Alliance Online News: Obama Administration Amends Federal Plan to End Homelessness

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Obama Administration Amends Federal Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness
On Monday, June 22, the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) released an amended version of the Obama Administration’s plan to prevent and end homelessness. Originally released in 2010, the report, “Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness,” defines best practices and sets national goals to prevent and end homelessness.
"Over the last few years, we’ve learned a great deal about how to transform the way we respond to homelessness, moving from a set of uncoordinated programs towards systems that help families and individuals rapidly reconnect to permanent housing," said Alliance President and CEO Nan Roman. "This updated version of Opening Doors captures those lessons and outlines the critical steps communities can take to retool homeless services into effective crisis response systems.”
Among the new additions to the report:
  • A new operational definition for an end to homelessness;
  • Clarification on the role of Medicaid in financing services for permanent supportive housing;
  • An update to the deadline for ending chronic homelessness that moves it from 2015 to 2017;
  • Expanded guidance and new strategies for retooling homelessness programs into more effective crisis response systems; and
  • Increased emphasis on the use of data in decision-making and performance management.
Read the report »
hill update
House Hearing Explores Options for Providing Surplus Properties to Homeless Service Providers
On Tuesday, June 16, the House Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management held a hearing to examine options for moving underutilized properties owned by the federal government onto the local tax rolls or into the hands of local service providers.
“This can be a win-win solution for the taxpayer, local governments, and homeless assistance providers,” said subcommittee chairman Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA).
At the hearing, Maria Foscarinis, executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, testified that, under Title V of the McKinney-Vento Act, homeless service providers have a right of first refusal to acquire surplus property at no cost before the federal government can offer the property to state or local governments or sell it.
“Title V is a proven vehicle for assisting America’s homeless with no cost to taxpayers,” she said. “We are committed to pursuing all available avenues to ensure that federal agencies do not continue to hoard surplus property that could…improve the lives of homeless individuals and families.”
For more information, see our legislative update page, WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE HILL.
Hearing video, documents »
HUD: Conversion Now an Option for Mod Rehab Projects
On Monday, June 15, HUD released a notice regarding the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) that impacts Continuums of Care and Public Housing Agencies. The Notice allows Moderate Rehabilitation (Mod Rehab) Single Room Occupancy (SRO) projects that were funded under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to convert to either Project-Based Vouchers or Project-Based Rental Assistance under RAD.
Read the notice »
from the blog
Ending Homelessness Today
the official blog of the national alliance to end homelessness
Putting out an RFP for a New Rapid Re-Housing Project? Here are 5 Tips for Evaluating Applicants
by Anna Blasco
In this year’s NOFA Registration Notice, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is strongly encouraging Continuums of Care (CoCs) to reallocate funding to interventions that more effectively reduce homelessness.
In 2015 you can reallocate funds from existing eligible renewal projects to create new rapid re-housing projects for homeless individuals and families, including unaccompanied youth, who are coming directly from the streets, emergency shelters or who are fleeing domestic violence. If your CoC decided to reallocate funds to fund rapid re-housing through the NOFA process or if you work for a foundation or a local government that wants to fund rapid re-housing, you will probably need to write a Request for Proposals (RFP) and figure out a way to evaluate applications.
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From Shame to Pride, Through Storytelling
by naehblog
America places a lot of value on a story. A good story can top the New York Times Best Seller List or rake in millions at the box office. A good story can change the world.
At the True Colors Fund, we hear a lot of stories –  from young people who have experienced homelessness, from the service providers who work with them, and from supporters across the country who want to make a difference. To the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) community, an important form of storytelling is “coming out.” Living authentically in one's affirmed sexual orientation or gender identity often means sharing that story time and time again. And it isn’t always easy.
Coming out as LGBTQ shouldn’t be a shameful thing. But, to many, it is. Experiencing homelessness shouldn’t be a shameful thing. But, to many, it is.
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So Your Community Ended Veteran Homelessness. Now What?
by Kate Seif
Earlier this year, New Orleans, which once had one of the highest per-capita rates of veteran homelessness in the nation, created serious buzz by becoming the first major city to effectively end veteran homelessness. With Houston following suit earlier this month, and more cities poised to make similar announcements, it is worth taking a look at New Orleans “six months on” to get a sense of what happens after the press conferences and a visit from the First Lady. In other words: what happens after you reach zero?
It is no secret that even after announcing an end to veteran homelessness, the work around re-housing homeless veterans and keeping veterans in housing never really ends. New Orleans is currently working very hard to sustain the progress that was made. The city, in partnership with UNITY, the lead agency for the homeless Continuum of Care, has set up a rapid response system to quickly locate and house homeless veterans, with the goal of housing them within 30 days. The rapid response system has been the cornerstone of maintaining a “functional zero.”
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