SSVF Program Update November 21, 2016



Hi Team,

Please find the latest SSVF Program Update. Please review all information in detail. Also, please note that as a follow up to the national webinar last week on 11/17, we just wanted to clarify with grantees that monitoring notifications will be similar to last year. Several weeks before the scheduled visit, grantees will receive notification via email.

Thanks so much! I hope that you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Adrienne

SOAR LEGAL SURVEY COMPANION GUIDE

-----Original Message-----
From: Foley, Sandra
Sent: Monday, November 21, 2016 03:23 PM Central Standard Time
To: SSVF
Subject: SSVF Program Update November 21, 2016


Topics:
1.            FY 2017 SSVF SOAR and Legal Survey:  Due by December 21, 2016
2.            Save the Date:  SSVF National Webinar on December 15, 2016  at 2PM EST
3.            Attention FY16 Grants with an Approved Extension
4.            Reminder: Final FY16 HHS Account Transfer
5.            Program Guidance: Clarification on Verifying Veteran Status

FY 2017 SSVF SOAR and Legal Survey:  Due by December 21, 2016

The new SOAR & Legal Survey aims to provide a more in-depth picture of how SSVF grantees are utilizing the SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) model and legal services to connect Veterans and their families with Social Security disability benefits, when eligible. It builds on the individual SOAR and legal surveys released by the SSVF Program Office in prior fiscal years to document the progress of community collaborations in increasing access to mainstream benefits and can lead to further efforts in establishing technical assistance with specific communities based upon their stated needs.

Survey Goals:
•             Obtain an update on SOAR model and legal service utilization among SSVF grantees;
•             Document grantee success in increasing access to SSI/SSDI using SOAR;
•             Document success resolving legal cases via direct SSVF provision of legal services;
•             Assess future SOAR training needs;
•             Determine barriers to SOAR  and legal service implementation and technical assistance needs;

How to submit:   Similar to the previous survey the SSVF Program Office can only accept one survey submission per grant award.  Do not access the survey link unless you are designated to complete the survey and are ready to submit your answers. The survey link is contained in the attached Nov 2016 SOAR & Legal Survey Companion Guide.  These document are available on the SSVF Website at

Tools: The SSVF Program Office has prepared several materials to assist with this process:

1.)           Companion Guide (pdf)
•             This guide provides an in-depth description of each question, the question format, and response options and should be used as grantees are preparing their responses.
2.)           Blank Survey Question Document (Word document)
•             This document includes each question and the responses. It is expected that grantees use this as a worksheet to prepare their answers prior to accessing the Survey Monkey link. This way, grantees will have a copy of what they submitted and it should streamline the process for entering data into the survey, since the survey software does not allow users to save drafts of the survey or to save a copy of the final submission.
Survey Deadline:  All survey responses must be submitted no later than December 21, 2016

Save the Date:  SSVF National Webinar on December 15, 2016 at 2PM EST

Topic:  SSVF FY 2017 Program Updates

The SSVF National Grantee Webinar will review the Participant Survey Telephone Process Rollout and provide overview of the Gap Analysis submissions.  A registration link will be provided.

Attention FY16 Grants with an Approved Extension:

For Grantees that have an approved extension for FY16, it is imperative that you notify your Regional Coordinator when you have drawn down all of your FY16 funds. Your FY17 funds will not be activated in the HHS Payment Management System until the program office (via your Regional Coordinator) is notified that your final draw has been completed. Once notification is received, the program office will review your FY16 award and disbursements to ensure all funds have been drawn down and, once verified, your FY17 funds will be activated. If you have any questions, please direct them to your Regional Coordinator.

Final FY16 HHS Subaccount Transfers

Please be reminded that HHS Subaccount Transfers for FY16 grants will be processed on the 1st and 15th of December 2016. Grantees that require a final transfer of funds among the HHS subaccounts in order to complete the grant close must use the HHS Subaccount Template to prepare the transfer request.  Submit this form to your Regional Coordinator for review and processing.  Please do not submit to the SSVF general inbox.  To avoid denials of the subaccount transfer requests, please access your HHS grant account within the Payment Management System and carefully review the authorized subaccount balances, as any Program Changes granted throughout the year may have resulted in changes to these authorized balances.  If you have questions about how to complete the template or verify your authorized subaccount balances (prior to submitting your request) please contact your Regional Coordinator.  The template is available at http://www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf/index.asp?page=/official_guide/fiscal_administration

Program Guidance: Clarification on Verifying Veteran Status

The SSVF Program requires Veteran eligibility verification.  On occasion, a Veteran's DD214 may indicate that the Veteran has not completed active duty training, however is receiving VA benefits. Please note that if a Veteran has already established VA eligibility for VA medical services or is enrolled VA health care, then this Veteran meets Veteran eligibility criteria for SSVF.  For example, a Veteran may be receiving VA health care services due to Service-Connected Disability.

Thank you,

SSVF Program Office

NOTE:  If you are receiving this email in error, please disregard.  We request your patience as the SSVF Program Office continues to address system issues with the grants management database.





Deficit shrinks by $1 trillion in Obama era | MSNBC










In the not-too-distant past, talk in the political world of the U.S. budget deficit was all the rage. As the Tea Party “movement” took shape, conservatives quite literally took to the streets to express their fear that President Obama and Democrats were failing to address the “out of control” deficit.

Congressional Republicans agreed. As recently as 2013, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was asked about the radicalism of his political agenda and he responded, “[W]hat I would say is extreme is a trillion-dollar deficit every year.” Around the same time, then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) argued that Congress should be “focused on trying to deal with the ultimate problem, which is this growing deficit.”

The Republican rhetoric was ridiculously wrong. We don’t have a trillion-dollar deficit; the deficit isn’t the ultimate problem; and it’s not growing.
Strong growth in individual tax collection drove the U.S. budget deficit to a fresh Obama-era low in fiscal 2015, the Treasury Department said Thursday.

For the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 the shortfall was $439 billion, a decrease of 9%, or $44 billion, from last year. The deficit is the smallest of Barack Obama’s presidency and the lowest since 2007 in both dollar terms and as a percentage of gross domestic product.
Keep in mind, in the Obama era, the deficit has shrunk by $1 trillion. That’s “trillion,” with a “t.” As a percentage of the economy, the deficit is now down to just 2.5%, which is below the average of the past half-century, and down from 9.8% when the president took office.

Revisiting our coverage from several months ago, I looked for press releases from the “Obama is turning us into Greece!” crowd, eager to see them celebrate President Obama’s striking record on deficit reduction, but so far, nothing has turned up. Maybe they’re busy.

And in practical terms, that’s a shame. The vast majority of Americans are absolutely certain – thanks to deceptive Republican rhetoric and unfortunate news coverage – that the deficit has soared in the Obama era. Late last year, a Bloomberg Politics Poll found that 73% of the public believes the deficit has gotten bigger over the last six years.

The year before, the same pollster found that only 6% of Americans realized the deficit was shrinking. It helps explain why the president hasn’t gotten any credit for deficit reduction, which seems like the sort of development Tea Partiers and the Beltway’s Very Serious People should consider an extraordinary accomplishment.

As we talked about last year, it’s tempting to conclude that the public’s confusion doesn’t matter. In the Clinton era, the deficit disappeared entirely, and Americans had no idea.

But there’s another side to this. Whether or not Americans know and/or understand the basics of the fiscal argument may not have a practical impact on the debate itself, but the fact remains that voters are ultimately responsible for electing policymakers. If Americans believe, incorrectly, that the deficit is getting bigger, these same voters may be inclined to vote for candidates who’ll slash public investments and undermine social-insurance programs – which would have real-world consequences.

Postscript: To reiterate a point that bears repeating, I don’t necessarily consider this sharp reduction in the deficit to be good news. If it were up to me, federal officials would be borrowing more, not less, taking advantage of low interest rates, investing heavily in infrastructure and economic development, creating millions of jobs, and leaving deficit reduction for another day.

That said, if we’re going to have a fiscal debate, it should at least be rooted in reality, not silly misconceptions. And the reality is, we’re witnessing deficit reduction at a truly remarkable clip. Every conservative complaint about fiscal recklessness and irresponsibility in the Obama era is quantifiably ridiculous.

Homelessness in the U.S. Continues to Decline



Homelessness in the U.S. Continues to Decline
Homelessness continues to decline in the U.S, specifically among families with children, veterans, and individuals with long-term disabling conditions according to the latest national estimate by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD’s 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress found that 549,928 persons experienced homelessness on a single night in 2016, a decline of 14 percent since 2010, the year the Obama Administration launched Opening Doors, the nation’s first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness.
Over this seven-year period, HUD estimates the nation experienced a 23 percent reduction among homeless families, a 47 percent drop in veteran homelessness, and a 27 percent decline in individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. This national estimate is based upon data reported by approximately 3,000 cities and counties across the nation. Every year on a single night in January, planning agencies called “Continuums of Care (CoCs)” and tens of thousands of volunteers seek to identify the number of individuals and families living in emergency shelters, transitional housing programs, and in unsheltered settings.
In making the announcement, HUD Secretary Julián Castro noted that though the nation is making significant progress in reducing homelessness, the number of ‘doubled up’ or rent-burdened families remains a vexing problem.
“Every person deserves a safe, stable place to call home,” said Secretary Castro. “The Obama Administration has made unprecedented progress toward ending homelessness and today marks the seventh straight year of measureable progress. While we know that our work is far from finished, it’s clear we’re on the right track to prevent and end homelessness for good.”
“While our continued progress reinforces that we are on the right path, the data also makes clear that we must increase the pace of that progress,” said Matthew Doherty, Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). “To do so, we must be unwavering in our commitment to strategies and investments that are working. Our communities and our citizens deserve nothing less.”
During one night in late January of 2016, tens of thousands of volunteers across the nation sought to identify individuals and families living on their streets as well as in emergency shelters and transitional housing programs. These one-night ‘snapshot’ counts, as well as full-year counts and data from other sources (U.S. Housing Survey, Department of Education), are crucial in understanding the scope of homelessness and measuring progress toward reducing it.

Key Findings of HUD’s 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR):

On a single night in January 2016, state and local planning agencies reported:
  • 549,928 people were homeless representing an overall 14 percent reduction from January 2010. Most homeless persons (373,571) were located in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs while 176,357 persons were unsheltered.
     
  • The number of families with children experiencing homelessness declined 23 percent since 2010.
     
  • Veteran homelessness dropped by 47 percent (or 34,616 persons) since January 2010. On a single night in January 2016, 39,471 veterans were experiencing homelessness.
     
  • Chronic or long-term homelessness among individuals declined by 27 percent (or 77,486 persons) since 2010.
     
  • The number of unaccompanied homeless youth and children appeared to decline in 2016 to 35,686 though HUD will launch a more robust effort to more accurately account for this important population in January of 2017.
The Obama Administration's strategic plan to end homelessness is called Opening Doors – a roadmap for joint action by the 19 federal member agencies of USICH along with local and state partners in the public and private sectors. The Plan offers strategies to connect mainstream housing, health, education, and human service programs as part of a coordinate plan to prevent and end homelessness.

Family Homelessness

There were 61,265 family households experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2016, a nearly 23 percent decline since 2010. Meanwhile, the number of persons in families declined by nearly 20 percent during that time, due in large measure to the expansion of Rapid Rehousing Programs across the country and a concerted effort by local planners to reallocate scarce resources in a more strategic way.

Veteran Homelessness

Since the launch of Opening Doors, several states and local communities have declared an effective end to veteran homelessness as part of the Mayors Challenge. As a consequence of intense planning and targeted intervention, homelessness among veterans fell by nearly 50 percent since 2010. This decline is largely attributed to the close collaboration between HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on a joint program called HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH). Since 2008, more than 79,000 rental vouchers have been awarded and approximately 111,000 formerly homeless veterans are currently in homes of their own because of HUD-VASH.

Chronic Homelessness

Long-term or chronic homelessness among individuals declined 27 percent since 2010. This reduction is due in part to a concerted effort to make available more permanent supportive housing opportunities for people with disabling health conditions who otherwise continually cycle through local shelters or the streets. Research demonstrates that for those experiencing chronic homelessness, providing permanent housing, coupled with appropriate low-barrier supportive services, is the most effective solution for ending homelessness. This ‘housing first’ approach also saves the taxpayer considerable money by interrupting a costly cycle of emergency room and hospital, detox, and even jail visits.
While homelessness nationally continues to decline, some communities are reporting less progress. Read more information on state and local-level homelessness.
         
Visit the HUD Exchange at https://www.hudexchange.info

Bowman Systems NewsFlash: FYSB RHY Repository Extension



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11/21/2016

RHY REPOSITORY EXTENSION - (FROM FYSB)

"Dear RHY grantees,

The Family and Youth Service Bureau (FYSB) at HHS has extended the November 2016 RHY data submission deadline to WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2016, 6 p.m. EST. This decision was made taking into consideration grantees that spent time last week on travel as well as conversations with multiple RHY grantees at the 2016 RHY Conference. We know most of you are close to submission, and this extension should help ease anxiety and support the highest data quality possible.
For those grantees that have already submitted, thank you!
Technical Assistance staff will continue to be available via the RHYMIS On-line Service Desk at www.rhymisservicedesk.net should you have any questions or need assistance.
As a reminder, there are on-line resources available at the RHYTTAC RHY-HMIS link: http://rhyttac.net/technical-assistance/rhymis-hmis. There you can find:
As always, if you need any additional assistance with this process, please submit a question in the RHYMIS On-line Service Desk at www.RHYMISServiceDesk.net and we will respond. Please note the RHYMIS On-line Service Desk will only be responded to for a half day Wednesday, and we will be off Thursday and Friday (for the Thanksgiving Holiday). However, you can still upload data during this period.
Please attempt to generate your upload file and submit as soon as possible so if any assistance is needed from your HMIS lead, there is time to receive it and successfully upload before 6 p.m. EST on November 30th.
Thanks, good luck, and Happy Thanksgiving!
RHYMIS Support Team
www.RHYMISServiceDesk.net"


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HUD Announces Publication of Final Rule Implementing VAWA Reauthorization Act of 2013

On November 16, 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s final rule regarding the implementation of housing protections authorized in the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) was published in the Federal Register. This final rule is a critical step in protecting housing of survivors of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
The rule becomes effective on December 16, 2016. Please note that covered housing providers will have 180 days from the effective date to develop emergency transfer plans. Emergency transfer provisions will become effective June 14, 2017.
HUD Secretary Julían Castro stated that “Nobody should have to choose between an unsafe home and no home at all. Today we take a necessary step toward ensuring domestic violence survivors are protected from being twice victimized when it comes to finding and keeping a home they can feel safe in.”
Some of the critical components of the final rule include:
  • Extension of the core protections to Continuum of Care (CoC), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) and Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) – The rule codifies the core protection across HUD’s covered programs ensuring survivors are not denied assistance as an applicant, or evicted or have assistance terminated as a tenant, because the applicant or tenant is or has been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
     
  • Emergency transfers – One of the key elements of VAWA’s housing protections is the emergency transfer plan which allows for survivors to move to another safe and available unit if they fear for their life and safety. The final rule includes a model emergency transfer plan, which was required in VAWA 2013, and an emergency transfer request form.
     
  • Protections against denials, terminations, and evictions that directly result from being a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking – Survivors often face denial, termination, or eviction from housing for a reason that seems unrelated to being a survivor (such as poor rental history or poor credit), but is actually a direct result of being a survivor of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking. For example, as part of an act of domestic violence an abuser may cause damage to the survivor’s apartment, which in turn may cause the survivor to be evicted and have a poor rental history. Or stalking may involve taking out credit cards in a person’s name and misusing them to cause the person emotional distress, and the misuse of those cards may cause the person to have poor credit. To protect survivors in situations like these, the final rule prohibits any denial, termination, or eviction that is “a direct result of the fact that the applicant or tenant is or has been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, if the applicant or tenant otherwise qualifies for admission, assistance, participation, or occupancy.”
     
  • Low-barrier certification process – The final rule makes it clear that under most circumstances, a survivor need only to self-certify in order to document the domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, ensuring third party documentation does not cause a barrier in a survivor expressing their rights and receiving the protections needed to keep themselves safe. The rule includes a certification form that may be used by covered housing providers.
HUD will be publishing additional guidance in the coming months. In the meantime, if you have a question, please submit it to the HUD Exchange Ask A Question (AAQ) portal.
         
Visit the HUD Exchange at https://www.hudexchange.info

Housing Vouchers for All Is Possible





Also: Economic Anxiety Is Not Just for White Workers ● After 2 Decades, Justice Was Finally Served ● Lisa Mensah, USDA Rural Development
www.shelterforce.org
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
USC Sol Price


Events

Webinar | Community Catalyst | Aging in Place: Integrating Health and Housing for Low-Income and Chronically Ill Seniors | Dec. 1, 1 p.m. ET

This webinar will provide an overview of initiatives related to aging in place for low-income and chronically ill seniors. Speakers across sectors will address housing issues and more effective integration of housing and health care systems.

Webinar | National Low Income Housing Coalition | The Changing Post-Election Landscape for Affordable Housing | Dec. 2, 1 p.m. ET

NLIHC President and CEO, Diane Yentel, will provide an overview of the work needed to move affordable housing policy in this new political landscape. Read more about what to expect under the new administration here and register for the webinar here.

Subscribe to 
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It's free! Click here! 


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Being grateful for what we have may be difficult given recent events and the troubling times ahead. But, in between arguments with your uncle and eating way too much, take a moment to think about what Howard Zinn once wrote: 

"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives.  ...If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places -- and there are so many -- where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.  ...And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory." 

So rest Thursday and be thankful for all the victories you've had -- small and large -- as we are thankful for all the work you do.


It's Not Just the White Working Class with Economic Anxiety
Tracey Ross, PolicyLink
A familiar narrative has emerged in which the media, politicians, and even people living on the coasts have failed to understand the economic anxieties of the white working class, how factories moving overseas has crippled small towns, or how rural America -- "real America" -- has been forgotten. And yet there have been no calls to . . . More


Yes, We Can Give Housing Vouchers to All Who Need Them
Michael Bodaken and Ellen Lurie Hoffman, National Housing Trust
A renter household that used a Section 8 voucher in 2015 had waited more than two years on average to move into a unit, with the wait time in the San Diego metro area as long as seven years. These numbers are deplorable, but it doesn't have to be this way . . . More

Mensah
Lisa Mensah, Under Secretary for Rural Development, USDA
Miriam Axel-Lute, Shelterforce
Touching on jobs, climate change, and housing, Lisa Mensah stresses the reasons why we shouldn't leave rural communities behind, discusses how they are similar to their urban counterparts, and explains how a government field agency with an ever-shrinking staff gets its work done . . . More


After Two Decades, Justice Was Finally Served
Jessica Gordon Nembhard, City University of New York
New Communities Inc. was a 6,000-acre cooperative farm that was the largest African-American owned parcel of land in the U.S. in the late 1960s, and is considered the first modern land trust in the U.S. Sabotaged by white supremacists -- in government and out -- and forgotten by most, today . . . More


You Said It!

This claim that neighborhoods filter all at once is hogwash. My first owned home in Austin was a condominium unit in Old West Austin, just about the most expensive urban neighborhood in the city. The single-family houses there were going for . . . --Mike Dahmus, more

While homeownership, to the extent that lower income and minorities can do it, may tie people to underwater homes in areas that are deserts for jobs, food and schools, the alternative is rental from either local slum landlords or multinational hedge funds that bought up all the . . . --Stan Hirtle, more


Looking for a Job?
CHP
HOC
Director of Property Management

CHP seeks a seasoned PM professional with demonstrated experience in best practice operations and compliance who cares deeply about social impact and supportive . . . Read Full Listing
Portfolio Manager

Will manage, monitor and review the multifamily loan and asset management program for compliance and fiscal stability; assist with the structuring, underwriting, and financing of . . . Read Full Listing
Executive Director

The executive director will lead the Affordable Housing, Property Management, Resident Services and Housing Choice Voucher aspects of Charter Oak Communities' . . . Read Full Listing
Senior Manager

The Senior Manager will manage urban and rural programs created to build assets in communities across the country, with a focus on programs that support housing and . . . Read Full Listing
NJCC
Greater Rochester HP
Director of Resource Development

NJCC seeks a creative and dynamic individual for this Senior Management position, which is responsible for cultivating relationships with investors, overseeing impact assessment systems, providing strategic advice . . . Read Full Listing
President

The President of the Partnership will create the annual work scope and operating budget, will work with governments, lenders, developers, housing advocates, and users to identify housing needs and meet those needs through . . .  Read Full Listing
Public Information Specialist

The successful candidate will coordinate marketing communications for HOC programs and properties; maintain strong relationship with media contacts, draft op-eds, letters-to-the-editor, blogs, articles and other opinion  . . . Read Full Listing
Housing Programs Manager

The HPM is responsible for compliance reporting, investigation and follow-up, development and implementation of corrective actions and overall quality control, implementing thorough client re-certifications . . .  Read Full Listing
Housing Choice Voucher Operations Manager

The successful candidate will coordinate marketing communications for HOC programs and properties; maintain strong relationship with media contacts, draft op-eds, letters-to-the-editor, blogs, articles and other opinion  . . .  Read Full Listing
Senior Multifamily Underwriter

The HPM is responsible for compliance reporting, investigation and follow-up, development and implementation of corrective actions and overall quality control, implementing thorough client re-certifications . . .  Read Full Listing

Compliance Analyst

This position provides oversight and guidance on compliance issues such as policy, procedure, guideline, requirement development, and reviewing Standard Operating Procedures. Will insure that employees are adhering . . . Read Full Listing


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Black Stripes

Featured Bloggers
Interfaith Worker Justice

Murtaza Baxamusa
Sol Price School of Public Policy, USC

Housing Assistance Council

Michael Bodaken
National Housing Trust

Raphael Bostic
USC Price School of Public Policy

Janis Bowdler
JPMorgan Chase & Co.

HOPE Credit Union

Burlington Associates

Democracy Collaborative

Ana Garcia-Ashley
Gamaliel Foundation

Jamaal Green
Portland State University

Texas Low Income Housing Information Service

Lisa Hodges
Hodges Development, LLC

Planner, Louisa County, Va.

National CAPACD

Rick Jacobus
Street Level Advisors

Daniel Kravetz
Freelance Writer

CFED

Center for Community Progress

Alexandra Moffett-Bateau
City University of New York

Tulane University

Habitat for Humanity

National Urban League

CFED

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities  

NCRC

San Francisco Community 
Land Trust

Shelterforce Weekly

Senior Editor, Lillian M. Ortiz

Associate Editor, Keli Tianga

Publisher, Harold Simon

Assistant Publisher, Terri L. Clegg