New Resources & Schedule for the 2018 Longitudinal Systems Analysis Report (formerly AHAR)

Beginning on October 31, 2018 communities can upload their official Longitudinal Systems Analysis (LSA) data for use in the 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress via the new Homelessness Data Exchange, Version 2.0 (HDX 2.0). All Continuums of Care (CoCs) may participate in the LSA, regardless of their Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) bed coverage rate. While HMIS bed coverage will continue to be an important factor, usability will be judged principally on data quality and completeness.

The LSA will use data from our HMIS. Data quality will continue to be addressed through our Data quality clean up process. We will be sending out instruction for this process to all HMIS users.

To help communities better understand the differences between past AHAR data submissions and the new LSA data submission cycle, HUD has released two new resources:

  • From AHAR to LSA: Understanding the FY18 Changes: This brief document includes an easy to follow table that highlights the key changes between the LSA and the former AHAR process.
  • Overview of the LSA Submission Process: The goal of this document is to make the new data collection and cleaning process as clear as possible for CoCs so they can be adequately prepared for the 2018 data submission cycle. It covers key milestone of the process, available support to CoCs throughout the process, and the overall submission and cleaning timeline.

The anticipated summary of the 2018 LSA submission cycle’s schedule is below:

  • October 22, 2018: PA HMIS Program Data Clean-up Begins
  • October 31, 2018: HDX 2.0 opens for official LSA submissions
  • November 16, 2018: PA HMIS Program Data should be finalized by close of business.
  • November 9, 2018: Test LSA upload deadline
  • November 30, 2018: Official LSA submission deadline

As the LSA data collection and cleaning kick-off date approaches, additional community resources and guidance will be announced through the HUD Exchange mailing list and linked to from the LSA Tools and Guidance homepage.

If you have questions pertaining to the LSA or HDX 2.0, please submit your questions through the PA HMIS Help Desk .

PHFA issues RFP for local housing initiatives to request funding

New this year is a paperless proposal submission process

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency today is issuing a Request for Proposals soliciting applications from organizations for projects to improve the availability and affordability of housing across the commonwealth. Funding for this RFP is being provided through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) Fund. The total PHARE funding available this year is $39.6 million.

PHARE receives its funding from a number of sources. These include the impact fee levied on natural gas companies, a portion of the Realty Transfer Tax, and money from the National Housing Trust Fund. Funding is available for housing initiatives in all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. PHFA is charged with administering the allocation of PHARE dollars.

“The success of the PHARE program to date has been grounded in the decision to let local governments and organizations determine where the greatest need and opportunity is for affordable housing investments,” said Brian A. Hudson Sr., PHFA executive director and CEO. “That’s why it’s so critical in this RFP that we hear from local groups who know firsthand what’s happening in their communities and how best to respond. We need their input to make the best use of these housing dollars.”

New this year for PHARE is an application process that can be completed entirely online, eliminating the need for paper submissions and simplifying the process for applicants and the evaluation staff. The RFP is located on PHFA’s website at www.phfa.org, and the application is accessible at https://phare.phfa.org/. Applications are due to PHFA no later than 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16.

PHFA is planning two informational webinars for groups interested in applying for PHARE funds. Both webinars will cover the same information. Webinar dates and times are:


Sept. 20
– 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Oct. 4 – 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Interested groups are encouraged to watch the PHARE webpage for links to be posted for webinar registration. The PHARE webpage is available on the PHFA website at www.phfa.org; click on the PHARE link at the bottom of the page under “Resources.” Questions may also be directed to Bryce Maretzki at PHFA via email at bmaretzki@phfa.org or by phone at 717.780.1867.

The PHARE fund has been allocating money for local housing initiatives since 2012. These funds have resulted in significant benefits that include:

  • 5,796 individuals and families have received rental or utility assistance
  • 1,772 homes have been rehabilitated and preserved for continued use
  • 1,240 new rental units have been created
  • 112 new single-family homes have been constructed
  • 353 future home sites have been prepared through site acquisition and demolition
  • 160 homeowners are receiving purchase assistance
  • PHARE funds have been used to leverage an additional $470 million investment in housing in Pennsylvania

About PHFA

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency works to provide affordable homeownership and rental housing options for older adults, low- and moderate-income families, and people with special housing needs. Through its carefully managed mortgage programs and investments in multifamily housing developments, PHFA also promotes economic development across the state. Since its creation by the legislature in 1972, it has generated more than $13.9 billion of funding for more than 173,000 single-family home mortgage loans, helped fund the construction of 134,507 rental units, and saved the homes of more than 49,400 families from foreclosure. PHFA programs and operations are funded primarily by the sale of securities and from fees paid by program users, not by public tax dollars. The agency is governed by a 14-member board.

Media contact:

Scott Elliott

selliott@phfa.org

717-649-6522 (cell)

The FY 2018 CoC Program Competition is Now Open

The Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Competition has been posted to the FY 2018 CoC Program Competition: Funding Availability page on the HUD Exchange. Additional resources are available on the e-snaps page on the HUD Exchange.

Submission Deadline: Tuesday, September 18, 2018 at 8:00 PM EDT

The electronic application e-snaps will be available on or after Thursday, June 28, 2018. In the meantime, HUD strongly encourages CoCs, Collaborative Applicants, project applicants, and stakeholders to:

  • Carefully and thoroughly read the FY 2018 CoC Program Competition NOFA to understand the information; and
  • Begin to plan local competitions based on the information, new and changed, from the previous Competition, provided in the FY 2018 CoC Program Competition NOFA.

Additionally, HUD will post the FY 2018 Estimated Annual Renewal Demand (ARD) Report to the HUD Exchange on or after Thursday, June 28, 2018 that will include the amounts a CoC may apply for: CoC planning, Bonus, and Domestic Violence (DV) Bonus. This report will also provide the Preliminary Pro Rata Need (PPRN) and the estimated ARD for each CoC.

What’s New for the FY 2018 CoC Program Competition

The list below highlights some important information regarding new concepts CoCs should consider while planning for the FY 2018 CoC Program Competition. This list is not exhaustive and additional details are in the FY 2018 CoC Program Competition NOFA. A full list of new, changed, and highlighted information is on the HUD Exchange and can also be found on the FY 2018 CoC Program Competition: Funding Availability page.

  • Transition Grants. Project applicants can transition their project(s) from one CoC Program Component to another during the CoC Program Competition using the funds to wind down the previous project while ramping up the new project. (Section II.B.2).
  • Domestic Violence Bonus. CoCs can apply for up to 10 percent of their PPRN or a minimum of $50,000, whichever is greater, or a maximum of $5 million, whichever is less, to create up to three DV Bonus Projects to serve survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. (Section II.B.3). CoCs may create up to one of each of the following project types:
    • Permanent Housing-Rapid Rehousing (PH-RRH;
    • Joint Transitional Housing (TH) and Permanent Housing-Rapid Rehousing (PH-RRH) component project; and
    • Supportive Services Only-Coordinated Entry (SSO-CE).
  • Consolidated Project. Eligible renewal project applicants will have the ability to consolidate two or more (limit of four) eligible renewal projects into one project application during the application process. (Section II.B.4).
  • CoC Merger. CoCs that merged between the FY 2016 CoC Program Registration and FY 2018 CoC Program Registration process are eligible for merger bonus points. (Section II.B.5).

Listserv Communications

All information related to the FY 2018 CoC Program Competition is communicated via the HUD Exchange Mailing List. Join the mailing list to receive important updates and reminders.

If you are aware or suspect that the Collaborative Applicant, CoC members, or interested stakeholders are not currently receiving these listserv messages, please forward the following link, https://www.hudexchange.info/mailinglist/, to them so that they may register for the listserv messages as this is the only form of communication used by HUD to the public.

If you have questions related to subscribing to the HUD Exchange mailing list or have issues receiving listserv messages in your inbox please contact info@hudexchange.info. Please be sure to add news@hudexchange.info and info@hudexchange.info to your contact list or safe senders list. This ensures that messages from the HUD Exchange go to your inbox and are not filtered to your spam or junk folder.

Questions

If you have questions pertaining to e-snaps technical issues, please submit your questions to the e-snaps Ask A Question (AAQ) portal on the HUD Exchange website. To submit a question to the e-snaps AAQ portal, select “e-snaps” from the “My question is related to” drop down list on Step 2 of the question submission process.

If you have questions related to the CoC Program interim rule or a policy related question, please submit your questions to the CoC Program AAQ portal. To submit a question to the CoC Program AAQ portal, select “CoC Program” from the “My question is related to” drop down list on Step 2 of the question submission process.

The AAQ portal accepts question submissions 24/7. However, responses are usually provided between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except for federal holidays. Additionally, per the FY 2017 CoC Program Competition NOFA, starting 2 days prior to the application deadline for FY 2018 funds, the AAQ will respond only to emergency technical support questions up to the deadline of Tuesday, September 18, 2018 at 8:00 PM EDT.

DCED Federal Program Reporting Schedule

All Grantees with Open Contracts in the designated programs must submit the required forms whether or not you have activity covered by the report. Forms may be marked with “No
Activity” if no action was conducted during the reporting period. Failure to do so may constitute a lack of capacity to administer future programs and corrective action will be required.

Federal Program Reporting Schedule

The document is broken out in the following layout,

Monthly Reports

Quarterly Reports

Semi-Annual Reports

Biennial Reports

Annual Reports

Housing First Implementation Resources Now Available

In a continued effort to encourage Continuums of Care (CoCs) and providers to implement and strengthen Housing First approaches, HUD has recently published Housing First Implementation Resources. As communities are implementing the Housing First Approach in their homeless crisis response systems, they sometimes struggle with transitioning the approach from a set of guiding principles to policy and procedures in their projects. This set of resources can assist communities and agencies in implementing Housing First in their projects. Regardless of project type, the Housing First approach can be utilized to reduce barriers to access for project participants and to maintain project participation.

The resources are separated into the following categories:

  • Housing First Implementation
  • Working with Project Participants in a Housing First Approach
  • Housing First in Specific Project Types
  • Trauma-Informed Care

View the CoC Responsibilities and Duties toolkit to access the Housing First Implementation Resources and other resources related to CoC governance and structure, including the Housing First Assessment Tool which was recently released to assist providers and CoCs in documenting how closely their projects align to the Housing First model.

New Resources on Counting Survivors of Domestic Violence in the Point-In-Time (PIT) Count

The 2018 Point-in-Time (PIT) count is just around the corner. There are several resources available on HUD’s PIT and HIC Guides, Tools, and Webinars page, including the Notice for the 2018 HIC and PIT count.

This year HUD updated the 2018 Housing Inventory Count (HIC) and PIT count to include “those who are currently experiencing homelessness because they are fleeing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking” — as opposed to reporting on survivors who have ever experienced those circumstances. HUD updated its model surveys to help communities know what questions to ask to fulfill HUD’s required data points.

With this change, HUD is striving to more accurately capture whether a survivor’s primary cause of current homelessness is due to fleeing, or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. This change in guidance is intended to improve accuracy in the count of individuals and families currently experiencing domestic violence and who qualify as homeless as a result of:

  1. Fleeing, or attempting to flee;
  2. Having no other residence; and
  3. Lacking the resources or support networks to obtain other permanent housing.

HUD is excited to announce that it released a new page focused on counting survivors of domestic violence (DV) in the PIT count. Given how close we are to the count, these resources focus primarily on the importance on partnering with DV providers in the count process and provide some best practices on actions that can be taken on the night of the count to try to accurately collect data on survivors of domestic violence. HUD intends to provide more guidance in the future that focuses on how to better partner with DV stakeholders in the months leading up to the count.

These resources are intended to improve our ability to understand the intersection between domestic violence and homelessness and help us better serve survivors. In the context of the PIT count and other data collection, it is critical to strike the balance between collecting accurate data and ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of people experiencing homelessness, especially with regard to their domestic violence experience. These new resources are intended to help guide communities to striking that balance.

If you have questions about the 2018 HIC and PIT count or counting survivors of domestic violence in the PIT count, please submit them to the HUD Exchange Ask A Question (AAQ) portal on the HUD Exchange website. To submit a question to the HUD Exchange AAQ portal, select “HDX: Homelessness Data Exchange” from the “My question is related to” drop down list on Step 2 of the question submission process.

HUD.GOV Announcement: HUD AWARDS RECORD $2 BILLION TO THOUSANDS OF LOCAL HOMELESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS ACROSS U.S.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded a record $2 billion to support more than 7,300 local homeless assistance programs across the nation. HUD’s Continuum of Care grants provide critically needed support to local programs on the front lines of serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness. For more information please review January 11, 2018 – Press Release .

Pennsylvaina award total is $102, 583,484. Of this total, this includes 16 Continuum of Care (CoC) Collaborative Applicants and 519 total projects.

For the Balance of State CoC,

PA-509 was awarded: $11,926,872 (78 total projects)

PA-601 was awarded: $9,424,572 (74 total projects)

For a list of projects go to Fiscal Year 2017 CoC Competition Homeless Assistance Award Report .

HUD Announces Tentative 2018 Schedule for AFFH Regional Trainings

HUD is excited to announce the tentative schedule and locations for 2018 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Regional Trainings. This robust training curriculum provides HUD program participants (grantees and public housing agencies) with a comprehensive overview of the AFFH final rule and the requirements for preparing an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH). The following key topics will be covered:

  • What is AFFH and why is it important
  • How do I implement the AFFH final rule
  • What is AFH and how do I prepare it
  • Community participation requirements and how to engage the public in this process
  • How to use the AFFH Data and Mapping Tool (AFFH-T) to analyze data and maps
  • Understanding and prioritizing contributing factors
  • How to develop measurable and meaningful fair housing goals in the AFH

The training is intended for HUD program participants that are required to prepare and submit an AFH to HUD under the AFFH final rule. Attendees may prepare an AFH on their own or collaborate with other program participants to prepare a joint or regional AFH submission. Program participants may choose which training they attend and which staff should attend (maximum of two staff per program participant). Please be advised that consultants and/or contractors should not be sent to this training in lieu of staff from the program participant that is responsible for submitting an AFH to HUD.

Please note that these locations and dates are subject to change based on venue availability. Please do not make any non-refundable travel arrangements until you register for the training through the HUD Exchange and are approved to attend by the registrar (Inland Fair Housing and Mediation Board). HUD is not responsible for penalties incurred due to cancelled travel arrangements.

Registration will open six weeks prior to the training date and may be completed via the 2018 AFFH Regional Trainings page. If you have any questions regarding the trainings, please contact Eliseo Lopez (800-321-0911 X110 or affh@ifhmb.com).

New CoC Communication Website Tool

On behalf on Madra Clay,

As you are all aware, Wiggio will shut down its site on Friday, November 17, 2017.  In anticipation of the shut-down, DCED has spent the last month researching alternative professional communication and project management sites that were recommended by members of the CoC.  After careful review, we have determined the best site for CoC use is Workplace by Facebook.  Workplace by Facebook is a professional site used by thousands of organizations to connect their members/workers, to share ideas and information, and to increase their effectiveness and efficiency to work collaboratively.  You may check out the site by clicking this link: Workplace by Facebook.

The Wiggio site offered basic project management tools however, with Workplace by Facebook, we’ll be able to use the same concepts in addition to having the potential to integrate new communication methods such as live-stream meetings and a mobile application.  The site is being provided to us free of charge, therefore we do not have any financial considerations.  Yes, it is FREE of charge.

We understand some organizations may restrict access to Facebook.  Workplace is a professional website, separate from the normal Facebook you may use now.  It will not be used as a personal communication tool, rather a professional one connected by your credentials and representing your organization.  For those experiencing difficulty connecting due to company restrictions, DCED is willing to assist with that aspect to help gain access.  It may only require our efforts to educate the organization Director on how the site will be used within each CoC.

We are currently in the process of transferring all data from the Wiggio site to Workplace.  Anyone desiring early access may request it by contacting Brendan Auman at breauman@pa.gov.  I recommend Lea and Ciarra gain early access so they can familiarize themselves with the site and be able to assist with the transition if necessary.  In addition, DCED will post an instruction manual to the www.pennsylvaniacoc.org no later than November 15th.  We plan to make three training dates available to the membership and people can enroll in whichever date is convenient for them.  The tentative training dates are: November 17 and 27, and December 15th.

Finally, as we get each RHAB’s page completed on the site, we will notify the membership by sending a link for them to join.  You may want to notify your members so they are aware and anticipate the link coming to them.  Thank you for your patience as we conducted our research.  I’m sure you will be happy with the selection once you become familiar with it.  If you have any questions, you may contact Brendan directly.

Best,

Madra

Housing Resources for Survivors Displaced by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico

FEMA and the government of Puerto Rico announced today that Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) is available to Puerto Ricans who are unable to return to their homes because they are displaced as a result of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. This is one of several short-term housing options being offered to meet the demand for post-storm safe housing.  Transitional Sheltering Assistance allows eligible applicants to shelter in a hotel or motel, for a limited period of time, as a bridge to intermediate and longer-term housing.  FEMA pays all costs for rooms and taxes through direct payments to participating hotels and motels.

For eligible applicants currently on Puerto Rico:

  • Consistent with the Governor’s request, FEMA will prioritize placements for the people who are currently residing in emergency shelters in order to target those most in need.
  • FEMA will be providing transportation to select locations in the Continental United States, where you will be connected with support services and lodging.  FEMA will not provide any additional transportation within the Continental United States and cannot provide reimbursement for travel arrangements you may have already made.
  • Transportation also will be provided for your return back to Puerto Rico.
  • Applicants should expect that it may take several weeks to arrange transportation, given the limited availability of commercial flights.

For eligible applicants currently in the Continental United States:

  • Make sure you update FEMA with current information by contacting 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
  • Eligible applicants may stay at any participating hotel.
  • FEMA will not reimburse for travel that already occurred, or travel to a participating hotel within the Continental United States.
  • Applicants should expect that it may take approximately one week before hotels have the information necessary for you to check in.
  • Applicants are responsible for identifying a participating hotel and checking for availability.

This is one of several short-term housing options being offered to meet the demand for post-storm safe housing. In order to meet the demand for safe housing, these forms of assistance are provided directly to disaster survivors, or through financial grants to assist survivors with their housing needs. Survivors first need to register with FEMA to determine their eligibility for any available federal assistance online at http://disasterassistance.gov, by calling toll-free (800) 621-3362 (voice 711/VRS). TTY call (800) 462-7585, or by visiting a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). To find an open DRC, survivors may phone their municipality. DRCs are open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Housing Resources Provided Directly to Disaster Survivors

Tu Hogar Renace (Your Home Reborn):  Managed by the government of Puerto Rico, a homeowner’s primary residence may be eligible for necessary repairs to return the home to safe, habitable and functional conditions. Work includes repairs to keep roofs from leaking, replacement of damaged windows and doors, repairs to damaged walls, and water heaters.

Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA):  Transitional Sheltering Assistance is available with prioritization on those who are currently in congregate shelters because their homes were severely damaged. Under the program, survivors who are currently staying within the Continental U.S. may be eligible to stay in participating hotels or motels in the United States for the period of time specified by the government of Puerto Rico and FEMA.  To find a participating hotel, disaster survivors should visit http://www.femaevachotels.com/index.php.

Blue Roof Program:  Operation Blue Roof, managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, provides a temporary covering of reinforced blue plastic sheeting over the damaged roof to help reduce further damage to property until permanent repairs can be made.

Direct Lease:  Vacant units are leased by FEMA and are used as temporary housing for disaster survivors. FEMA pays the rent for these units.  Utility costs and other expenses not covered in the lease are the responsibility of the disaster survivor. Property owners interested in participating can email FEMA-Lease-PR@fema.dhs.gov.

Multi-Family Lease and Repair (MLR):  FEMA identifies and prepares existing, vacant rental properties to house survivors in multi-family residential units.  Vacant units are leased by FEMA and are used as temporary housing for disaster survivors. FEMA pays the rent for these units.  Utility costs and other expenses are the responsibility of the disaster survivor.  Property owners interested in participating can email FEMA-MLR-PR@fema.dhs.gov.

Financial Assistance Available to Disaster Survivors for Housing Needs

Rental Assistance:  FEMA will provide funds directly to disaster survivors, who are then responsible for finding available rental resources of their choosing.

Home Repairs:  Financial grant to help make minimal repairs to a primary residence, utilities, and residential structure, including privately-owned access routes (driveways, roads, or bridges) to a safe and sanitary living or functioning condition.

Other Needs Assistance (ONA): Financial grant for uninsured or underinsured, disaster-related, necessary expenses and serious needs. This may include housing related expenses other than rent, such as repair or replacement of household appliances and furnishings, uniforms, tools and equipment required for your job, school books and supplies.

Low Interest Disaster Loans:  The U.S. Small Business Administration, provides low-interest, long-term disaster loans to help homeowners and renters with personal property, transportation, and moving and storage expenses incurred due to a declared disaster.

Immediate Foreclosure Relief: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) granted a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages.

Mortgage Insurance and Home Rehabilitation: HUD provides FHA insurance to disaster survivors who lost their homes and who need to rebuild or buy another home. Borrowers from participating FHA-approved lenders are eligible for 100 percent financing, including closing costs.

For Congressional inquiries, or to subscribe to future FEMA Congressional advisories, please contact the Congressional Affairs Division at (202) 646-4500 or FEMA-Congressional-Affairs@fema.dhs.gov