Sent: Friday, March 22, 2019 5:17 PM
Subject: SSVF Program Update Friday March 15, 2019
1. Important: SSVF April Regional Meetings
2. Save the Date: SSVF National Webinar April 11, 2019, 2:00 PM EST
3. Register Now: SSVF Mentor Office Hours March 22, 2019, 11:00 AM EST
4. New: FY 2019 SSVF Customer Service Initiative - Veterans Rights Poster
5. New: VA Website Design
6. Reminder: Mandatory Return of Funds for 2nd Quarter FY 2019
Important: SSVF April Regional Meetings
Invitations for the SSVF April Regional Meetings have been sent. Grantees should plan to attend their assigned regional meetings; however, the SSVF Program Office is currently reviewing the registration process. While the registration process is under review, the Regional Meeting registration links have been disabled and will not re-open until early next week. Grantees that have already registered for the events do not need to take any action. Grantees that have not already registered will be able to register for the Regional Meetings next week. We appreciate your patience, and we look forward to seeing grantees at the events in April.
Save the Date: SSVF National Webinar, April 11, 2019, 2:00 PM EST
Topics: Community Planning Survey and Local Housing Strategies
The SSVF Program Office will present a webinar on the release of FY 2019 VA, HUD, and USICH Community Planning Survey. The webinar will also include a presentation by Elisha Harig-Blaine from National League of Cities and Jeffrey Lubell from Abt Associates. The presenters will discuss how the production of new housing affects housing affordability, market dynamics that limit housing production, and what cities, towns, and counties can do to address affordability challenges.
Register Now: SSVF Mentor Office Hours March 22, 2019, 11:00 AM EST
Topic: Rapid Resolution – Program Level Planning and Implementation The first Mentor Office Hours call was a success, and we had a great participation turnout! The next Mentor Office Hours call will focus on Rapid Resolution program level planning and implementation, including staffing patterns and practice design. This call will be helpful to all grantees, particularly those with questions about how to embed Rapid Resolution into existing SSVF programs.
Please register for SSVF Rapid Resolution Office Hours on March 22, 2019, 11:00 AM EDT at
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
New: FY 2019 SSVF Customer Service Initiative – Veterans Rights Poster
The SSVF Program Office will be implementing the Customer Services Initiative – Veterans Rights Poster nationally to include each SSVF grantee. The SSVF Program Office reviewed results from Unannounced Standardized Veterans (USV) site visits and determined that Veterans Rights Posters must be displayed to inform Veterans of their rights when seeking services from SSVF providers.
All SSVF Grantees are required to display the Veterans Rights Poster in locations visible to SSVF participants including front desks, case management offices, or other areas where Veterans interact with SSVF staff. Grantees will be required to include senior staff (i.e., Program Manager) contact information on the Veterans Rights Poster. During grantee audits, FOFAs, and future USV visits, auditors and surveyors will verify that the Veterans Rights Posters are displayed. The deadline to post and educate staff on the Veterans Rights poster is March 22, 2019. The poster can be downloaded from the SSVF Announcements page: https://www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf/index.asp. Please send questions to your SSVF Regional Coordinator.
New: VA Website Design
As you may know, VA recently completed a significant upgrade to its website. The attached recording of a Facebook Live event is a useful introduction of the changes and should be shared with grantees. The website has been redesigned to be a consumer-friendly interface that offers assistance to Veterans with the tasks/questions they most frequently have.
The Facebook Live event is available here:
Reminder: 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 5 pm 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 (8 am 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 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 5 pm 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 5 pm 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.
SSVF Program Office