Sent: Friday, March 22, 2019 4:53 PM
Subject: SSVF Program Update Friday March 8, 2019
Follow Up Flag: Follow up
Flag Status: Flagged
1. Register Now: SSVF National Webinar, March 14, 2019, 2:00 PM EST
2. Important: Mandatory Return of Funds for 2nd Quarter FY 2019
3. Reminder: Rapid Resolution Plans due March 31, 2019
4. Reminder: SQUARES 2.0 is Live
Register Now: SSVF National Webinar, March 14, 2019, 2:00 PM EST
Title: Shared Housing Options
The SSVF Program Office will present a webinar on shared housing options for Veterans participating in SSVF. As we continue to consider how to manage housing Veterans under the Affordable Housing Crisis, shared housing is yet another tool that can be useful, especially as we begin work of implementation of Rapid Resolution. This webinar will include grantee presentations on promising practices for working with landlords, assisting with roommate matching and conflict resolution tips for participants residing in shared housing situations.
Please register at:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Important: Mandatory Return of Funds for 2nd Quarter FY 2019
At the end of each quarter a grantee’s total payment requests for SSVF funds (also known as drawdowns) must meet the minimum quarterly spending percentage rate outlined in the SSVF grant agreement. Please note that grantees do not submit physical invoices to the SSVF Program Office; therefore, expenditure rates are assessed using the drawdown information in the HHS Payment Management System.
For the second quarter ending on March 29th at 5pm EDT, (March 29th is the last business day of the quarter) the minimum spending rate of the overall grant award is 40%. To clarify, a grant is "40% spent" when 40% or more of the SSVF grant funds have been drawn down from the HHS Payment Management System. A favorable lag of 10% (or 5.2 weeks of expenses) has been incorporated into the quarterly minimums. This allows for a grantee to meet the minimum rate while still reconciling the previous month’s SSVF expenses. For this reason, it is critical for grantees to review their spending information frequently; there is no exception to the 40% requirement for grantees that had been on extension during the first quarter of FY19.
The process for identifying grantees that will be required to return funds and for identifying the amount of funds to be swept is as follows: At the start of the quarter (8am EDT on the second business day of the new quarter, which is April 2nd), the HHS Payment Management System drawdown report will be used to calculate grantee expenditure rates. Those grantees that are below 40% spent will be subject to mandatory funding sweeps. Note the expenditure rate calculation will be rounded to a whole number (i.e. 39.4% will be rounded down to 39% and 39.6% will be rounded up to 40%). For any grantee below 40%, the difference between 40% and that grantee’s current drawn down rate will be the amount swept from the OVERALL grant total. For example, if a grantee is 35% drawn down, the difference is 5%, as such, there will be a 5% reduction of the authorized award amount. The end result will move a grantee closer to the quarterly minimum rate of 40%. The intent of the funding sweep is to 1) reallocate funds from geographic areas where the need is not currently being recognized to areas of higher need where funding is lacking and 2) to assist grantees in moving towards compliance with grant requirements and eliminating the need for an extension. The funds will be swept on that second business day of the new quarter and a grantee will be notified by the SSVF Program Office of the amount of funds that were swept from the grant.
How do the minimum quarterly spending rates impact the fiscal staff of SSVF grantees?
The last business day of the quarter is March 29th. Payment requests (drawdowns) that are made after 5pm EDT on this day will NOT be included in the HHS drawdown report used to calculate grantee expenditure rates. As a reminder, the grantees identified as spending less than 40% of the total grant will have funds swept on the second business day of the new quarter, April 2nd. These values will stand; there will be no exceptions. Since there will be no exceptions, it is recommended that grantee fiscal staff responsible for completing drawdowns not wait until March 29th to complete payment requests, as these requests generally require a full business day to process. If a grantee finds it is necessary to wait until March 29th, it would be important to enter the request early in the day. (Note that any grantees outside of EDT, including but not limited to the West Coast, Hawaii, and Guam, are still held to the 5pm EDT deadline, so plan accordingly).
If you have any questions, please contact your SSVF Regional Coordinator. Please include your grant number and "2nd Quarter Mandatory Return of Funds" in the subject of the email.
Reminder: Rapid Resolution Plans due March 31, 2019
SSVF providers can utilize the Rapid Resolution Plan Template to complete their initial Rapid Resolution Plans that are due to the SSVF Program Office on March 31st. The SSVF Program Office encourages grantees to complete these plans with input from local VAMC and community stakeholders. Between now and April, our office will be providing a series of webinars and training to assist with designing and submitting your Rapid Resolution System Plan as well as other topics to assist with Rapid Resolution implementation. The program office will also release a collection of helpful documents that will include program guidance around Enrollments, TFA, HMIS, Compliance and Fiscal Controls. We look forward to continuing this exciting work together as we roll out Rapid Resolution.
The SSVF Rapid Resolution Plan Template is available on the SSVF Website:
Note: The Rapid Resolution Plan Template, once completed, can be uploaded to the GIFTS online requirement form, Rapid Resolution Plan, which has been published to your agency’s designated GIFTS account holder and is now visible in the GIFTS account portal. Access the GIFTS account portal at: https://grantrequest.com/SID_2115
Reminder: SQUARES 2.0 is Live
The SSVF Program Office is excited to announce that SQUARES 2.0 is now live! This revised version of SQUARES includes important upgrades from the current version. Most notably it will offer detailed discharge status for the majority of inquiries, allowing instant determination of program eligibility and status of VHA enrollment (a description of SQUARES is attached). Although SQUARES cannot be used as a substitute for VHA enrollment, programs such as SSVF and GPD that do not require VHA enrollment may use SQUARES as documentation for purposes of determining eligibility, much like a DD-214. To review the features and watch a tutorial on how to use SQUARES, please go to www.va.gov/homeless/SQUARES.
As the information offered through SQUARES 2.0 is more detailed, permission to access it will now require a greater level of review. Community organizations serving Veterans will need to apply to access SQUARES. Please follow the instructions below for requesting access.
SQUARES Access and SQUARES Managers
SQUARES access is approved for VA grantee organizations. Each approved organization must appoint a manager, who will then apply for – and be approved by VA Homeless Program Office for – Manager-level SQUARES access. Additional users in the organization will have their account requests approved by the Manager.
All SSVF, GPD, CERS, and HUD-VASH grantees are pre-loaded into SQUARES. For convenience, where the SSVF and GPD programs appear to be operating out of different offices, they have been loaded into SQUARES as separate organizations; this way, each office can appoint its own Manager and manage its own access requests. If programs appear to be operating out of the same office, they have been loaded as one organization, and the various programs will have one common manager.
Note that each individual can only manage one organization, and each organization can only have one Manager. So, if you intend to have different Managers keep track of your GPD and SSVF staff, you will need to ensure you have separate listings for those programs. On the other hand, if you want the same Manager to approve GPD and SSVF staff, you must ensure you have one listing for both programs. For assistance with access, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
SSVF Program Office