FY2014 CoC Competition: Hampden CoC Ranking and Selections

The Hampden County CoC has completed its ranking and selection process for the FY2014 competition.  The projects to be included in the FY2014 application are the following:

Tier 1

  1. HMIS, $29,732
  2. HMIS Expansion, $32,360
  3. HAP Rapid Rehousing, $32,577
  4. HAP Rapid Rehousing 2, $106,324
  5. HAP Turning Point PSH, $57,270
  6. VOC Family Scattered Site, $133,047
  7. WHA Domus Reed House, $36,960
  8. FOH Worthington House Campus, $22,679
  9. MHA S+C 48, $465,470
  10. MLKFS Project Permanence, $142,431
  11. RVCC HIV/AIDS Residential Support, $173,656
  12. MHA Leahy House, $97,847
  13. RVCC S+C 7, $68,399
  14. Gandara SHINE, $189,235
  15. HRU Next Step, $281,784
  16. Open Pantry Tranquility House, $38,854
  17. SMOC Bowdoin Street, $21,594
  18. HRU New PSH, $105,163
  19. MHA Safe Havens, $98,536
  20. MHA Annie’s House, $223,317

Tier 2

  1. Catholic Charities Rapid Rehousing, $48,107

Bonus Project

  1. CHD Family Support Housing (conditional award), $530,189 (3 year grant)

Projects were scored and ranked in order.  The lowest ranking project had its budget reduced to enable it to fit into the maximum allowable grant for Tier 2; because the amount of the grant was reduced, it was also changed from a 2-year grant to a 1-year grant.  The second-lowest scoring project was slightly reduced in order to fit the entire grant into Tier 1.  There was only one applicant for the Bonus Project.  While that project was selected for inclusion in the application, it will need to meet conditions regarding selection of housing stock in order to be included in the submittal to HUD.

These projects include 26 new units of PSH for chronically homeless individuals, 10 new units of PSH for chronically homeless families, and 7 new units of rapid rehousing for homeless families not eligible for Massachusetts EA shelter benefits.

Overall, the new and renewal projects provide PSH for 216 chronically homeless households, 8 units of transitional housing for homeless youth, and 17 units of rapid rehousing for families.

Congratulations to all the successful applicants.

Back from the National Jobs Summit!

Our Secure Jobs team is pleased to report a successful trip to the October 16 national summit  in Washington, DC on jobs programs for homeless job seekers.

As one of 11 communities from across the country invited to share their experiences in this work, we listened and learned about other models and brainstormed federal policy changes to make these models even more successful.  We enjoyed the audience of HUD Secretary Julian Castro and Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez who heard our recommendations at the end of the day and committed to continuing the collaboration.

Each community produced a display poster capturing its work.  Below is a photo of ours with our team (from left to right, David Gadaire, Executive Director, CareerPoint, Pamela Schwartz, Network Director,  Lisa Lapierre, Secure Jobs Program Director of Corporation for Public Management, Lynne Wallace, Chief Operating Office, HAPHousing and Phyllis White, Director of Programs, Franklin Hampshire Career Center).

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We look forward to continuing this important work together!

Family Services Committee Meeting Minutes – 10/14/14

Family Services Committee Meeting Minutes
October 14, 2014

In attendance: Jane Banks, Center for Human Development, Ashley Brehm, HAPHousing, Melissa Brown, YWCA, Bonnie Caldwell, DHCD, Cris Carl, ServiceNet, Claudia Catalano, DPH, Susan Colwell, DCF, Pat Duffy, Rep. Vega’s office, Harry Duchesne, New England Farm Workers Council, Anthia Elliott, Safe Passage, Rose Evans, DHCD, John Fister, HAPHousing, Julia Guazzo, CFCE, Eryka Haase, Tenancy Preservation Proejct, Flo Haves, EEC, Donna Harris, Franklin Hampshire Career Center, Steve Huntley, Valley Opportunity Council, Faith Lafayette, DPH – FOR Families, Lisa Lapierre, Secure Jobs (CPM), Fran Lemay, ServiceNet, Jane Lindfors, DTA DV Unit, Ses Lopez, CareerPoint/SJC, Ashley Mann, New Lease, Melissa Mateus, Springfield Partners, Heather Marshall, Elizabeth Freeman Center, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Janet Mock, Square One, Darlene Morse, CareerPoint/SJC, Donna Nadeau, DHCD, Halie Nicolosi, Harvard Catalyst, Jordana O’Connell, Holyoke Public Schools, Lizzy Ortiz, City of Springfield, Tom Pilcik, New Lease, Dorothy Pink, Valley Opportunity Council/WIC, Steve Plummer, Springfield Partners, Liza Rios, YWCA,  Hilda Santa, Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Robin Sherman, Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Sarah Slautterback, DESE, Rachel Trant, DCF, Holyoke State Representative Aaron Vega, Janette Vigo, HAPHousing, Lauren Voyer, HAPHousing, Abigail Williams, Harvard Catalyst, Phyllis White, Franklin Hampshire Career Center, Alicia Zoeller, Holyoke Community Development

Pamela welcomed special guests Representative Aaron Vegan, Rose Evans, DHCD Associate Director of Division of Housing Stabilization and Abigail Williams of Harvard Catalyst.

General update from Rose Evans, DHCD Associate Director of Division of Housing Stabilization:

Rose noted FY2014 highlights: 1,000 new households with MRVP subsidies; expansion of state investment in Secure Jobs statewide by $1.5 million; funding for 3,000 units of Permanent Supportive Housing through Housing Stabilization Trust Fund; increase of Household Assistance from $4K to $6K (continuing initiative into FY 2015). The Commonwealth reached a milestone of producing over 20,000 units since 2007.

Regarding shelter capacity: The Commonwealth expanded capacity in FY14, ending the year with an increase of over 700 beds. This effort continues into FY15 as the demand for shelter increases. Shelter capacity will increase by an additional 800 beds in FY15 with 200-300 in Western Mass.

The shelter system has not been “resized” since 2009. An increase in shelter beds is the most appropriate course in view of the continued demand and the desire to decrease reliance on motels and provide more comprehensive services to families.

The FY15 budget includes an increase in Household Assistance upon exiting shelter from $6K to $8K. This has enhanced families’ capacity to become rehoused.

Rose noted the New Lease program. Tom Pilchik, the director, shared that thus far it has moved 65 families out of shelter into apartments. Very exciting initiative.

Rose also noted that DHCD has started case management services at selected hotels (where there are high numbers of families or in remote locations).   DHCD also hired for a new staff position, Felisha Bennett, to oversee operations and to supervise 3 transitional specialists (Juanita Diaz In the Western Mass office).

Rose also noted the FY15 change in MRVP language so that MRVPs are now blind to EA eligibility. Families living in motels and shelter will not have a priority. DHCD is moving to a statewide wait list for MRVPs. This will take time to implement but the process is underway. Meanwhile, housing authorities have released frozen MRVPs and regional housing authorities have been issued new MRVP’s.

Rose provided a breakdown of the 450 families currently living in motels in Western Mass:
242 from Hampshire, Hampden and Franklin Counties
10 Greenfield
39 Holyoke
133 Springfield
22 Chicopee
Other 50% not from W. Mass. DHCD is working very hard to relocate families back to their communities of origin but they have faced the additional challenge of several “extended stay” hotels in Boston area discontinuing business with the Commonwealth. This has resulted in the loss of 233 shelter beds.

Gerry McCafferty posed the question of whether DHCD is considering use of a screening tool (similar to VI-SPDAT that is being implemented for homeless individuals) to prioritize housing resources?

Rose offered that DHCD can get to certain indicators through HUD assessments; can “drill down” based on certain critiera. She will look into that. Continue reading