From:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† SSVF

Sent:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Tuesday, April 17, 2018 2:16 PM

To:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† SSVF

Subject:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† SSVF Program Update Thursday March 29, 2018

 

Topics:

 

1.            IMPORTANT:  Mandatory Return of Funds for 2nd Quarter FY18

2.            SAVE THE DATE:  SSVF National Webinar April 12, 2018 at 2PM Eastern

3.            REMINDER: Guidance on HUDís Definition of Veteran and HMIS Data Entry

4.            NEW: Additional Data Collection Requirements for SSVF Projects in HMIS and for VA Repository Reporting:

5.            REMINDER: Annual Renewal and New Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) Waiver Submissions

 

IMPORTANT: Mandatory Return of Funds for 2nd Quarter FY18

 

At the end of each quarter a granteeís 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 30th at 5pm EDT, (March 30th 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 monthís SSVF expenses. For this reason, it is absolutely crucial 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 FY18. 

 

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 3rd), 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 granteeís 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 each of the subaccounts (ADM, SERVICES/TFA). The end result will move a grantee to, or 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.  Please note that when funds are swept, a grantee may need to submit a Program Change in the subsequent quarter to modify to their budget and/or HHS subaccounts.

 

How do the minimum quarterly spending rates impact the fiscal staff of SSVF grantees?

 

The last day of the quarter is March 30th.  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 3rd.  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 30th to complete payment requests, as these requests generally require a full day to process.  If a grantee finds it is necessary to wait until March 30th, 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 the SSVF Program Office at ssvf@va.gov. Please include your grant number and "2nd Quarter Mandatory Return of Funds" in the subject of the email; please copy your SSVF Regional Coordinator.

 

 

SAVE THE DATE:  SSVF National Webinar Thursday April 12, 2018 at 2PM Eastern

 

Date: Thursday April 12, 2018

 

Time: 2:00 pm to 3:30pm Eastern

 

Title:   Overview of AmeriCorps Services

 

Registration Link to follow.

 

 

REMINDER:  VA SSVF Program Eligibility change, VA Veteran Definition, and HMIS Data Standards/Data Entry:

 

HUDís current definition of "Veteran" excludes those individuals who attended training but were discharged before reporting to a duty station. Currently, HUD and VA are reviewing this definition. However, effective immediately, it is expected that SSVF grantees will serve this group of Veterans if they are otherwise eligible for services. We recognize that certain circumstances can arise where project eligibility and data collection requirements in HMIS do not always perfectly align. At this time, however, data entry in HMIS should comport with the instructions provided in the HMIS data standards. The "3.7 Veteran Status" for clients served under this expanded SSVF program eligibility criteria (where SSVF projects can serve clients who only had service time in Basic Training) should be entered with a "3.7 Veteran Status" of "No" in HMIS, as stated in the HMIS Data Manual. Documentation of the client's eligibility for the project should be retained on file for the client for monitoring purposes, and this guidance can be saved as backup to explain the apparent discrepancy between the client file and the HMIS record.

 

 

NEW: Additional Data Collection Requirements for SSVF Projects in HMIS and for VA Repository Reporting:

 

The VA is interested in obtaining employment information about persons served by SSVF programs. To that end, the HMIS Data Dictionary will be updated to include R6 Employment Status as a required element to collect at project start and project exit for heads of households and adults served in SSVF-funded Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing programs. The VA is requesting that SSVF Grantees, HMIS Leads, and HMIS Software Vendors work together to add data element R6 "Employment Status" to both front-end data collection workflows in local HMIS implementations, and to the CSV export/upload process for the national HMIS Repository each month.

 

Employment Status data collection for actively enrolled heads of households and adults served by SSVF programs should begin as soon as your HMIS providers (leads and/or vendor) make it available in your system, no later than April 30, 2018. Please note, SSVF Grantees are required to "back-enter" R6 data at project start for active heads of households and adults.

 

The VA will check for data quality in the R6 Employment Status field in the June 2018 upload period for all SSVF HMIS Repository Uploads for clients served as of May 1, 2018.  Please email ssvfhmis@abtassoc.com if you foresee any issues with the implementation of this data collection requirement.

 

 

 

Reminder:  Annual Renewal and New Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) Waivers

 

Applying for a waiver is a community-based decision, established as part of the Community Planning process. All SSVF grantees within the specific community must contribute to the waiver request process, even if they are not seeking a waiver for their individual grant award. Waiver decisions will be based on individual SSVF grant programs. For example, if a SSVF grantee within a CoC applying for a waiver only attributes 10% of their SSVF grant funds to that community, that grantee may not be approved for a waiver to their program, while each of the other grantees in that CoC (who allocate much larger portions of their grant to that CoC) may receive a waiver. RRH waiver requests require justification indicating that the RRH demand can still be met and must demonstrate support from the CoC.  Our shared goal is to end and maintain an end to Veteran homelessness.  Lowering the minimum amount of TFA required to be used for RRH households does not support this goal in your community.  It is important that grantees continue to address all sources of Veteran homelessness in the community, including long-stay transitional housing programs, before using homeless prevention resources.  

 

ANNUAL RENEWALS:  For grantees that were  operating one or more awards with an approved RRH waiver in FY17, the SSVF Program Office is requesting that each agency re-apply for the RRH waiver for FY18, in order to ensure that there is  strategic allocation of resources applied to the community that supports the use of such a waiver.  Please complete the RRH Waiver Request requirement in the SSVF online grants management system (GIFTS) by April 2, 2018.  If you have any questions, please contact your Regional Coordinator.

 

NEW WAIVERS:  The SSVF Program Office will be accepting new RRH Waiver Requests from grantees.   Although the RRH Waiver is a rolling submission, the end date for FY2018 submissions will be July 28th 2018.  The designated Point of Contact will submit the completed NEW packet to the SSVF Regional Coordinator via email. Do not submit via the GIFTS portal.

 

The RRH Waiver Request form may be found on the SSVF website at:

https://www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf/?page=/official_guide/reporting_and_monitoring_requirements

 

As you complete the request, please review the Companion Guide and Instructional Webinar available at the following links. https://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/ssvf/docs/SSVF_Companion_Guide_to_RRH_Waiver_FY18.pdf

https://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/ssvf/docs/SSVF_Rapid_ReHousing_Waiver_InstructionalWebinar_withAudio.pdf

 

 

 

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.