SSVF Program Update January 27, 2017 (Please read)

Hi Team,

Happy Friday! Please find our latest SSVF Program Update. Please review this content in detail. Almost everything in the update is new. I expect you all to be well-versed in the information outlined below.

Thanks so much!


Adrienne Nash Melendez, MLD
Regional Coordinator
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Please note new email address:

-----Original Message-----
From: SSVF Program Office []
Sent: Friday, January 27, 2017 11:06 AM
Subject: [EXTERNAL] SSVF Program Update January 27, 2017


1.            Voluntary vs. Mandatory Return of SSVF Grant Funds
2.            Grantee Quarterly Certification Submissions: Are they timely and accurate?
3.            Register Now: SSVF National Webinar on February 9th, 2017 at 2:00PM EST : Audit Guidelines, Fraud Prevention, Reporting and Compliance
4.            Newly Released: SSVF Grantee Orientation Guide – January 2017
5.            Reminder:  SSVF Post Award Launch – Denver, CO 
6.            Reminder: SSVF NOFA Applications Due February 3, 2017 at 4pm EST!

Voluntary vs. Mandatory Return of SSVF Grant Funds

During the current grant year, FY 2017, the SSVF Program Office is implementing two methods for recouping unspent grant funds in order to maximize the use of SSVF resources and redistribute to other areas of high need.  The first method is the voluntary return of SSVF grant funds.  Within the 1st and 2nd quarter certification forms, grantees have the opportunity to identify their interest in returning funds that will not be spent by the end of the grant year.  Those who indicate "yes" to this question will receive a separate GIFTS requirement requesting details about the interest in returning of funds.

The second method for recouping unused grant funds is the mandatory return of unspent grant funds. Per the grant agreement between VA and SSVF grantees, the SSVF Program Office will recoup funds from grantees who are not meeting the minimum expenditure rates.  This is the first year mandatory returns will be implemented.  However, the SSVF Program Office has elected to waive this process for first quarter of FY17.  The grant agreement (MOA) describes that, after each quarter, grantees are required to have a minimum percentage of funds drawn from the HHS Payment Management System; 1st quarter – 15% or more; 2nd quarter – 40% or more; 3rd quarter – 65% or more.  The SSVF Program Office is currently developing the procedures for how this will be completed and will inform grantees as soon as possible.  In the meantime, please review your grant expenditures and your projected spending for the remainder of the grant year. The first mandatory return of funds will take place immediately following the end of the 2nd quarter (April). If you have questions about this new process for FY2017, please contact your Regional Coordinator.

Grantee Quarterly Certification Submissions: Are they timely and accurate?

The SSVF Program Office understands that grantees have multiple priorities and strives to provide efficient and streamlined procedures to alleviate the administrative burden of operating federal grant programs.  Grantees have provided valuable feedback on the utilization of the GIFTS system for reporting and we appreciate the opportunity to enhance productivity for our partners.  It is important to note that the quarterly certification is a part of the SSVF reporting requirements and they must be submitted in a timely manner.  For the recent quarterly certification submissions, 50 SSVF grant programs failed to submit a quarterly certification within the GIFTS system.  This results in non-compliance with the SSVF grant program.  Additionally, it is critical that SSVF program management ensures that those completing the quarterly certifications fully understand what each question is asking.  For example, the recent quarterly certification asked if grantees with low expenditure rates were interested in voluntarily returning grant funds to VA.  For those who answered "yes" to this question, the SSVF Program Office sent details regarding next steps for returning funds and more than 60% indicated that the answer had been submitted in error.  Errors such as this significantly impact the ability to project future resources for high need areas and to provide accurate reports to VA leadership and Congressional committees.  You are all doing such amazing work.  Please ensure that reports and other requirements are timely and accurate so that the SSVF Program Office can effectively assess grantee performance, community progress in meeting our goals, and can avoid unintended negative consequences. 

Register Now: SSVF National Webinar on February 9th, 2017 at 2:00PM EST

Title: Audit Guidelines and Fraud Prevention, Reporting and Compliance

The webinar reviews key areas assessed during financial audits and highlights strategies for preventing fraud, waste and abuse of grant funds. Compliance staff and auditors will discuss requirements for reporting potential allegations of fraudulent activity to VA. This webinar will be included as an updated version to the existing SSVF Grantee Orientation Guide and should be reviewed on an annual basis by all SSVF staff. Please register here:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Newly Released: SSVF Grantee Orientation Guide – January 2017

The updated SSVF Grantee Orientation Guide has been posted to the SSVF website. The Guide offers a broad introduction to the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.  Each SSVF grantee is expected to share the orientation materials with new program staff as part of their organization's onboarding process.   New staff should read all materials in their entirety and review the resources and materials that are included in the hyperlinks throughout the document.  Grantees should confirm that new staff has read required all the required materials during their quarterly certification process.  

Link to Guide:

Reminder:  SSVF Post Award Launch – Denver, CO 

Attention to all grantees that were not invited or did not attend the SSVF Launch in November 2016 held in Atlanta, GA. Registration is now OPEN for these grantees to attend the FY 2017 SSVF Post Award Launch Event to be held on February 7-8 in Denver, Colorado. Grantees are expected to arrive on February 6th in order to begin promptly on February 7th. Invitations have been sent to the SSVF Grant Contact #1 and Grant Contact #2 in the GIFTs system. If you believe you did not receive the invitation, please check with your internal staff prior to contacting the Program Office or your Regional Coordinator. If you have any questions, please email Bobby Thompson at

Reminder: SSVF NOFA Applications Due February 3, 2017 at 4pm EST!

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.

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Your Opportunity to Present at the 2017 NCHV Annual Conference

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Your Opportunity to Present at the 2017 NCHV Annual Conference
Share your expertise with individuals from around the country working to end veteran homelessness
Every year, NCHV gathers the top experts and presenters to lead sessions at the NCHV Annual Conference. Submit your presentation abstract to be among those guiding services as we embark into the new Administration by sharing your best practices, creative solutions, unique programs, and more with 700 attendees.

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN for 2017 NCHV Annual Conference

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN! 2017 NCHV Annual Conference – Yes, In My Back Yard: Putting Veterans First
May 31-June 2 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. 
Register today! Mark your calendars for May 31-June 2, 2017, when the 2017 NCHV Annual Conference, Yes, In My Back Yard: Putting Veterans First, will take place at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C.

With an overarching focus on giving you the knowledge, tools, and resources to implement best practices in your community at the local level, the 2017 Conference is shaping up to be a pivotal event.
Make it your priority to attend this event to share your challenges, strategies, successes and to learn from experts across multiple areas related to the work you do with veterans in your community! 
If you are unable to use the online form above, download a registration form to return by fax here.
New in 2017! The NCHV Veterans Access to Housing Summit Pre-Conference event will be held on May 30 as a lead-in to the Annual Conference. Add the Housing Summit Pre-Conference on to your Conference registration for under half the cost of previous Veterans Access to Housing Summits! This event will be held at a location TBD. Register online here, and stay tuned for more details!
Have you renewed your NCHV membership? Interested in becoming a member? NCHV members receive discounted rates for the Annual Conference, in addition to other benefits. Click here to renew or become a member today!

Exhibitor space will be available for you to feature your products and services in front of 700 service providers, housing developers, government officials and employees, and other stakeholders. Download your exhibitor registration to return by fax here.
Stay tuned to for updates as they become available.

Looking for Studies of Rapid Re-Housing Programs

Are you a researcher, funder, advocacy organization, or practitioner in the homelessness services field?
Under contract to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Abt Associates is beginning a review of any and all existing studies of rapid re-housing (RRH) programs. This review is part of research to better understand RRH as an intervention for families and individuals experiencing homelessness.
We are asking for your recommendations for RRH studies to include in our review. Studies can be local, state, or national; conducted by organizations or researchers; or be looking at RRH programs of any size. Please send a PDF of the study or the citation to Korrin Bishop at by February 6, 2017.
Thank you for your assistance in building our collective knowledge toward ending homelessness.
Visit the HUD Exchange at

Homelessness Data Collection, Reporting Updates, and Deadlines

Data continues to be an important component of making progress towards the goal of ending homelessness. With this increased focus, HUD is working to provide more tools for communities to better assess the quality of their data and provide more data for both national and local data analyses. Your community will need to review the following deadlines and resources to prepare for the Housing Inventory Count (HIC), Point-in-Time (PIT) Count, System Performance Measures (SPM) report, new data quality reporting framework, and Annual Performance Report (APR) requirements.

New Data Quality Resources

HUD expects communities are monitoring data quality on a continuous basis in collaboration with their Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) Lead and end users. To assist with this, HUD recently provided HMIS vendors with detailed instructions on programming tables for a new data quality framework. This framework will form the building blocks of data quality for all systems. Communities will see this data quality framework throughout many HUD reports, including the SPM submission, APR, and future reports.
  • The specifications for the framework have been built into a forthcoming version of the HMIS Standard Reporting Terminology Glossary. Vendors are expected to have completed programming by April 1, 2017.
  • Communities will be able to run all tables in the data quality framework for varying time periods and for individual projects, various projects types, and across the entire Continuum of Care (CoC).
  • HMIS Leads should work with their vendors to determine when they can access this new data quality framework.
  • Once available, HMIS Leads should familiarize themselves with the framework and incorporate it into their Data Quality monitoring plans and processes.
Data Submission Activity
The Homelessness Data Exchange (HDX) open for PIT and HIC data submission
March 1 – May 1, 2017
New Data Quality Framework available

(HMIS vendors expected to have completed programming of new HUD-approved Data Quality Framework)
April 1, 2017
New APR requirements in effect

(HMIS vendors expected to have completed programming of new report; new submission portal to be activated)
April 1, 2017
HDX open for SPM data submission
April 3 – May 31, 2017
  • CoCs: Review the list of timelines and resources. Work with CoC Program recipients and HMIS Leads to prepare for annual and new reporting requirements.
  • HMIS Leads: Work with your vendor to ensure you have access to the necessary reports and materials for your CoC to meet the upcoming deadlines. Communicate regularly with the Continuum and CoC Program recipients to ensure stakeholders are informed and prepared.
  • CoC Program Recipients: Participate in PIT/HIC, monitor your project’s data quality, and prepare for new APR requirements.

APR Updates

Beginning in April 2017, HUD will begin requiring CoC Program grant recipients to submit their APR data through a new online database – the Sage HMIS Reporting Repository (Sage). Communities will no longer submit APRs in e-snaps. This change in systems will apply to all CoC homeless assistance grants (e.g., Supportive Housing Program, Shelter Plus Care, Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program, CoC Program) administered by the Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) – regardless of when they were initially funded. The APR has been updated to do the following:
  • Allow CSV imports of aggregate data about persons served;
  • Integrate project-level performance data into the body of the report;
  • Update the data quality components to be consistent with the new HUD-approved Data Quality framework; and
  • Provide programming specifications for population-specific questions, among other updates.
HMIS Leads should work with vendors to access necessary reports and materials in preparation for these APR resources on April 1, 2017. HMIS Leads and CoC Program grant recipients should be working together now to prepare for changes to the APR format and submission process. More details, including training and resources, about the new report and system will be released shortly.

System Performance Measures Updates

For the second year, CoCs will be asked to submit their SPM reports via HDX for the fiscal year 10/1/2015 - 9/30/2016.
  • Based on concerns raised during last year’s data submission process, CoCs will have the opportunity to re-submit their SPM for the period 10/1/2014-9/30/2015. Instructions will be provided in both HDX and data submission guidance about how to accomplish this.
  • A new Data Quality tab has been added to the SPM module in HDX. This tab will require manual data entry of some results from the newly created Data Quality framework.
  • Data submission webinars and System Administrator office hours will be held and announced via separate listserv notices.


If you have questions about these reporting requirements, please submit them through the HUD Exchange Ask a Question (AAQ) portal. On Step 2 of the question submission process, select the appropriate report or reporting system in the “My question is related to” dropdown.
Visit the HUD Exchange at

Starting February 1: National Advisory Council Meetings


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Starting February 1: SAMHSA National Advisory Council Meetings

CMHS National Advisory Council Meeting
Wednesday, February 1, 2017 | 9 a.m.–5:15 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Discussions will include:
  • The Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) Director's Report
  • The 21st Century Cures Act
  • The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health
  • Resiliency in Communities After Stress and Trauma (ReCAST) Program
  • Section 223-Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics
For call-in information and to sign into the meeting, please follow the link below.
Register Online

CSAP National Advisory Council Meeting
Wednesday, February 1, 2017 | 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Discussions will include:
  • The changing landscape of prevention
  • The substance use prevention workforce
  • Updates from the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP)
For call-in information and to sign into the meeting using Adobe Connect, please follow the link below.
Register Online

CSAT National Advisory Council Meeting
Wednesday, February 1, 2017 | 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Discussions will include:
  • The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) Director's Report
  • A budget update
  • Technology-assisted care
  • CSAT's role in translating science into service
For call-in information and to sign into the meeting, please follow the link below.
Register Online

Advisory Committee for Women's Services Meeting
Wednesday, February 1, 2017 | 9 a.m.–4:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Discussions will include:
  • The National Institutes of Health's women and girls research agendas
  • A legislative update
  • An overview of the 21st Century Cures Act
  • SAMHSA/Health Resources and Services Administration collaboration on the integration of behavioral health and primary care
  • The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health
For call-in information, please follow the link below.
Register Online

Tribal Technical Advisory Committee Meeting
Wednesday, February 1, 2017 | 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Discussions will include:
  • Updates on the Office of Tribal Affairs and Policy
  • Legislation, regulatory, budget, and grants updates
  • Tribal Technical Advisory Committee priorities
  • The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health
For call-in information, please follow the link provided below.
Register Online

Joint Meeting of SAMHSA National Advisory Councils
Thursday, February 2, 2017 | 8:30 a.m.–4:50 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Discussions will include:
  • Updates on SAMHSA priorities
  • A panel discussion on translating science to service with the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Institute of Mental Health
There also will be breakout group discussions on suicide prevention, underage drinking, medication-assisted treatment, and naloxone.
For call-in information and to sign into the meeting, please follow the link below.
Register Online

SAMHSA National Advisory Council Meeting
Friday, February 3, 2017 | 8:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Discussions will include:
  • A recap of the Joint National Advisory Council meeting
  • The 21st Century Cures Act
  • Planning for future meetings
For call-in information and to sign into the meeting, please follow the link below.
Register Online

Learn More About the SAMHSA Advisory Councils

One Week In--What's Changing for You?

Also: Community Planning Is Not Enough ● Keeping Artists Close to Home ● OCC to Let Fintechs Become Banks? ● CFPB Is Gov't for the People
Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Webinar | Why Housing Messages Backfire and What We Can Do | Jan. 31, 2 p.m. ET

Join the National Housing Conference, Enterprise Community Partners, and the FrameWorks Institute for a discussion of housing messaging pitfalls and simple things housers can do to advocate more effectively and build support for affordable housing.


GOP Secretaries of Labor: Puzder Is a Break from the Past

From criticizing minimum wage policies to viewing overtime regulations as an imposition for employers, Andrew Puzder has consistently disapproved of actions taken by the Department of Labor--the very entity he has been tapped to head. In his new report for The Century Foundation, senior fellow Andrew Stettner explains how Puzder's comments stand in contrast to the six former GOP secretaries of labor during their confirmation hearings.


Nominations Due for the NLIHC Organizing Awards

The 2017 Organizing Award recognizes activity during 2016 that furthers NLIHC's mission: achieving socially just public policy that ensures people with the lowest incomes in the U.S. have affordable and decent homes. The award will be presented at the NLIHC 2017 Housing Policy Forum in April. Nominations are due Feb. 1.

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Your Voice!

A Community Planning Process (Even a Good One) Is Not Enough
Jessica Wolin and Brett Cook, Health Equity Institute
Simply inviting residents to participate in design charrettes or a community planning process does not mitigate the significant loss they feel as they witness the physical destruction of their homes and lived history. There's an effort being made to actually . . . More

Keeping Your Artists Close to Home
Katy Reckdahl, reporter
As rents have risen in New Orleans, artists and arts nonprofits have scrambled for their very existence, unable to do their best work. Here's how some organizations are helping them keep a toe hold . . . More

One Week In -- What's Changing for You?
The behavior and language of the first few days of the new administration and GOP-led House and Senate have shown us that nonprofit organizations that receive public funds could be playing on shaky ground at best. Shelterforce editors want to know what's changing for you. We are looking for individuals working within the nonprofit sector to weigh in (anonymously is fine, we will not reveal your name unless you expressly ask us to) on ways the current political situation is affecting your constituents and your workplace already, or that you expect it to soon. How are you adapting, seeking opportunity, protecting, or resisting, especially at an organizational level? Let us know here.

CFPB: Government for the People
Bill Bynum, HOPE Credit Union
An anti-regulation chorus in the financial services industry, coupled with the virulent anti-government sentiment sweeping into Washington, has painted a huge target on the back of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). But policymakers and large swaths of the voting public don't need a very long memory to understand the danger in . . . More

Josh Silver
OCC to Let Tech Companies Become Banks--Is This a Good Thing?
Josh Silver, NCRC
If the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency proceeds with its proposal to allow non-bank financial technology companies, known as fintechs, to acquire national bank charters, it needs to make sure it is equipped to regulate a different type of financial company. And to become equipped for this task, it would need to adopt . . . More

Creating Miles of Art in the Mile High City
Tony Pickett, Urban Land Conservancy
How a Denver organization intends to create a 9-mile art-, health-, and heritage-themed bike and pedestrian trail that will feature authentic cultural expression.

You Said It!

I would add: Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything by Zack Exley and Becky Bond, and Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for . . . --Peter Rose, more

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JPMorgan Chase & Co.

HOPE Credit Union

Burlington Associates 

Democracy Collaborative

Gamaliel Foundation

Jamaal Green
Portland State University

Texas Low Income Housing Information Service

Lisa Hodges
Hodges Development, LLC

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National CAPACD

Rick Jacobus
Street Level Advisors

Daniel Kravetz
Freelance Writer


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Alexandra Moffett-Bateau
City University of New York

Tulane University

Habitat for Humanity

National Urban League


Center on Budget and Policy Priorities  


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Land Trust

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