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)

Penn State University Releases New Report on Homelessness in Pennsylvania

Penn State University has released a new report on highlights and trends on homelessness throughout the Commonwealth in the 2017 PIT Count for each Continuum of Care (CoC). The data shows that Pennsylvania’s homeless population has decreased over the past five years. The latest Point-in-Time (PIT) count suggests a homeless population of just over 14,000 people in Pennsylvania. You can view the full report here which is includes interactive maps featuring data on each of Pennsylvania’s CoC Regions.

Full report: Homelessness in the Commonwealth

Additionally, the University has put together a new tool and resource for those working with homelessness. The “Homeless Shelters and Services in PA” web-based map application features an extensive list of shelters throughout the state by the population served as well as county government and other services that can connect homeless individuals or caseworkers to a nearby resource. While it is definitely an incomplete list of services, it is a start to help connect the entire Commonwealth to services.

Map Link: Homelessness Resource Map

Eastern PA CoC Announces the Availability of Funding to Better Serve Domestic Violence Survivors

The Eastern PA CoC is announcing that $1,218,944 of funding is available to better serve survivors of domestic violence. This funding is available through two RFPs – (1) to provide Rapid Re-Housing assistance to DV survivors, and (2) to support the creation of a DV Coordinated Entry Specialist positions. These RFPs and applications are available below and on the Eastern CoC 2018 NOFA webpage.

RFP for DV Rapid Re-Housing:  Per HUD’s DV Bonus guidelines, the CoC is only eligible to apply for one DV Rapid Re-Housing (DV RRH) project.  As such, the Eastern PA CoC has partnered with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV), who will serve as the Project Applicant.  Together, the CoC and PCADV are jointly soliciting applications, evaluating applications and selecting agencies interested in providing DV RRH assistance in their community.

RFP for DV Coordinated Entry Specialist:  The Eastern PA CoC is looking to partner with a Victim Service Provider, located within the CoC’s geographic area, who will employ a Domestic Violence Specialist to work within the Coordinated Entry System (CES) – Connect to Home – and further the CoC’s efforts to implement policies, procedures, and practices that better meet the needs of survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Responses to either of these RFPs are due by Close of Business on August 20, 2018.  The CoC will inform organizations responding to this RFP if their project was selected by August 31.  

Please help the CoC reach stakeholders in your community by forwarding this email to organizations that may be interested in applying for funding through the Eastern PA CoC.  Thank you!

Home4Good Applicant Organization – Eastern PA CoC

The Eastern PA CoC is seeking an Applicant Organization who will submit the Home4Good application on behalf of the CoC. The organization fulfilling this role should be invested in ending homelessness in Eastern PA and willing to assist the CoC to advance the goals outlined in the Strategic Plan.

Attached you will find the following relevant documents that will provide more information:

Interested organizations must their submit their response by July 13 at 12 noon to easternpacoc@gmail.com.  Any questions about this RFQ should also be directed to easternpacoc@gmail.com.

For additional information about the Home4Good program, visit https://www.phfa.org/mhp/serviceprovider/ and click on Home4Good Homeless Initiative.

 

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.

“Home4Good”, Federal Home Loan Bank’s $4.5M Initiative to Assist Ending Homelessness

The Federal Home Loan Bank Pittsburgh has announced a new funding opportunity for Homeless Service Providers throughout the State of Pennsylvania in a collaborative effort with the Pennsylvania Housing and Finance Agency. The $4.5 Million initiative, labeled "Home4Good" will provide much needed funding for homelessness projects that prevent homelessness, solicit innovative solutions to end homelessness, and address critical needs throughout the Commonwealth.

The highlight of this grant is that the eligible uses for the funding are very flexible unlike other State or Federal resources that may have tighter regulations. This will allow for organizations fill gaps in assistance needs that other funding sources cant cover such as transportation assistance, recovery support, and employment assistance.

To be considered for funding, a service organization must submit a proposal to their Continuum of Care (CoC) using the Home4Good Application. The CoC will review and summarize the project submissions and rank them accordingly based on strength of the proposal and needs in the community. A packet of ranked proposals will be submitted to PHFA and FHLB Pittsburgh for review and will select the awarded recipients. It is important to note that if a CoC wishes to apply for this funding they will need to have a FHLB Pittsbugh Member Institution as a Co-applicant.

To learn more about this initiative, FHLB Pittsburgh will be hosting two informational webinars on June 21 (10 a.m.) and July 9 (2 p.m.). If you are interested in joining, please contact Bryce Maretzki at PHFA at bmaretzki@phfa.org.

Home4Good Flyer

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.

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).

Pennsylvania’s Free Electronic Housing Locator Service

Pennsylvania has made readily available a free electronic housing locator service at www.PAhousingsearch.com that matches those who need housing with the housing they need. This resource provides the following features:

  • FREE searching and listing of rental housing and program-related homes for sale
  • Detailed listings that can include pictures, maps, eligibility requirements (if applicable), and information about nearby amenities such as hospitals and schools
  • Simple and detailed search options that are easy to use
  • Helpful tools, including an affordability calculator, rental checklist, and information about renters’ rights and responsibilities
  • 24/7 access online and support from a toll-free, bilingual call center, available at 1-877-428-8844, Mon – Fri, 9:00 am – 8:00 pm EST.
  • Housing information that is updated daily to keep it relevant
  • A resource for families displaced during times of disaster

This is an excellent resource to use as we continue to find homes for the homeless in Pennsylvania. In our 2018 ESG application, DCED made housing locator services a targeted activity with the desired outcome that services should include: assessment, arranging, coordinating, housing stability pan development; with an emphasis on acting as a liaison to secure and maintain housing; employment; a connection to mainstream resources and services; coordination with other providers; monitoring of progress; and advocating on behalf of the client.

Click here to view the brochure that was developed to promote this service. This service is presented by these funding partners; PHFA, PA Department of Human Services, PA Department of Community and Economic Development, PA Emergency Management Agency, PAHMA, and PennDel AHMA.