SSVF Program Update February 24, 2017 (Please Read)

Hi Team,

I hope that you had a great weekend. Please find the most recent SSVF Program Update. As always, I need you to read this information in detail. I am going to highlight a few items; however, this should not replace your very thorough read of the information in the Update.

Program Change Requests Due this Week
·         Program Change Requests are due on Wednesday, March 1st.
·         Late submissions will not be accepted.
·         The Companion Guide to Program Changes can be found:   (Under the last blue rectangle called "SSVF Online Grants Management System-GIFTS", 5th bullet)
·         The Program Update below reviews some common mistakes. Please pay close attention to this information and to your submission.
·         Incomplete and/or incorrect submissions will be rejected.
·         If you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out to me today or tomorrow via email.

SSVF National Webinar-Thursday, March 9th
·         Please save the date for the SSVF national webinar next Thursday, March 9th.
·         The registration link will be sent later this week.

Mandatory Return of Funds
·         This is very important. We reviewed it on the national call on 2/9, and our regional call on 2/14, but I need every grantee and every grantee's financial team to understand.
·         Please share it with your finance team and include it in your regular, planned, strategic discussions between your program and financial teams.
·         If you have questions, please email and cc me. Please include "Mandatory Return of Funds Question and your grant number" in the subject of the email.

Thanks so much!


Adrienne Nash Melendez, MLD
Regional Coordinator
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

-----Original Message-----
From: SSVF Program Office []
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2017 7:12 PM
Subject: [EXTERNAL] SSVF Program Update February 24, 2017


1.            SSVF Program Change Requests: Due March 1, 2017
2.            SAVE THE DATE!  SSVF National Webinar on March 9, 2017 at 2PM EDT
3.            NOTICE: Independent Audit Solicitations
4.            REMINDER: Mandatory Return of SSVF Grant Funds
5.            REMINDER: Regional Meeting Travel Expense Guidance
6.            REMINDER: SSVF Participant Telephone Survey Update

SSVF Program Change Requests: Due March 1, 2017
This is a reminder that the deadline for submitting program change requests to the SSVF Program Office is 3/1/2017.  The requests must be submitted using the SSVF online grants management system.  Grantees can access the Program Change Form on the "Requirements" tab of their grant account.  Please note that the form will be inactive after the deadline.  Therefore, SSVF is unable to accept submissions after this point. 

Remember, avoid the common mistakes! 
·         Submit the necessary attachments. 
·         Ensure that explanations for budget modifications are sufficient. 
·         Verify that the total amount of the grant award equals the awarded amount from the VA, if there are adjustments to the HHS subaccount balances. 

If Program Change Request does not contain sufficient information, the request will be denied by the Program Office.

SAVE THE DATE!  SSVF National Webinar on March 9, 2017 at 2PM EDT

Topic:  SSVF National Updates

The SSVF National Grantee Webinar will review the key Program Updates.   A registration link will be provided.

NOTICE: Independent Audit Solicitations

It has come to the attention of the SSVF Program Office that Best Value Technologies, Inc (BVT) has been contacting SSVF grantees to solicit business for agencies required to have an annual independent audit.   This organization is not affiliated in any way with the SSVF Program Office and we do not recommend, endorse or suggest that your agency utilize this agency.  Your agency should follow the established guidelines in 2 CFR 200 when determining if an independent audit is required, along with the requirements and qualifications of the selected independent auditor.  Please remember that any official oversight, monitoring or auditing requirements will come directly from the SSVF Program Office.  If you have any questions please email

REMINDER: Mandatory Return of SSVF Grant Funds

During the current grant year, FY 2017, the SSVF Program Office is implementing the mandatory return of unspent grant funds. Per the grant agreement between VA and SSVF grantees, the SSVF Program Office will recoup funds from grantees who are not meeting the minimum expenditure rates.  This is the first year mandatory returns will be implemented.  The grant agreement (MOA) describes that, after each quarter, grantees are required to have a minimum percentage of funds drawn from the HHS Payment Management System; 1st quarter – 15% or more; 2nd quarter – 40% or more; 3rd quarter – 65% or more.  The SSVF Program Office is currently developing the procedures for how this will be completed and will inform grantees as soon as possible.  In the meantime, please review your grant expenditures and your projected spending for the remainder of the grant year. The first mandatory return of funds will take place immediately following the end of the 2nd quarter (April). If you have questions about this new process for FY2017, please contact the SSVF Program Office at

REMINDER:  SSVF Regional Meeting Travel Expense Guidance

SSVF grantees should not be using grant funds to pay for VA staff travel. In order to attend any SSVF supported training, VA staff must go through the appropriate VA approval process. SSVF grantees can continue to support the travel of key stakeholders, such as CoC leads, when the SSVF program office has indicated that their attendance at a SSVF sponsored event in permitted. If you have any questions, please contact your Regional Coordinator or email

REMINDER:  SSVF Participant Telephone Survey Update

As of 1/3/17, if Veterans are unable to take the SSVF Participant Survey via internet or smart phone, they have the opportunity to take the survey over the telephone with a live interviewer.  All Veterans still need to be registered within 30 days of exit using your organization's link.  When you register a Veteran, you will receive a unique registration number for each Veteran.  This number should be given to the Veteran if he/she plans to take the survey by phone.  When the Veteran calls, he/she will be asked for this unique registration number that will allow the survey response to be linked to your organization.  The Veteran ID # presented on the webinar slide was only an example.  DO NOT GIVE THIS NUMBER TO VETERANS.   Again, each Veteran will have a unique registration number created at the time they are registered into the survey system.

Questions regarding the SSVF Participant Surveys should be sent to or call 215-790-8900 ext. 132 (staff will respond within 24 hours).   If you need to leave a message, someone will return your call by the next business day.

Thank you,

SSVF Program Office

NOTE:  If you are receiving this email in error, please disregard.  We request your patience as the SSVF Program Office continues to address system issues with the grants management database.