HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are pleased to announce that they have jointly identified a solution for VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) to provide client-level HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) data from HOMES (VA’s data collection and reporting system) to local Continuums of Care (CoCs) for importing into the local Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). Both HUD and VA recognize the value of this data for CoCs to use in system analysis and planning and that a solution to this issue is long overdue.
VAMCs will have access to a client-level data export from HOMES that consists of data about veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program. In general, the VAMC will be able to provide most of the universal data elements as defined in the HMIS Data Standards for clients engaged in the HUD-VASH program in addition to the relevant program specific data elements collected in HOMES.
HUD and VA recognize that there isn’t a perfect alignment of all data elements between HOMES and HMIS, but HUD and VA are committed to refining and aligning data collection requirements in both HMIS and HOMES to improve this process. HUD and VA are working together to map existing HOMES data to HMIS data in order to provide the most complete and accurate HUD-VASH data set to CoCs. The first step HUD is taking is the removal of data collection requirements for common program specific data elements for the HUD-VASH program in the HMIS Data Standards; this will limit the number of missing data fields through this data transfer process. The HMIS Data Standards were updated in December 2019 to reflect this change.
HUD and VA will pilot this data transfer with a select number of VAMCs and CoCs beginning in early 2020 with an expected full rollout to all VAMC and CoCs by Spring 2020.
HUD and VA will be working with Technical Assistance (TA) providers, HMIS software providers, and HMIS leads over the coming months to finalize a standard process for importing this data into HMIS. HUD and VA will be releasing additional guidance for VAMCs and HMIS leads once the final process is defined and the full implementation of this data transfer begins.