Opening Doors, the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, provides a national framework for improving our response to homelessness. The plan emphasizes both prevention and rapid exit from homelessness into stable housing. Some communities are characterizing the optimal system as one that makes homelessness, when it happens, rare, brief, and a one-time occurrence.
Two specific best practices that have emerged in furtherance of the plan are housing strategies for specific populations:
- Permanent supportive housing for households that are chronically homeless or very vulnerable; and
- Rapid rehousing for homeless families with children.
The Hampden County CoC has embraced these best practices, and has been engaged for a number of years in shifting our resources away from less proven models to these successful strategies. We have taken another step forward today, as we have just submitted our application for almost $3 million in FY2014 funds for local agencies addressing homelessness.
The funding we have applied for will support local agencies in providing permanent supportive housing for 216 chronically homeless households, 8 units of transitional housing for homeless youth, and 17 units of rapid rehousing for families. The charts above illustrate how our funding requests have changed over the last three applications to put greater emphasis on permannent supportive housing and rapid rehousing. The increases in blue and red over years show the way our funding mix is shifting to what is proven to work.
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:
- HMIS, $29,732
- HMIS Expansion, $32,360
- HAP Rapid Rehousing, $32,577
- HAP Rapid Rehousing 2, $106,324
- HAP Turning Point PSH, $57,270
- VOC Family Scattered Site, $133,047
- WHA Domus Reed House, $36,960
- FOH Worthington House Campus, $22,679
- MHA S+C 48, $465,470
- MLKFS Project Permanence, $142,431
- RVCC HIV/AIDS Residential Support, $173,656
- MHA Leahy House, $97,847
- RVCC S+C 7, $68,399
- Gandara SHINE, $189,235
- HRU Next Step, $281,784
- Open Pantry Tranquility House, $38,854
- SMOC Bowdoin Street, $21,594
- HRU New PSH, $105,163
- MHA Safe Havens, $98,536
- MHA Annie’s House, $223,317
- Catholic Charities Rapid Rehousing, $48,107
- 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.
More than one potential applicant has asked how much money is available in this regular (not bonus) CoC competition round. The most accurate answer is that, since this is a fully open competition, applicants can compete for any amount up to the full amount of our grant ($2,504,506).
But what many applicants want to know is how much is available if every existing renewal program that seeks funding is renewed with full budgets. This question usually cannot be answered at the beginning of the competition, because each program is assessing whether to apply and how much to apply for.
The information is now clearer for the Hampden County CoC. Two transitional housing projects have decided not to seek renewal funding, and one rental assistance project is seeking less than its full allowed renewal budget. As a result of these changes, the CoC knows that there is a minimum of $205,314 available for new projects. As a reminder, the eligible categories for new projects are:
- permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals or families; and
- rapid rehousing for homeless families who are in emergency shelter or unsheltered.
Applications are due October 14, 2014, at 4:30 p.m. See the Hampden County FY2014 CoC Funding Competition page for more information.
More Q & As have been added to this resource, including materials from the Oct. 3 bidders’ conference and anawers to questions submitted in writing.
Potential applicants should visit the revised Q & As. As a reminder, the Hampden County CoC FY2014 compeition page is regularly adding new resources for the compeitition.