Presentation on theme: "Practice Area 4: Participant Services, Financial"— Presentation transcript:
1 Practice Area 4: Participant Services, Financial SSVF Program Launch: Establishing Services in Compliance with Goals and Regulations
2 The role of financial assistance in prevention and ending homelessness Financial assistance is a critical component of a crisis response approach.Majority of participants who are literally homeless have incomes below $500/monthOften lose housing because they were unable to pay the rentLack of money to pay high costs to obtain housing prevents them from exiting homelessness.Research has shown that financial assistance is generally more effective than supportive services in achieving housing stability.
3 A Reminder Of Key Aspects of SSVF TFA Assistance The SSVF Program is not intended to provide long-term support for participants, nor will it be able to address all of the financial needs that affect housing stability.Allowable expenses have ceilings and time limits.Can use up to 50% of grant funds to provide TFAPaid directly to a 3rd party on behalf of the participant60% of all budgeted TFA to be spent on participants needing rapid re-housing assistance (Permanent Housing Categories 2/3).
5 New for FY2014: “General Housing Stability” Definition: provision of goods or payment of expenses not included in other sections but directly related to supporting a participant’s housing stability.Maximum of $1,500 per participantOnly when such assistance is NOT AVAILABLE through existing mainstream and community resourcesMay include:Items necessary for life safety (limited to $500)Expenses associated with gaining/keeping employmentExpenses associated with moving into permanent housingExpenses associated for getting housing such as application fees, background checks, etc.
6 New for FY2014: Emergency Housing Assistance Allows SSVF programs to provide temporary housing for eligible, literally homeless participants who are awaiting permanent housing IF no other shelter is available.Requirements:30 days maxOnly families with children < 18 yrs old eligible; no singlesOnly when no space available in community shelter AND permanent housing has been identified and secured but cannot be accessed immediatelyCosts cannot exceed reasonable community standard for such housingLimited to short-term commercial residences (private residences not eligible) that do not require lease or occupancy agreement and not already funded to provide on-demand emergency shelter
7 Limitations of Financial Assistance Rental AssistanceMaximum 5 months within 12 month timeframeMaximum 8 months within 3 yearsRents aligned with “rent reasonableness’ standardsUtility Payment AssistanceMaximum 2 months within 12 month timeframeMaximum 4 months within 3 yearsDepositsSecurity Deposit – 1x within 3 yearsUtility Deposit – 1x within 3 yearsGeneral Housing Stability AssistanceMaximum $1500 per participant
8 Guiding Question How will you design and structure your SSVF Program’s Temporary Financial Assistance to…Respond effectively to housing crises faced by each eligible Veteran; while…Serving as many eligible Veterans as possible?
9 Guiding Principle for TFA Provide the least amount of assistance for the shortest period of time necessary to resolve the crisis.EfficiencyFairnessAvoiding Dependency
10 How Much And How Long?There are advantages and disadvantages to consider:Depth of assistanceLength of time of assistanceWill all eligible expenses be available for every participant in need?How will you end assistance – tapered or after a set number of months?Set amounts allowable for all participants or flexible structures?How much the participant will contribute vs. the program
11 Adjusting Assistance According To Participant Needs Provide the least amount for the shortest durationANDBe able to offer maximum amount and duration within funding constraints to assist participants with minimal to zero incomeStructure in such a way that prevents the “cliff effect” – experiencing a sudden and unmanageable increase in housing expenses when assistance ends.
12 Program Features For Effective TFA Clear policies and procedures to guide decisions and program practicesDefined roles about who approves financial assistance to participantsStaff training directly related to providing financial assistanceBeing a good counselor is great, but so is the ability to calculate and monitor rental assistance!Utilization Review mechanisms
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