Office of Family and Adult Homelessness Newsletter

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March 28, 2018

Please forward to your sub grantees and contact your OFAH grant manager if you have any questions.

2018 Legislative Session

Office of Family and Adult Homelessness Newsletter

The legislative session included the passage of bills that will allow more housing stability for people experiencing homelessness in Washington state. Here is a rundown and a few key points of the bills that are relevant to our work. Click on the bill number to read the legislation as passed.

HB 2667: Expanded Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) eligibility

  • On March 13, Aged, Blind and Disabled (ABD) recipients became eligible for HEN.
  • Those who are disabled due to substance use are now eligible for HEN.
  • Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) must share names of HEN eligible individuals with Commerce by July 2018.

HB 1570: Improved resources to increase access housing

  • Increase of the document recording fee.
  • Document recording fee is now permanent.
  • Ratification of state/local planning and performance management.
  • 45 percent "private rental housing" now includes housing owned by a nonprofit housing entity in addition to housing owned by a private landlord.

HB 1630: HMIS consent for minors

  • Minors may consent to share personally identifying information
  • Parents/guardians may still consent for minors

HB 2578: Prohibition of source of income discrimination

  • Amends the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act to prohibit discrimination based on the tenant’s source of income.
  • Creates the Landlord Mitigation Program.

HB 1831:  Revises resources limitations for public assistance

  • Updates asset limits so people on state public assistance get to keep a larger portion of their assets and still be eligible for public assistance.

Read more from Rachel Myers, executive director of the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance:  There is Much to Celebrate this Legislative Session

Rapid Re-Housing Performance Dashboard

In order to support Goal 2 of the Homeless Housing Strategic Plan, the Office of Family and Adult Homelessness (OFAH) committed to publish project-level performance data quarterly.  The draft of the Rapid Re-Housing Performance Dashboard is available here for your review.  This dashboard includes data on all Rapid Re-Housing projects in the Washington Balance of State Continuum of Care.  

Join us for a tour of the draft Rapid Re-Housing Dashboard and other performance reporting updates via webinar Wednesday, April 4, at 1 p.m. Register here:


HUD is hosting a convening of state grantees in Washington, D.C. on May 10-11, 2018.  Commerce staff will be attend this important gathering. There will be peer-to-peer time, as well as valuable breakout sessions aimed at enhancement of the program.

Commerce is reviewing the 811 dollars committed to existing projects, and looking at spending data now that the program is in its third year of operation. Preliminary data suggests that Commerce may look to identify and add additional units to this program in the coming months. This will likely begin with investigating whether existing multi-family housing projects in the 811 portfolio can increase their capacity. Updates will be posted as needed.

Myths vs. Facts

Myths and Facts

Myth: All HEN-eligible individuals must be provided essential needs items.

Fact: Counties are not obligated to provide essential need items. Whether you provide them is up to your program design and funding capacity. If you are considering not providing essential needs items, take a look at what community resources might already be available for HEN individuals.

2018 Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness

OFAH and the Office of Homeless Youth (OHY) staff attended the 2018 Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness, on March 1-2 in Los Angeles, Calif. Nan Roman, president and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness opened the conference with a description of the current agency priorities, including examining strategies to meet the needs of rural communities, how best to serve those who are unsheltered and in encampments, efforts at the national level on affordable housing, and the impact of racism in homelessness and the homeless system.

OFAH Grant Manager Julie Montgomery attended a session hosted by lead researchers on a recently published study on racial inequities in homelessness. Read the study here, and see study author and session speaker Marc Dones give a history of housing segregation here.

Upcoming Events

Washington State Conference of Ending Homelessness

Registration is open for the 2018 Conference on Ending Homelessness in Yakima, Wash., May 22-23, 2018. Find information about the program and how to register:

Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) Training

The HMIS Team offers ongoing training for new and current HMIS users. Find information on the Commerce website on the HMIS page here: or contact Maylee Stevenson at

National Human Services Data Consortium

National Human Services Data Consortium

The National Human Services Data Consortium Spring 2018 Conference will be held in Pittsburgh, Penn. April 18 - 19. Find out additional information at