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Practice Area 4: Participant Services, Financial

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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/month Often lose housing because they were unable to pay the rent Lack 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 TFA Paid directly to a 3rd party on behalf of the participant 60% of all budgeted TFA to be spent on participants needing rapid re-housing assistance (Permanent Housing Categories 2/3).

4 Eligible Uses of TFA Rental Assistance Utility Payment Assistance
Deposits – Security and Rental Moving Costs Childcare Transportation General Housing Stability Assistance Emergency Housing Assistance

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 participant Only when such assistance is NOT AVAILABLE through existing mainstream and community resources May include: Items necessary for life safety (limited to $500) Expenses associated with gaining/keeping employment Expenses associated with moving into permanent housing Expenses 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 max Only families with children < 18 yrs old eligible; no singles Only when no space available in community shelter AND permanent housing has been identified and secured but cannot be accessed immediately Costs cannot exceed reasonable community standard for such housing Limited 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 Assistance Maximum 5 months within 12 month timeframe Maximum 8 months within 3 years Rents aligned with “rent reasonableness’ standards Utility Payment Assistance Maximum 2 months within 12 month timeframe Maximum 4 months within 3 years Deposits Security Deposit – 1x within 3 years Utility Deposit – 1x within 3 years General Housing Stability Assistance Maximum $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. Efficiency Fairness Avoiding Dependency

10 How Much And How Long? There are advantages and disadvantages to consider: Depth of assistance Length of time of assistance Will 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 duration AND Be able to offer maximum amount and duration within funding constraints to assist participants with minimal to zero income Structure 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 practices Defined roles about who approves financial assistance to participants Staff training directly related to providing financial assistance Being a good counselor is great, but so is the ability to calculate and monitor rental assistance! Utilization Review mechanisms

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