May 2016 NCHV eNewsletter

NCHV eNewsletter
May 2016
Final Updates: Important Information for 2016 NCHV Annual Conference Attendees!
June 1-3, 2016 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. 
Registration for the 2016 NCHV Annual Conference is SOLD OUT. No walk-up registrations will be accepted.
If you're attending the 2016 NCHV Annual Conference next week at the Grand Hyatt Washington, we are looking forward to welcoming you! Please download the Conference program above to see the full schedule and more info, and make note of the following important details:
  • NCHV will be posting live updates throughout the Conference on our Facebook and Twitter pages tagged with #NCHV16. Please feel free to join the conversation and use #NCHV16 if you will be using your social media channels during the event!
Special Guest Speakers announced!
  • Terry McAuliffe, Governor of Virginia, the first state to announce a functional end to veteran homelessness
  • Thomas E. Perez, U.S. Secretary of Labor
  • Sloan Gibson, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs
  • Beverley Ebersold, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness
  • Shannon Gerber, The Home Depot Foundation
  • Natalie Abatemarco, Citi Community Development

Have you renewed your NCHV membership? Interested in becoming a member? NCHV members receive discounted rates for the Annual Conference. Click here to renew or become a member today! For more information about NCHV membership, email Anna Kaminski at akaminski@nchv.org

Do you want to share the value of your program with Congress, and help advance the goal of ending veteran homelessness? Do you have the desire, but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, NCHV is here to help! Email jstewart@nchv.org for guidance on meeting with your members of Congress!
Hill Watch: The "Veteran's First Act" and Homelessness
New Senate omnibus bill debuts, addresses veteran issues
The “Veteran’s First Act” was unveiled in a bipartisan press conference of the Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee late last month. This omnibus piece of legislation combined many existing provisions from other bills, which already existed in the Senate. Some of the more headline grabbing issues the bill deals with include accountability of VA employees, and changes to the Veterans Choice program. Click here to view the Senate’s summary of the key provisions in the bill. 
While you won’t see many news stories go beyond the headlines of Choice and accountability, there are quite a few important provisions in the bill that relate to homelessness that you should know about. In fact, all-in-all there are eighteen provisions in the bill that directly relate to ending veteran homelessness. Most are very important, and if enacted, would change the way you could serve homeless veterans.
For instance, if passed the bill would:
  • Allow HUD-VASH residents to enroll in the HVRP program,
  • Finally update the VA’s definition of homelessness, to include the McKinney-Vento updates which allow individuals fleeing domestic violence to be considered homeless,
  • Authorize a higher Per Diem rate to be paid to Transition in Place programs,
  • Ease the transition for any GPD that wishes to shift mission to permanent housing provider,
  • Create a pilot program to test effectiveness of intensive case management on healthcare utilization rates,
  • Permanently authorize the National Center for Homelessness Among Veterans,
  • Create an annual review for the GPD program, and strengthen performance targets for program outcomes in the areas of permanent housing and income augmentation,
  • Create an expansive public-private partnership ability for the VA to provide legal services,
  • Allow Per Diem to be paid to support the care of dependents accompanying a veteran, and
  • Permanently authorizes the use of VA homeless programs by veterans with “OTH” discharges.
While NCHV is currently very supportive of the Vets First Act, an earlier version of this bill included a provision that would have made certain homeless veterans (those in GPD, domiciliary units, and HUD VASH units among others) eligible for access to VA dental care. This has long been identified by NCHV members as a top unfilled need in the world of homeless veteran services, and NCHV was disappointed to see that provision cut from the package.
Should you wish to contact your Member of Congress about your support for the bill in general, or about the absence of a dental care provision, but you don’t know where to start - you’re in luck! NCHV just held a webinar on “Talking to Congress: Advocating for Homeless Veterans”, the recorded version of which you can view by clicking here
This bill has yet to pass the Senate floor. As such, any of the above can change. Stay tuned to NCHV communications to stay on top of what is happening with the Veterans First Act. Click here to see the Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee press release and associated documents.
HUD Allocates $174 Million through New Housing Trust Fund
First-ever allocations to help states produce affordable housing
WASHINGTON – For the first time ever, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced the allocation of nearly $174 million through the nation’s Housing Trust Fund. 
The Housing Trust Fund is a new affordable housing production program that will complement existing Federal, state and local efforts to increase and preserve the supply of decent, safe, and sanitary affordable housing for extremely low- and very low-income households, including families experiencing homelessness.
“Today, we offer another tool to help states confront a growing affordable rental housing crisis in this country,” said HUD Secretary Juli├ín Castro. “The Housing Trust Fund will be an enduring resource designed to producing more housing that is affordable to our most vulnerable neighbors.”
“In today’s housing market, many Americans who work hard still can’t afford their rents. Affordable housing helps workers live closer to their jobs and spend more time with their families. A healthy housing market is key to vibrant communities and future economic growth, and these federal funds will help states expand the supply of affordable homes and strengthen our communities,” said Senator Jack Reed (Rhode Island), who wrote the 2008 law establishing the National Housing Trust Fund. “I commend HUD for making these funds available and helping states take a tailored, cost-effective approach to increasing the supply of affordable housing.”
Eight years after it was authorized by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), the Housing Trust Fund is only now being capitalized through contributions made by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In December 2014, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) directed these Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) to begin setting aside and allocating funds to the Housing Trust. In January of 2015, HUD issued interim rules to guide states on how to implement their Housing Trust Funds. 

By law, each state is allocated a minimum of $3 million. State affordable housing planners will use these funds for the following eligible activities:
  • Real property acquisition
  • Site improvements and development hard costs
  • Related soft costs
  • Demolition
  • Financing costs
  • Relocation assistance
  • Operating cost assistance for rental housing (up to 30% of each grant)
  • Reasonable administrative and planning costs
For more information and a full list of allocations by state, click here
Funding Opportunities
The Booth Ferris Foundation offers grants to nonprofit organizations in New York City working directly to build vibrant communities and to promote equity for underserved populations. Support is available for either capacity building or capital projects. Applications are accepted online throughout the year. For more information, click here.
The Henrietta Lange Burk Fund was established in 1994 to support and promote quality arts, cultural, educational, health care, and human services programming for underserved populations. Special consideration is given to charitable organizations that address the health concerns of older adults, through either direct programming or research. The Fund prioritizes organizations serving the Chicago metro area. The next deadline for applications is June 1. For more information, click here.