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VA Homeless Programs

 

Permanent Housing Placement National Challenge to House 38,000 Veterans: FAQs

VHA Homeless Programs


During calendar year (CY) 2022, VA homeless programs will place at least 38,000 homeless Veterans into permanent housing. This page consolidates Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) related to achieving the goal and will be updated as new guidance is issued.

Data and Reporting

How are housing placements credited to the goal? (Updated 7/15/2022)

Housing placements represent the de-duplicated number of PHPs made by the following programs: Grant and Per Diem (GPD), Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Contract Emergency Residential Services (CERS), HCHV Low Demand Safe Haven (LDSH), Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH), and Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) – Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) homeless services who obtain permanent housing (PH), Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Treatment (MH RRTP), and for Veterans homeless at entry for the following programs: GPD Case Management (CM), HCHV CM, SSVF – Homelessness Prevention (HP), Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO), and Health Care for Reentry Veterans (HCRV).

For Veterans exiting GPD, HCHV CRS/LDSH, or SSVF, the following housing destinations credit towards the goal: 

  • Housing owned by Veteran, no ongoing housing subsidy
  • Housing owned by Veteran, with ongoing housing subsidy
  • Housing rented by Veteran, no ongoing housing subsidy
  • Housing rented by Veteran with HUD-VASH voucher
  • Housing rented by Veteran with non-HUD-VASH housing subsidy
  • Permanent housing for formerly homeless persons (such as: CoC project or S+C)
  • Staying or living with family, permanent tenure
  • Staying or living with friends, permanent tenure

For Veteran receiving HUD-VASH case hanagement services, a valid move-in date for housing subsidized with a HUD-VASH voucher credits towards the goal.

Will Veterans who are ineligible for VA health care count toward the goal?

Yes, health care ineligible Veterans who are housed through GPD, HCHV CRS/LDSH, SSVF-RRH, and HUD-VASH count toward the goal.

Can we see placements and returns to homelessness disaggregated by demographics and VA program (SSVF, HUD-VASH, etc.)?

Using the VHA Homeless Programs Racial Equity Dashboard, VA Medical Centers (VAMC) can access disaggregated race and ethnicity information at the national, Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN), and local levels. This information can be viewed for the total population, for access to services, and for exit outcomes or by length of time in program or housing.

SSVF Grantees can use their SSVF monthly reports to see Veteran demographics. SSVF monthly reports are available by the 13th of each month. For questions about access or usage, grantees can reach out to ssvfhmis@abtassoc.com.

How do we ensure that the work of our SSVF team is counted toward the goal?

VA incorporates HMIS and HOMES data to ensure that PHPs made by GPD, HCHV CRS/LDSH, SSVF-RRH, and HUD-VASH are counted toward the goal.

What should I do about data quality messages that I receive from ssvfhmis@abtassoc.com or my SSVF Regional Coordinator about Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA), Housing Move In Date, or lengths of stay in my projects?

To identify Veterans that can potentially be housed, VA uses data analysis to highlight opportunities to house Veterans through SSVF. When reviewing SSVF data that is uploaded each month, VA seeks to determine:

  • Are there any Veterans that are receiving Emergency Housing Assistance (EHA) that could be housed this year?
  • Are there any Veterans that haven’t received any TFA but have been in your program for longer than 3 months?
  • Are there any Veterans that have received TFA (e.g., rent, security deposit, or utility assistance) that do not also have a housing move-in date recorded?
  • Are your TFA amounts too high or too low overall, indicating that an SSVF grantee are not tracking TFA correctly in HMIS?

Any identified data quality issues that are resolved will help contribute to meeting the goal. SSVF grantees are strongly encouraged to pay close attention to all emails that indicate issues to address in HMIS uploads and to ensure that HMIS data are uploaded on time.

Who do I ask for HMIS help if I don’t understand any of the above information?

Local HMIS Leads can help local HMIS access, training, and troubleshooting. Additional support can be provided through the SSVF HMIS National Help Desk by emailing ssvfhmis@abtassoc.com.

Housing Stock/ Unit Acquisition

Questions coming soon.

Service Community and Co-Enrollment

The focus seems to be back to literally homeless Veterans. What about those at risk for losing housing?

VHA homeless programs have always prioritized helping Veterans who are literally homeless before helping Veterans most at risk of becoming and remaining homeless. During the pandemic, SSVF expanded prevention services due to increased funding and flexibility; however, guidance around prioritizing literally homeless Veterans for assistance did not change.

When can SSVF and HUD-VASH co-enroll homeless Veteran households?

There are several scenarios where co-enrollment may occur:

  1. Veterans needing progressive engagement may start in SSVF, but ultimately benefit from more intensive clinical services and the indefinite rental support a voucher offers. During a transfer to HUD-VASH, the Veteran household may be co-enrolled. It is important that Veterans not be left homeless on HUD-VASH “interest lists.” If there is not an opportunity to enroll the Veteran in HUD-VASH and issue a voucher in a reasonable period, SSVF can enroll and house the Veteran. If it is subsequently determined that additional assistance is necessary, the Veteran can later be evaluated for Shallow Subsidies or HUD-VASH.
  2. Veterans needing a security deposit or other financial assistance related to moving into permanent housing may be co-enrolled in SSVF for the narrow purpose of providing this move-in financial assistance. In such instances, HUD-VASH would provide all of the clinical and case management support.
  3. Veterans placed by SSVF into hotels/motels for emergency housing can be co-enrolled with HUD-VASH as described in the “Protocol for Homeless Veterans At-Risk of COVID-19 Placed in Hotels and Motels by the Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program” memorandum dated July 16, 2020.

Shared Housing

Questions coming soon.

4201 / Financial Alert 2022-004

Can 4201 be used as landlord incentives?

4201 funds can be used to pay security deposits (a maximum of 1 security deposit during a 2-year period), if the payment leads to the placement of a homeless, eligible Veteran. No other types of landlord incentives can be paid with 4201 funds.

Is there an end date for when VA medical centers can use 4201 funds? (Added 7/15/2022)

The 4201 authority will expire when the current public health emergency is declared over by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. At that point, sites will no longer be able to spend funds under this authority.

Program Eligibility and Document Readiness

Questions coming soon.

Special Considerations For Communities That Have Ended Veteran Homelessness

What about communities with no or little literal homeless Veterans due to achieving an effective end to Veteran homelessness, but that still have at-risk Veterans who need housing?

The PHP target for each VAMC is based on an approximate 5% increase in permanent housing placements from the previous fiscal year. HPO encourages teams to increase outreach efforts to ensure that all Veterans experiencing homelessness (including Veterans in transitional housing) are located, entered into the by-name-list, and assisted in finding permanent housing as quickly as possible. SSVF will continue to provide prevention services to Veterans who are at risk of homelessness.

Grant Per Diem (GPD)

Questions coming soon.

Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)

SSVF numbers counted are only rapid rehousing (RRH). What about those at risk, or those with little case management needs who are not literally homeless but need housing placement?

SSVF will continue to prioritize Veterans who are literally homeless and need RRH assistance. SSVF will also continue to provide prevention services for Veterans most at-risk of becoming homeless; SSVF grantees will prioritize Veterans for prevention assistance by utilizing the SSVF Prevention Screening tool.

Housing and Urban Development- VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH)

Can HUD-VASH projects pay above FMR for participants?

Yes, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has waived 24 CFR 982.503(a)(3) which allows Public Housing Authorities (PHA) to go up to, but no higher than, 120% of the published area-wide Fair Market Rents (FMR) or Small Area FMRs (based on which FMRs the PHA is applying specifically for HUD-VASH families). If a PHA wants to establish a HUD-VASH exception payment standard over 120%, the PHA must still request a waiver from HUD through the regular waiver process outlined in PIH-2018-16.

HUD-VASH leads are encouraged to engage their PHA partner(s) regarding this guidance and connect with their HUD-VASH Regional Coordinator or NHC to support these discussions. Additional information can be found at 2021-20734.

Can HUD-VASH programs receive official permission to scale back case management to prioritize the housing process?

No. The dual goals of the HUD-VASH program are to assist Veterans with obtaining permanent housing and maintain that housing over time. The case management and supportive services offered through HUD-VASH are vital to the successful stabilization of Veterans transitioning from homelessness and are critical to prevent returns to homelessness. HUD-VASH Veterans must receive case management services consistent with their stage of case management, as determined by their clinical needs and preferences (as required by VHA Directive 1162.05 (1)). These services may come directly from or be arranged by the VAMC or designated service provider (DSP). 

VA recognizes that current staff shortages and caseloads may be a limiting factor in providing Veteran-level housing search for units. VA encourages HUD-VASH providers to consider the following strategies if current capacity is insufficient:

  • Ensure strong case conferencing and coordination amongst GPD, SSVF and HUD-VASH teams and identify the most rapid housing options available to the Veteran, even if the Veteran may need more intensive supports over the longer term. For instance, SSVF providers may make the initial housing placement and support tenancy while the longer term need or desire for Shallow Subsidy or HUD-VASH are considered. This approach is consistent with a progressive assistance approach (Shallow Subsidy VASH Coordination and Progressive Assistance).
  • Look at internal staffing and adjust roles to support Veterans in housing search. This may include reviewing current caseload intensity.
  • Explore collaborations with GPD Case Management grantees to bring greater service capacity to HUD-VASH.
  • Discuss shared housing with Veterans as an option to faster housing and to expand your overall pool of units and reduce the housing search and placement burden on staff.
  • Work with your local CoC to better understand local property owner engagement efforts that are already underway, and how these efforts might be used to also support more efficient housing for Veterans.

How should we best serve aging Veterans or those with high service needs during this initiative?

As with serving all Veterans experiencing homelessness, a progressive assistance approach should be taken to ensure that everyone receives the assistance that is best suited to their individual circumstances and needs. For Veterans who are elderly, disabled, or have high service needs, this will require strong case conferencing and coordination amongst GPD, SSVF, and HUD-VASH teams. Ensuring that Veterans are connected to housing, income, and supportive services will require all partners working together. As with housing search and placement, coordinating staff efforts to engage Veterans in these services will be important. One such partnership could be using SSVF Health Care Navigators to assist Veterans in connecting to other VA programs or private providers. These efforts may include:

  • Connections to Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program (HVRP) providers, VA benefits (service or non-service-connected disability), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) resources to help ensure the Veteran has the income necessary to support housing solutions. 
  • Connections to Veteran health care services to support their chronic health conditions, disabilities, and other needs. This may include in-home care and assistance with daily living activities.
  • For older veterans connections to VA Geriatric and Extended Care (GEC) services could provide additional resources.
  • Housing Placement that meets their individual needs such as HUD-VASH Project Based Vouchers (PBVs). As an alternative to the Tenant Based Voucher (TBV), these are designated units in developments that are supported by HUD-VASH and may offer additional support services, including geriatric or disability services, onsite or assisted living facilities and nursing homes for some Veterans these options may be more appropriate for long term stability and care.

Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Contract Residential Services (CRS) / Low Demand Safe Haven (LDSH)

Questions coming soon.

Questions

For additional support, please email VHA11HPO38kGoalSupport@va.gov.

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