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HEARTH Act Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009 Homelessness Awareness Day 2010 Governor’s Committee to End Homelessness.

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Presentation on theme: "HEARTH Act Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009 Homelessness Awareness Day 2010 Governor’s Committee to End Homelessness."— Presentation transcript:

1 HEARTH Act Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009 Homelessness Awareness Day 2010 Governor’s Committee to End Homelessness

2 History and Overview The first major federal legislative response to homelessness Homeless Persons' Survival Act was introduced in both houses of Congress in 1986 ◦ Act contained emergency relief measures, preventive measures, and long-term solutions to homelessness ◦ Only small pieces of this proposal, however, were enacted into law In late 1986, legislation introduced containing Title I of the Homeless Persons' Survival Act ◦ Emergency relief provisions for shelter, food, mobile health care, and transitional housing ◦ Was introduced as the Urgent Relief for the Homeless Act and the legislation passed in 1987 ◦ The act was renamed the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act On July 22, 1987, President Ronald Reagan signed it into law In 2000, it was renamed the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act after the death of Representative Bruce Vento, a supporter of the act since its original passage in 1987 On April 2, 2009 two versions of McKinney-Vento reauthorization, the HEARTH Act, were introduced Enacted on May 20, 2009 First reauthorization since 1992

3 Timeline April 20, 2010 HUD asked for comments on proposed definition of homelessness The remainder of the proposed regulations will be issued later for public comment Enacted May 20, months to develop regulations to implement the new McKinney- Vento program Most changes take effect in the 2011 NOFA Some changes implemented over several years

4 Findings and Purpose The findings are: ◦ A lack of affordable housing and housing assistance cause homelessness ◦ Homelessness affects rural, suburban and urban communities The purposes of the HEARTH Act are to: ◦ Consolidate homeless assistance programs ◦ Codify the Continuum of Care Process ◦ Establish a goal of ensuring that families who become homeless return to permanent housing within 30 days

5 Changes to HEARTH Operation of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Definitions Planning Boards General Provisions Protection of Personally Identifying Information Authorization of Appropriations Emergency Solutions Grants Program Eligible Activities Participation in HMIS Administrative Provision

6 Changes to HEARTH GAO Study of Administrative Fees Continuum of Care Eligible Activities High Performing Communities Program Requirements Selection Criteria, Allocation Amounts and Funding Research Rural Housing Stability Assistance GAO Study of Homelessness and Homeless Assistance in Rural Areas Repeals and Conforming Amendments Definition of Homelessness

7 Operation of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness Changes to membership, role and operation Mission Functions of the Council (not limited to): ◦ Develop a National Strategic Plan to End Homelessness ◦ Encourage creation of state interagency councils and formulation of10-year plans ◦ Obtain information about resources for homeless individuals and families from federal agencies ◦ Develop mechanisms to ensure that homeless individuals and families can access federal, state and local programs for which they are eligible ◦ Develop joint federal agency and other initiatives

8 Definitions Review of a few key definitions; not all definitions “At risk of homelessness”: people that have incomes below 30% AMI, have insufficient resources to obtain housing stability, live in an unstable or risky situation, including moving frequently, living in the housing of others, facing eviction, living in a hotel or motel, living in severely overcrowded housing, or exiting an institution

9 Definitions (continued) “Collaborative Applicant”: the entity within a community that submits a joint application on behalf of all the applicants for funding in the community “Unified Funding Agency”: means a collaborative applicant that receives grants from HUD and distributes them to individual recipients in the community The section also defines the terms consolidated plan, eligible entity, geographic area, legal entity, metropolitan city, urban county, transitional housing, serious mental illness, supportive services, tenant-based, operating cost, victim service provider in addition to several other terms

10 Planning Boards A new section describes the nature and role of Collaborative Applicants and Unified Funding Agencies A Collaborative Applicant could apply to become a Unified Funding Agency (UFA) or HUD could designate a Collaborative Applicant as a UFA UFAs would be responsible for ensuring audits and appropriate fiscal controls UFAs would be eligible for up to 3% of a communities award for administrative expenses (on top of the 3% that a collaborative applicant could receive)

11 General Provisions Projects that serve families cannot refuse to serve families because of the age of the children (i.e. must serve families with adolescent children) Projects must identify a person who will be responsible for coordinating child’s education

12 Protection of Personally Identifying Information by Victim Service Providers A new section is added that requires providers whose primary mission is to serve victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking may not disclose for the purpose of a HMIS any personally identifying information

13 Authorization of Appropriations The Act authorizes $2.2 billion for FY 2010, and such sums as may be necessary for FY 2011

14 Emergency Solutions Grants Program Modifies and renames the program Old Name: Emergency Shelter Grants Distribution: Formula to Cities, Counties, and States Admin: Up to 5% for administrative expenses Eligible Activities: ◦ Shelter renovating, rehab, conversion ◦ Operating Emergency Shelter (limit of 10% for staffing) ◦ Services in Shelter or for outreach (max. 30%) ◦ Prevention (limited, targets people with sudden loss of income, max 30%) New Name: Emergency Solutions Grants Distribution: Same Admin: Up to 7.5% for administrative expenses Eligible Activities: ◦ Same as now plus HPRP activities (except that prevention has to target below 30% of AMI) ◦ No cap on prevention, services, or staffing ◦ Minimum of 40% must be for prevention and Rapid Re-Housing (with a hold-harmless provision)

15 Emergency Solutions Grants Program (continued) New ESG = Old ESG + HPRP Roughly the same amount of funding for emergency shelters New funding for homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing similar to HUD’s HPRP 20% of homeless assistance funding will be for the ESG Program

16 Eligible Activities Adds family support services for homeless youth, victim services and mental health services to eligible services provided in shelter or street outreach Expands homelessness prevention activities to include homelessness prevention and re-housing activities; short/medium term housing assistance, housing search, mediation or outreach to property owners, legal services, credit repair, security or utility deposits, utility payments and assistance with moving costs Eliminates caps: ◦ Eliminates the 30% cap on amount that can be used for prevention ◦ Eliminates the 10% cap on amount that can be used for staff ◦ Instead includes a cap- the greater of 60% or the amount utilized prior to enactment on the amount that can be used for traditional shelter and street outreach activities

17 Participation in HMIS Recipients of ESG would have to participate in the applicable Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)

18 Administrative Provision Increases administrative fee to 7.5% (from 5% under current ESG program)

19 GAO Study of Administrative Fees Requires that the GAO study the appropriate level of administrative fees and report to Congress within 12 months

20 Continuum of Care Old 3 programs Supportive Housing Program (SHP)—including permanent supportive housing, transitional housing, safe havens, and supportive services only projects Shelter Plus Care (SPC)—rental subsidies for permanent supportive housing Mod. Rehab./SRO—seldom used, provides long-term rental subsidies for moderate rehabilitation of single room occupancy buildings New Single Continuum of Care program Includes all of the eligible activities of the 3 former programs More flexibility for mixing and matching eligible activities Explicitly specifies re-housing services as an eligible activity Up to 10 percent for admin. Costs (previous amount was 5% for SHP and 8% for SPC Reasonable costs for staff training

21 Continuum of Care Application Old Providers in community jointly apply for funding Stakeholders in community review and rank applications Application has two parts Exhibit 1 is the community wide part, which includes information about the number of homeless people, community resources and gaps, and capacity to administer homeless assistance Exhibit 2 includes individual project applications New Similar to existing process Application will be submitted by Collaborative Applicant, which will be eligible for 3% of the communities award for admin. Application will be more focused on performance, including: Reducing lengths of homeless episodes Reducing recidivism back into homelessness Reducing the number of people who become homeless

22 Continuum of Care Application (continued) NOFA must be released no more than 3 months after enactment of appropriations Awards must be announced no later than 5 months after applications are due (or 6 months for the first two years after enactment) HUD may set a date by which funding must be expended; HUD will recapture funds and redistribute them in the same geographic region if possible When funding renewals for permanent housing leasing, operating costs, or rental assistance, HUD must take into account increases in the Fair Market Rent

23 Continuum of Care Matching Funds Old Match requirement varies depending on activity 25% for services, must be cash 100% for rental assistance, must be in-kind services 100% for construction/rehab 33% for operating expenses No match for leasing New Uniform 25% match except for leasing projects Match can be community-wide, meaning some projects can have higher matches to offset projects with lower matches Match can be cash or in-kind when documented by Memorandum of Understanding

24 Eligible Activities Some new changes include: ◦ HUD can impose a minimum grant term of up to 5 years for new permanent housing projects ◦ For project sponsors, up to 10% admin costs ◦ For Collaborative Applicant that is also a Unified Funding Agency, up to an additional 3% for admin ◦ Re-housing services or other activities that help homeless people move immediately into housing or would benefit those that moved into permanent housing in the last 6 months (services are listed in the Act)

25 Eligible Activities (continued) Some new changes include: ◦ Supportive services for individuals or families who are homeless, who were homeless up to 6 months ago or who are in permanent supportive housing ◦ Reasonable costs for staff training ◦ People who are residing in PH are eligible to move into other PH units funded by this Act

26 High Performing Communities Opportunity to become a High-Performing Community HUD will designate these communities based on criteria such as ◦ The mean length of episodes of homelessness in either less than 20 days or has decreased by 10 percent from the year before, taking into account similar individual circumstances ◦ Of the people who leave homelessness, fewer than 5% become homeless again in the following 2 years, or % who leave and become homeless again in the following 2 years decreases by 20% from the preceding year, taking into account similar individual circumstances ◦ And other criteria not mentioned here

27 Program Requirements Retains requirements from Supportive Housing Program such as participation of homeless persons, not supplanting local funds and due process for terminated clients

28 Program Requirements (continued) It modifies and adds the following: ◦ An applicant must achieve site control within 12 months after being notified of an award ◦ Sets required agreements for Collaborative Applicants such as: monitoring and reporting to HUD on progress of the projects and matching funds, take educational needs of children into account when children are placed in homeless assistance programs and other conditions HUD may require that are consistent with the goals of the Act

29 Selection Criteria, Allocation Amounts and Funding Adds new sections establishing selection criteria, allocating funds for specific activities, establishing a process for funding PH renewals, setting requirements for matching funding and establishing an appeals procedure For 2 years, pro-rata need would be determined by HUD; after 2 years HUD would develop a new pro-rata need formula based on the current number of homeless people, shortages of affordable housing, severe housing problems, severe cost burdens and the poverty rate ◦ Regardless of this formula, HUD would adjust a pro-rata need to ensure enough funding to provide one year of renewal funding for all expiring contracts ◦ No community will be discouraged from replacing projects with ones they determine will better help them achieve their goals

30 Research For each FY 2010 and 2011, $8,000,000 would be authorized to research the efficiency of interventions for homeless families to study three different sites over two years to evaluate the effectiveness of those programs

31 Rural Housing Stability Assistance Modifies the Rural Homeless Assistance Program and changes the title to the Rural Housing Stability Grant Program (RHSGP) Changes the purpose of the program, eligible activities are expanded, exempts leasing projects from match funds and replaces selection criteria Geographic area would be considered rural if it is in a county where at least 75% of population is rural or if it is in a state with a population density of less than 30 people per square mile and at least 1.25% of the acreage is under federal jurisdiction Rural applicants can apply under the CoC Program or the RHSGP At least 5% of the funding provided for subtitle would be for the RHSGP

32 GAO Study of Homelessness and Homeless Assistance in Rural Areas Within 12 months of enactment, GAO must conduct a study of rural homelessness that includes: ◦ Description of homeless assistance in rural areas ◦ Description of barriers that homeless assistance providers from rural areas encounter when trying to access federal homeless assistance ◦ An estimate of the number of people who migrate from rural areas to non-rural areas to receive homeless assistance ◦ And several other requirements

33 Repeals and Conforming Amendments This Act would take effect on the sooner of 18 months after enactment or 3 months after HUD publishes final regulations. HUD shall promulgate regulations within 12 months of enactment.

34 Definition of Homelessness Expands the statutory definition of homelessness Specifies specific situations in statute Communities may use up to 10% of CoC funds to serve people who are living doubled up, or in motels

35 Definition of Homelessness (continued) Old Except for a small amount for prevention, homeless assistance could only serve homeless people which includes people living in the following places: ◦ On the streets or in a place not meant for human habitation ◦ In an emergency shelter ◦ In a transitional housing program ◦ In housing, but being evicted within 7 days and not having resources or support networks to obtain housing ◦ Fleeing domestic violence

36 Definition of Homelessness (continued) New ESG funding can be used to serve people at risk of homelessness All programs can serve homeless people, including those previously considered homeless and: ◦ Unaccompanied youth and homeless families defined as homeless under other federal statutes (i.e. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education), who have not lived independently for a long time, have experienced persistent instability and will continue because of a disability, physical or mental health condition, DV, addiction, abuse or multiple barriers to employment ◦ People who lived in a shelter or place not meant for human habitation immediately prior to temporarily residing in an institutional care setting for 90 days or less would be considered homeless upon their exit

37 Definition of Homelessness (continued) New ◦ People who are fleeing or attempting to flee DV- this is not currently defined in statute  Includes those individuals fleeing dating violence, sexual assault, stalking or other dangerous or life-threatening conditions that relate to violence  Must have no other residence and lack the resources or network to obtain other permanent housing ◦ People who will imminently lose their housing and lack support networks or resources to obtain housing, including those:  People living in a hotel/motel and lack resources to stay more than 14 days  People who are doubled-up and must leave within 14 days  People who are being evicted within 14 days

38 Definition of Chronic Homelessness “Chronic Homelessness” include individuals and families who: ◦ reside in a place not meant for human habitation, an emergency shelter or a safe haven; ◦ either have been homeless in one of those places for the past year or four times in the past three years; ◦ have a disabling condition (for families, head of household), including a substance abuse disorder, serious mental illness, developmental disability, post traumatic stress disorder, brain injury, or chronic physical illness or disability ◦ It also states that people who are chronically homeless prior to entering an institution for up to 90 days continue to be chronically homeless upon their exit

39 Implications from the Definition of Homelessness Changes It is important to note that changes to the definition of homelessness in the HEARTH Act do not affect other definitions of homelessness. These definition changes will require changes to documentation requirements. HUD will require providers to maintain records for 5 years after the end of the grant term. These changes will drive program evaluation and prioritizing the populations to be served, as well as changes to policies and forms. The changes to the definition will not have a significant impact on conducting Point-in-Time Counts.

40 Summary and Information about the HEARTH Act More focus on preventing homelessness and reducing lengths of stay in homelessness Funding will focus on homelessness prevention, permanent supportive housing and Rapid Re-Housing Bigger role for Collaborative Applicants To read the amended and reauthorized McKinney-Vento Act, visit AmendedbyHEARTH.pdf AmendedbyHEARTH.pdf Watch for your opportunity to participate in the Public Comment period

41 Citations The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act as amended by S. 896 The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009 Suchar, Norm. The HEARTH Act: Changes to HUD’s (October 2009) NAEH Federal Policy Brief: Changes in the HUD Definition of “Homeless” (May 10, 2010) NAEH

42 Contact Information Jenni Miller Community Initiatives Coordinator Missouri Housing Development Commission Mandy Fangmann Community Initiatives Coordinator Missouri Housing Development Commission

43 Questions and Discussion


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