoCs that have a high need in relation to chronic homelessness as described in the funding Notice.

In this edition of USICH News we compile many of the CoC Program materials we've developed. Please share them with your colleagues and join us on  Twitter and Facebook to talk about reallocation in your community. 

In our newly released publication, Creating Effective Systems to End Homelessness: A Guide to Reallocating Funds in the CoC Program, we offer guidance to Continuums of Care and program fund recipients on strategically shifting program funds from underperforming or less cost-effective programs toward new, evidence-informed projects that serve new participants or have a rapid re-housing or permanent supportive housing program design. This tool will help you make decisions about when reallocating is necessary, understand the types of reallocation and the circumstances that make each appropriate, and overcome challenges of the reallocation process. Read more below.

New USICH Tool Answers Questions on Reallocation

Reallocations will help communities make the system changes needed to end homelessness, and in this year's Continuum of Care NOFA, there is once again a strong emphasis on reallocations.  As in FY 2013, HUD is allowing reallocations of funds to new permanent supportive housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness and rapid re-housing for families with children.  HUD and USICH encourage CoCs to take full advantage of reallocations, shifting funds away from underperforming or less cost-effective programs and toward evidence-informed models.  
This week, USICH published a tool to help CoCs better understand reallocations. Creating Effective Systems to End Homelessness: A Guide to Reallocating Funds in the CoC Program provides CoCs and recipients of CoC Program funds with information on reallocation and strategies for undertaking reallocation through the annual CoC Program Competition.
This tool can help CoCs make decisions about when reallocating funds is necessary, understand the different types of reallocation, and navigate and overcome challenges in the reallocation process. The tool addresses many of the most frequently asked questions about reallocation, including:
  • What is reallocation?
  • When should a CoC reallocate CoC Program funds?
  • What projects should be reallocated?
  • What are the unique challenges of "one-to-one same provider" reallocations or conversions?
  • What are examples of communities that used reallocations to create more effective systems to end homelessness?
  • Where can you find more information and resources about the reallocation process?
 Download the Reallocation Guide.

USICH Webinar: FY 2014 CoC Program Competition - Strategies for Continued Success
USICH Webinar: HUD FY 2014 Continuum of Care Program Competition  Strategies for Continued Success
On September, 19, 2014, USICH hosted a webinar for communities on strategies for continued success in responding to The Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Funds in the FY 2013 - FY 2014 Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Competition (FY 2014 CoC Program Funding Notice).
Attendees heard about the results of the FY 2013 competition, received an overview of the policy priorities guiding this year's competition, and learned more about the CoCs that reallocated program funding to permanent supportive housing and rapid re-housing projects. Participants also learned details of the $40 million set-aside for permanent supportive housing units prioritized for those experiencing chronic homelessness.

Watch the webinar recording.
Download the slides.

Calling Future Change Agents
USICH Internship Opportunities in Policy, Communications, National Initiatives, and Executive Office

USICH is seeking interns to support its work on behalf of the nation's efforts to end homelessness. Assignments may include but are not be limited to:
  • Researching and compiling of information, statistics, studies, etc. on housing-related issues
  • Coordinating activities, meetings, forums and USICH initiatives with Federal, State, local and private stakeholders around the United States
  • Supporting essential administrative assignments related to document and correspondence preparation, answering calls, facilitating webinar and conference calls and responding to general questions of a non-policy nature
  • Tracking and analyzing appropriations, authorizing and other legislative developments
  • Data analysis and assessment of resource implications of policy decisions
  • Analysis of Federal programs, policies, and procedures as they relate to the Federal response to homelessness-related issues
  • Writing and editing a variety of publications, presentations, technical assistance materials, and other documents related to the work of USICH
  • Compilation of content for website and website management
  • Special projects as assigned
The position with National Initiatives Team may be based elsewhere within the Pacific Time Zone.

 Here's how to apply.

News from Our Partners
New HUD and VA Funding Will Connect 9,000 Veterans to Permanent Housing 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have announced more than $62 million to help more than 9,000 homeless Veterans find permanent supportive housing.  The rental assistance is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program, which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA.

VA Announces New Grants to Help End Veteran Homelessness, Initiative Targets 70,000 Veterans and Families in High-Need Communities 

In addition to the $300 million in Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program grant awards announced on August 11, 2014 serving 115,000 Veterans and their family members, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald has announced the award of $207 million in SSVF grants that will help an additional 70,000 Veterans and their families who are or at risk of homelessness. The grants will be distributed to 82 nonprofit agencies and include "surge" funding for 56 high need communities.

Ann Oliva, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs and Acting Director, Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs at HUD highlights the case against laws that criminalize homelessness

HUD Releases New HOPWA Confidentiality Requirements FAQs

The Office of HIV/AIDS Housing (OHH) has published new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program.

HUD has published the Notice for Housing Inventory Count (HIC) and Point-in-Time (PIT) Data Collection for Continuums of Care (CoCs), which informs CoCs of information that must be collected to successfully complete the 2015 HIC and PIT counts.
2014 HMIS Data Standards - New Resources Published

The following new resources have been published on the HMIS Guides and Tools page of the HUD Exchange:
  1. HMIS Project Descriptor Data Elements Manual - Project descriptor data elements contain information about projects in the HMIS, not clients. This manual is intended to serve as a reference and provide basic guidance on HMIS Project Descriptor Data Elements (PDDEs) for CoCs, HMIS Lead Agencies, HMIS System Administrators, and HMIS users.
  2. HMIS Data Standards Community Training - This PowerPoint is intended for CoCs to use when training their communities and HMIS users on the new data standards. It is a high-level look at the changes in the 2014 data standards and provides the context in which the changes were made.
  3. 2014 HMIS Data Standards Mapping - This spreadsheet shows the changes made to the Universal and Program Specific data elements in the 2014 HMIS Data Standards. It also provides a history of each element and response from 2004, 2010, and 2014.

National Alliance to End Homelessness hosts webinar: Prepare for the 2015 Point-in-Time Count, Enumerating Unsheltered Youth
Last month the Alliance's Homelessness Research Institute hosted a webinar on effective strategies for including youth in the upcoming 2015 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count. The webinar, "Prepare for the 2015 Point-in-Time Count: Enumerating Unsheltered Youth," covered everything from useful planning tactics, guidance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development on conducting reliable unsheltered counts of homeless youth, to PIT count implementation. 

CSH to Provide Training & TA to Health Centers Serving High Utilizers
CSH was awarded its first-ever National Cooperative Agreement grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). This three-year opportunity broadens the scope of CSH's relationship with community health centers nationwide, including Federally Qualified Health Clinics (FQHCs), allowing CSH to provide training and technical assistance activities related to improving care for vulnerable frequent users of health care services. CSH will partner closely with the National Health Care for the Homeless Council and the National Association of Community Health Clinics, as well as other HRSA grantees, in this effort.

CSH will hold an introductory webinar on November 13 (register here) to explain its goals and available training and technical assistance opportunities. Read more about this exciting opportunity in The Pipeline.

The FY 2014 CoC Program Competition Closes Oct. 30, 2014
New USICH Tool Answers Questions on Reallocation
USICH Webinar: FY 2014 CoC Program Competition - Strategies for Continued Success
Calling Future Changemakers
News from Our Partners
Ending Youth Homelessness: A Call to Action Forty Years in the Making
Partnering with Landlords to End Homelessness
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219 mayors, 6 governors, and 17 county officials have committed to end homelessness among Veterans in their communities by the end of 2015.

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By William H. Bentley and Laura Green Zeilinger

Forty years ago, the U.S. government took the bold step of making the landmark Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, or RHYA, the law of the land. RHYA is the only Federal law that highlights the need for and funds critical services for youth experiencing homelessness. In July 2014, Congress introduced the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (S.2646), new legislation that, if enacted, would reauthorize and strengthen RHYA. With continued funding for street outreach, basic center and transitional living programs, RYHA provides critical services and support to runaway and homeless youth and plays an important role in the effort end youth homelessness by 2020, a goal set in Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.


By Mark Putnam

Each year in Seattle/King County, about 10,000 "households" spend the night "houseless." These youth, individuals, and families spend vulnerable nights outside, in cars, in unsafe places.

One such family, the Kalberers, lives in a car in Seattle and was recently featured on NPR's StoryCorps. It's heartbreaking to hear Erika talk with her mom, Kris, about not having a place to study at night, and her mom encouraging her dream of college. As Kris says, "This is one thing, as a mom, I didn't expect I'd have to fix."

People experiencing homelessness need homes. 

What Works: 
Chronic Homelessness

Investing in proven solutions is a key premise of Opening Doors. The commitment to end homelessness compels all of us to focus resources and efforts on solutions that work, while encouraging well-designed innovations for continuous improvement. Here we offer entries from the USICH Solutions Database that provide you with case studies of tools communities are using to end chronic homelessness. 


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