Office of Family and Adult Homelessness Newsletter – December 2019

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Dec 5, 2019

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

Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) for Chronically Homeless Families

Balance of State (BoS) steering committee members and Consolidated Homeless Grant (CHG) grantees tuned in to learn about different approaches to managing Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) projects as well as challenges and opportunities for improving service delivery to highly vulnerable households at the November steering committee meeting in Spokane. Panelists included Trish Gregory with the Family Support Center of South Sound, Michael Parker with the Whatcom Homeless Service Center and Sarah Jayne Barrett with Catholic Community Services.

Work first to build a relationship, work second to build a case management plan.

Panelists emphasized how crucial it is to focus on building relationships with each household, and acknowledged the difficulties of serving households with complex needs in environments where NIMBY-ism is present. This also highlights the importance of building relationships, not only with those you serve, but with the landlords in your area and the community as a whole. If you’d like to listen to the full discussion, follow this link, input your information, and go to hour three, minute 12 (3:12) of the recording. Thank you to those who engaged in this conversation and to our panelists for allowing us to learn from your experience.

If you are a CHG grantee receiving PSH for Chronically Homeless Families funds, we’re interested in hearing how we can assist you. We understand that for some grantees, operating a PSH project is new, and we want to ensure you have support. Please reach out to your Commerce CHG grant manager if you need assistance setting up and running a project in your community. In January, Commerce will review grantee spending and data. We look forward to checking in with you about PSH soon!

Commerce Seeking Input for the Five-Year HUD Strategic Plan

Commerce will hold a public hearing on Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. to receive input on The Consolidated Plan. Find more information on opportunities to attend the hearing here.

NEW: Performance Office Hours

We're open

Welcome to Office Hours! On the third Thursday of every month, we will discuss any and all things related to homeless system performance. We will dig in to the system performance measures, review reports and dashboards, talk about how things are calculated, brainstorm strategies for improvement and tackle questions and concerns.

Everyone is welcome to attend, including direct service providers, supervisors, lead grantees, and HMIS users! Please don’t hesitate to propose other performance-related agenda items when you register.

click to register

Uncover the Facts

Did You Know? HOME Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) Portability

Have you ever thought that households with a HOME TBRA coupon must find a rental in the same jurisdiction in which the coupon was administered?

HUD rules actually allow households to choose housing outside of the HOME TBRA contractor’s geographic area as long as the contractor is able to meet the administrative requirements of administering rental assistance, including compliance with rent reasonableness determinations, inspections, and eligibility recertification.

Household choice in identifying a housing location that meets their needs can go a long way toward housing stability. With tight rental markets, HOME TBRA contractors need all of the program flexibility they can find, so don’t hesitate to use this HUD rule to your advantage.

Equity Corner

OFAH Equity Corner

Coordinated Entry Assessments and Racial Equity

C4 Innovations released the Coordinated Entry Systems Racial Inequity Analysis of Assessment Data in October.

Researchers examined the following:

  • Are white people more likely to be prioritized for permanent housing compared to black people, indigenous people or people of color?
  • Which subscales of the VI-SPDAT predict vulnerability across racial groups?

Findings from this study show that coordinated entry (CE) assessment tools promote system-level inequities.

In consideration of these findings, Commerce will re-assess the Washington CE requirements and our approach to providing support and technical assistance. Commerce will be inviting communities and stakeholders, including people with lived experienced, to help us determine next steps. Stay tuned for information on how to participate.

Balance of State Continuum of Care Corner

Balance of Care Continuum of Care

BoS CoC Program Manager Matt Mazur-Hart left his position in late November to take a promotional opportunity in Commerce. Matt spent two years managing CoC collaborative applicant duties and helped land millions of new dollars from the Youth Homeless Demonstration Grant and CoC. He also oversaw the transition from a consultant-based application process to an in-house, statewide program. BoS CoC program coordinator Mark Porter will take over day-to-day duties until Matt’s replacement is hired.

If you have any BoS CoC questions, please send them to Mark Porter (360-725-2932) or Commerce Federal Programs Manager Nick Mondau (360-725-3028).