NDRC NOFA: Phase 2 Walkthrough


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NDRC NOFA: Phase 2 Walkthrough


This prerecorded webinar provides an overview of the Phase 2 NOFA Factors for the National Disaster Resilience Competition.
Participants will learn:
  • Understand the Phase 2 NOFA Factors.

Training Point of Contact

Sandy Patel | 210-710-7821 | Spatel@tdainc.org

Access the Webinar

  1. Go to the Course detail page
  2. Watch the Recorded Webinar
  3. Review the Supportive Materials
  4. Select the Get Credit Button
Note: You need a HUD Exchange Learn Account to Get Credit for this training
To find out more information about upcoming webinars and access materials from previously held webinars, go to the NDRC Webinar Series News page.

Additional Instructions

Additional instructions and screenshots are available in the HUD Exchange Learn User Guide. After you have successfully registered for HUD Exchange Learn, you can register for upcoming trainings/webinars.


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NDRC: Design Innovation in Resilience


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NDRC: Design Innovation in Resilience


This prerecorded webinar discusses some of the Rebuild by Design (RBD) approaches used by disaster-affected communities after Hurricane Sandy.
Participants will learn:
  • The Rebuild by Design (RBD) best practices.

Training Point of Contact

Sandy Patel | 210-710-7821 | Spatel@tdainc.org

Access the Webinar

  1. Go to the Course detail page
  2. Watch the Recorded Webinar
  3. Review the Supportive Materials
  4. Select the Get Credit Button
Note: You need a HUD Exchange Learn Account to Get Credit for this training
To find out more information about upcoming webinars and access materials from previously held webinars, go to the NDRC Webinar Series News page.

Additional Instructions

Additional instructions and screenshots are available in the HUD Exchange Learn User Guide. After you have successfully registered for HUD Exchange Learn, you can register for upcoming trainings/webinars.


These Old City Buses Have A New Purpose: Mobile Homeless Shelters


Honolulu has found an innovative new option for housing its growing homeless population.


When Honolulu wanted to find a new way to help its growing homeless population, it turned to an unlikely source: Old city buses.

"We were looking at solutions and options that are out there that are within our grasp," says Jun Yang, executive director of the office of housing for the City and County of Honolulu. "What do we have at our fingertips?"

The local government had learned about Lava Mae, a new program in San Francisco that turns decommissioned buses into portable showers for the homeless. Honolulu, it turned out, also has a large supply of old buses. Right now, about 70 are slated to go out of service.

Eventually, the buses would have been recycled and scrapped. "They would have run them to the ground," says Yang. "They would have run them beyond their useful life. At that point, they probably would have cannibalized the buses for parts."
 
A team of architects volunteered their services to plan a new set of "bus shelters" for the city. One set of the buses, based on designs from Lava Mae, will become hygiene units. Another set will hold four to eight beds, which can fold away so the bus can be used in other ways during the day.

"I think the biggest challenge was making sure that it could be more than just a sleeping bus," says Ma Ry Kim, principle at Group 70 International, the architecture firm that is working on the project. "It could actually fold up and become a bus that services whatever facilities someone needs—it may be a mobile health facility, it may be an art bus. Everything has to fold up to pack away inside."

Unlike something else commonly recycled into housing—shipping containers—buses have some advantages. "The fact that it's a bus means that it's made for a human being," Kim says. "So it's actually very comfortable for a human being to occupy." The buses used in the project will still have working air conditioning. And though they no longer can be used on regular bus routes, they can still be driven around the city to help various communities.

 
Yang envisions them being used in neighborhoods like Kakkako, near downtown Waikiki, where a homeless encampment has grown over the last decade. The buses won't replace shelters but offer another option. A nonprofit operated a somewhat similar mobile shelter project in the past.

"It became a workable option for homeless people who otherwise would have been on the street," Yang says. "It was a lower-barrier option for some of the homeless that the shelter could no longer provide services for."

The city is also working on other new options, like a new shelter that will allow residents to bring pets, and will provide new support for people with mental illness or addictions.

The bus shelters should be fairly easy and cheap to build; the Department of Transportation will likely donate the buses, and local carpentry unions will donate labor. The challenge will be the hygiene buses, which are more expensive to convert, and may cost $100,000 a pop. Because the city would like to build the buses in pairs—one hygiene bus with one shelter bus—they're working on securing funding for the shower buses now.

"If we have funding for it, we could start tomorrow," Yang says. "It's a great way to give a second life to something that's already been serving the public."

By razing encampments, Baltimore is abandoning a strategy against homelessness that worked

OPINION: Advocate recalls how "housing first" ethos 10 years ago helped city find permanent housing for people living in St. Vincent de Paul Park

Lauren Siegel July 8, 2015 at 12:43 pm Story Link 19
mlk blvd encampment larry peterson by ben halvorsen
Homeless veteran Larry Peterson watching on June 27 as city workers clear the encampment where he had been living on the side of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Photo by: Ben Halvorsen
      Beginning in 2005, I found housing for 32 people who were homeless and living in the park adjacent to St Vincent de Paul Church, a tiny square of land that sits empty now, on the corner of Fayette and President Streets.
      Thanks to an experimental program called Housing First that provided some funds and housing vouchers – a city program – I was able to get them all into apartments, obtain furniture, and secure public benefits.
      Today, Housing First is not honored in practice. The city is tearing down encampments with no permanent housing in place to offer the residents.
      It shouldn't.
      Housing First is a model to end homelessness based on the belief that safe, affordable housing reduces harm and promotes stability even for people who are actively using drugs or alcohol.
      It worked then, and it could work now if our City leaders were faithful to their goals of reducing homelessness and committed to prioritizing the resources to do so.
      Protesters at the on-ramp to the Jones Falls Expressway north, as city workers cleared the homeless encampment there. (Photo by Fern Shen)
      Protesters at the on-ramp to the Jones Falls Expressway north, as city workers cleared the homeless encampment there. (Photo by Fern Shen)

      Let me take you back ten years and introduce you to the people I met living there by the end of the Jones Falls Expressway, and tell you what happened after we put concern about their lifestyles and addictions to the side – and simply focused on housing them first.
      Undone by Failure and Addicted
      I first went to the park on a June morning. People were sleeping on benches, getting dressed, hanging clothing on lines. I sat on a picnic table in a corner of the park with my clipboard and my cup of coffee. I did this every day for weeks. Slowly, hesitantly, people began to speak with me.
      Addiction to alcohol or drugs is only the first layer of someone's suffering, and frequently all that most people see. But homelessness is complex and multi-faceted. Underneath those empty bottles and used syringes were broken lives.
      Homeless under route 40 over pass over Martin Luther King Blvd. (Photo by Fern Shen)
      Homeless under route 40 overpass over Martin Luther King Blvd. (Photo by Fern Shen)

      I heard stories of failed romances, lost opportunities, the deaths of parents, partners, or children. I heard tales of horrific child abuse, family violence, sexual and physical abuse so disturbing that I had to keep a constant supply of Kleenex in my car.
      There was Thomas, who was grieving his failed marriage and the loss of his four children.
      Perhaps they were not dead, but he had no idea where or how to locate them. They were lost to him – he didn't even have the money to make a phone call. And what would he tell them if he did reach them?
      The guilt and shame of this loss shattered Thomas. He began using heroin and cocaine. This habit soon became an even larger problem.
      Shelters Felt Like Jail
      David, age 62, was overwhelmed by alcoholism. For 20 years, he slept on the St. Vincent's Church stairs.
      For a while after we first got David an apartment, he woke up very early every morning and went back downtown to the church steps. When I asked him why, he said, "I woke up in somebody else's apartment."
      I got to know Frank, who kept his HIV a secret from everyone. His 13-year-old son had been killed in a drive-by shooting while he was in jail.
      MLK Boulevard residents watch city workers take their belongings. (Photo by Ben Halvorsen)
      MLK Boulevard residents watch city workers take their belongings. (Photo by Ben Halvorsen)

      Jerrie and Carrie were homeless twin sisters who shared mental illness and addictions, one to drugs and the other to alcohol. Their 11 children had been taken from them and placed in foster care.
      I met Nicole who could not read, had only a 6th grade education and whose family took her Social Security checks. Nicole hung out on the Block and earned money from winning shot-drinking contests.
      Why were all these people in the park? Why weren't they in a shelter?
      They shared their reasons with me:
      The shelters were always full. There were many rules in a shelter, and they felt overwhelmed by them. Shelters seemed like jail with many mean people; the people in the park were their friends whom they trusted.
      Acceptance and a Home
      Rather than go to a shelter, the park dwellers chose to live a 19th century life in the middle of a contemporary urban area, without toilets, heat, or running water. This spoke volumes about how to help them.
      Baltimore's homeless shelter, the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Housing and Resource Center. (Photo by Mark Reutter)
      Baltimore's homeless shelter, the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Housing and Resource Center. (Photo by Mark Reutter)

      Initially, they needed to be accepted unconditionally, including their lifestyle. And they needed permanent affordable housing before any other demands upon them were made. Everything else, such as addiction treatment, mental health services, medical care and medication, could be dealt with later.
      Recognizing this and having actual housing to give them was the first step to resolving their homelessness: literally putting the housing first and all of these other matters on the back burner.
      The Housing First model worked. Of the people living in the park in 2005, 85% are still housed in 2015. Some have become clean and sober; others have stabilized their mental illness and medical problems. The project was so successful that the City adopted the Housing First model as the method for alleviating homelessness.
      Treatment First or No Housing?
      Today, we need only look at the recent razing of a longtime homeless camp under Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to understand that the Housing First pledge has been forsaken by the city.
      No permanent housing had been arranged for the people living in the half-dozen tents under the Franklin Street overpass before the city trucks came to haul their belongings away. Likewise with the earlier clearing of other encampments, like "Camp 83," not far from St. Vincent de Paul Church.
      So what is the city's policy now?
      Tracy Jones, a former resident of Camp 83, watching city workers clearing away the encampment. (Photo by Fern Shen)
      Tracy Jones, a former resident of Camp 83, watching city workers clearing away the encampment. (Photo by Fern Shen)

      They are requiring people to complete a voluminous and irrelevant assessment tool [BDAT – Baltimore Decision Assessment Tool] before they can receive help, and those with addictions often must obtain treatment first, with no guarantees of housing afterwards.
      Treatment First is not Housing First. A BDAT is not a housing voucher. And sending in the Department of Public Works to tear down makeshift homes and communities is not a solution to homelessness.
      Listen to Those in Need
      To ameliorate homelessness, rather than listening to the complaints of the comfortable and powerful, we need to listen to people who are experiencing homelessness.
      We should focus our resources on permanent housing (in 2015 Baltimore City is spending a whopping $208,417 of general funds on permanent housing, as compared to $5.2 million on temporary shelter) and make it available to as many people as possible, without judging them.
      Only then will we be able to see fewer tents and urban campsites.

      – Lauren Siegel, of Housing Our Neighbors, is a longtime advocate for people experiencing homelessness in Baltimore.


      Register Today: Emergency Solutions Grants Program: Using IDIS for Financial Management Webinar - July 23, 2015 - 2:00 PM EDT


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      Register Today:
      Emergency Solutions Grants Program: Using IDIS for Financial Management Webinar - July 23, 2015 - 2:00 PM EDT


      This presentation is the first of three webinars designed to provide an overview of how recipients can use IDIS for effective financial management of their Emergency Solutions Grants program. This introductory webinar reviews the implementation of Grant Based Accounting principles for ESG, highlights the key ESG financial management capabilities of IDIS data, identifies the components of ESG financial management reports in IDIS, and begins to explain how recipients can use these reports for financial management of the ESG program.

      Who Should Attend?

      The Emergency Solutions Grants Program: Using IDIS for Financial Management is relevant to all ESG recipients and financial management staff responsible for funding and drawing ESG funds in IDIS, and any relevant CoC partners.

      Training Point of Contact

      Chris Pitcher | 202-374-3380 | Chris.Pitcher@icfi.com
      To find out more information about upcoming trainings and access materials from previously held trainings, go to HUD Exchange Training and Events.

      Registering for the Emergency Solutions Grants Program: Using IDIS for Financial Management Webinar

      Access the registration page below and then select Register Now on the right side of the page.

      If you have not yet registered for an HUD Exchange Learn account:
      • Go to the HUD Exchange (www.hudexchange.info)
      • Click Login to My HUD Exchange
      • Click Create an Account
      • Fill out the Personal Information and Login Information sections
      • Click the Step 2 button
      • Click the Register button. (All fields in Step 2 are optional, and you may register without completing this section.)
      • Your account has been created. You will receive a confirmation email
      If you have already registered for an HUD Exchange Learn account:
      • Enter your Username and Password; select Log in
      • After registering, you will be brought directly to the course detail page in HUD Exchange Learn
      • Select the checkbox next to the class name and location and then select Enroll in this Class
      If you are unsure if you have an HUD Exchange Learn account:
      • Go to the HUD Exchange Login page, and enter your email address into the field: Forget Username or Password?
      • If a username for that email address already exists, you will receive an email with a temporary password that you can use to follow the steps above. If not, you’ll receive an error message.


      Guidance on Grant Based Accounting for Formula Grantees  


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      Guidance on Grant Based Accounting for Formula Grantees


      HUD has updated the Integrated Disbursement and Information System (IDIS) to phase out the first-in-first-out (FIFO) accounting methodology. These changes to  IDIS  ensure that formula grant funds are committed and disbursed in IDIS on a grant-specific basis, instead of using the FIFO (oldest money disbursed first) method that has been used for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), and Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) Programs to date. Grant funds are already committed and disbursed in IDIS on a grant-specific basis for the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program. For the other formula programs, these initial changes will implement grant-specific accounting beginning with FY 2015 formula allocations. With these changes, IDIS will specifically tie activity funding/commitment and draws to specific grants in IDIS. Funds from pre-2015 formula grants will continue to be committed and disbursed in IDIS using the FIFO method.
      HUD has launched a Grant Based Accounting page on the HUD Exchange to provide guidance to grantees on implementing this change. The following guidance is currently available: 
      HUD will announce new resources via the mailing list as they are completed.


      HUD Launches Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Page and Ask A Question on the HUD Exchange


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      HUD Launches Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Page and Ask A Question on the HUD Exchange


      HUD is pleased to announce the launch of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Final Rule page and AFFH Ask A Question (AAQ) desk on the HUD Exchange.
      The AFFH page contains the latest news and resources about the rule. HUD has posted some preliminary fact sheets and guidance on the AFFH rule and will announce additional resources via the HUD Exchange mailing list.

      The HUD Exchange Ask A Question tool enables HUD’s customers to ask AFFH questions online and to receive timely responses to their questions via email.
      To ask an AFFH question, please use the following instructions:
      • Go to the Get Assistance page on the HUD Exchange.
      • Under the "Do you have a policy question or need assistance with a reporting system?" section, click on "Ask A Question."
      • Fill out the Requestor Information form (note that this form is available directly at the following URL: https://www.hudexchange.info/get-assistance/my-question/).
      • Once the question is successfully submitted, you will receive a confirmation email.


      SNAPS In Focus: The Family Options Study


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      SNAPS In Focus: The Family Options Study


      As we continue our work on ending family homelessness in 2020, one of the goals of Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to End Homelessness, we are constantly looking for the most effective interventions that communities can implement and build upon. We have published several messages highlighting the importance of ending family homelessness and providing information to communities on how they can develop approaches that help families to move quickly into housing and prevent returns to homelessness. Today, I want to share with you the key findings of the 18-month outcomes from the Family Options Study and how these findings can be used to inform local and national policy decisions to end homelessness amongst families by 2020.
      As a little bit of background, the Family Options Study was conducted from 2010 to 2012, and it compares three different interventions--Subsidy (SUB), Project-Based Transitional Housing (PBTH), and Community Based Rapid-Rehousing (CBRR)—to Usual Care (UC). The study considers the impact that each intervention had on housing stability, lengths of stays in emergency shelter and transitional housing, and other measures of family well-being (including family preservation, adult well-being, child well-being, and self-sufficiency). In addition to this message, we have published the Family Options Study Brief that describes the methodology and findings.
      The key findings from the 18-month outcomes are:
      • Housing vouchers significantly reduced the length of time families experienced homelessness. Families offered vouchers experienced homelessness in shelter and transitional housing for an average of 3.1 months compared to 5.2 months for those who were assigned to usual care.
         
      • Housing vouchers had a large positive impact on the well-being of the adults and children in those families.
         
      • Housing vouchers are cost effective. The total cost of serving a family over 18 months was only $500 higher for families who received a voucher than for those receiving usual care. In other words, the cost of the voucher was almost entirely offset by the reductions in cost of other services such as emergency shelter.
         
      • In this study, vouchers were provided almost immediately to families experiencing homelessness, without those families having to wait for months or years until their name came up on the waiting list. We believe that this is an important reason that the vouchers were so successful.
         
      • Rapid re-housing also reduced homelessness. Families offered rapid re-housing experienced homelessness in shelter and transitional housing for an average of 4.6 months compared to 5.5 months for those who were assigned to usual care.
         
      • People offered rapid re-housing had the lowest cost over 18 months of any of the interventions. On average, families offered rapid re-housing used $3,000 less in assistance over the 18 month period than those in usual care and generally had similar or better outcomes.
         
      • Although there were some positive impacts of rapid re-housing, the results were not as positive as other studies and data sources have indicated. We are going to be looking much more closely at all the information we have on rapid re-housing to better understand its impact and to identify ways to improve its effectiveness. One of the factors we will be considering is the variation in how communities were implementing their rapid re-housing programs.
         
      • The study showed that many of the families who were offered rapid re-housing did not take it. Those who did take it were housed more quickly than those who didn’t (although this was not part of the random assignment, so we have to view this result cautiously). We would like to better understand why families did not take rapid re-housing when it was offered, and if the ones who did not take it would have benefited as much as the ones who did.
         
      • Transitional housing was the most costly intervention. Families offered transitional housing used $2,500 more in assistance than those who were assigned to usual care. Unfortunately, the higher cost did not appear to result in additional benefits for the families, as their well-being was similar to those who received usual care.
      Based on these findings, there are several policies we are pursuing:
      • Fund more permanent housing vouchers. The President’s 2016 budget requests an additional $100 million in permanent housing subsidies for homeless families. However, communities can make better use of their existing permanent housing vouchers by setting preferences for homeless individuals and families and decreasing wait-list times to the extent possible.
         
      • Remove unnecessary barriers to housing. We have been encouraging our permanent supportive housing providers to adopt a Housing First Approach for the past two competitions. However, all providers should be removing any unnecessary barriers to entering their housing. This includes practices that screen out families based on a history of domestic violence, active substance use, lack of income, or lack of employment. As the study demonstrated, there are very few barriers to accessing permanent housing subsidies, and it should not be more difficult for a family experiencing homelessness to access housing than it is for people experiencing homelessness with a permanent housing voucher.
         
      • Invest in rapid re-housing and continue to study its outcomes. Rapid re-housing had the lowest cost of all the interventions studied, meaning it can serve more families, and in an environment where vouchers are not easy to obtain, rapid re-housing reduces overall episodes of homelessness. However, we will be studying more about how rapid re-housing can be administered to achieve better housing stability outcomes and we encourage you locally to do the same.
      This current report of the study discusses the outcomes 18 months after the study began. There will also be a report discussing the results 36 months after the study was started. We will know more about the interventions and their impacts on families when the results from the 36-month follow-up are available and we will share these results with you. In the meantime, we will continue to examine and publish information on how communities can use this information to better combat family homelessness.
      Lastly, I want to thank all of our partners for your tireless devotion to ending homelessness. We are constantly striving to improve our programs and policies with an eye toward ending family homelessness by 2020, and much of what we are learning is a result of the innovation and inspiration that you provide.
      Best Wishes,
      Norm Suchar
      Director
      Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs

      Download this SNAPS In Focus: The Family Options Study
      View SNAPS In Focus Messages