Shelter Plus Care: Focus on the Basics . Annual Technical Assistance Workshop for the SPC Project Sponsors of Harris County October 15, 2008. Terminology. 24CFR582 – SPC Program regulation citation Grantee - Harris County Participant = Tenant = Client Project Sponsors/Sponsor Agencies
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Shelter Plus Care:Focus on the Basics Annual Technical Assistance Workshop for the SPC Project Sponsors of Harris County October 15, 2008
Terminology • 24CFR582 – SPC Program regulation citation • Grantee - Harris County • Participant = Tenant = Client • Project Sponsors/Sponsor Agencies • AIDS Foundation Houston (AFH) • HOPWA Housing Corporation (HOPWA) • Mental Health Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County (MHMRA) • Service of the Emergency Aid Resource Center for the Homeless (SEARCH) • Veterans Affairs (VA) • Volunteers of America (VOA)
SPC Program Purpose 24CFR582.1 To provide permanent housing in connection with supportive services to hard-to-serve homeless persons with disabilities and their families. Primary target populations are serious mental illness, chronic problems with alcohol and/or drugs, HIV/AIDS. Refer to HUD website at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/homeless/programs/splusc/index.cfm
Program Components 24CFR582.100 • Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TRA) • All scattered site projects • Sponsor-Based Rental Assistance (SRA) • AFH’s My Home, both VOA projects • Project-Based Rental Assistance (with or without rehab) (PRA) • AFH’s WAM • HOPWA’s Northline SRO • SRO-Based Rental Assistance (none)
Eligible Participants 24CFR582.1 • A person must be both homeless and disabled • In the case of a homeless household, at least one adult member must meet the program’s definition of disabled
HUD’s Definition of Homeless • On the street or in an emergency shelter • Transitional housing for homeless persons who came from the street or emergency shelter • In one of the above places, but is spending up to 30 consecutive days in a hospital or other institution • The CSD Homeless Checklist with supporting documentation attached must be placed in each participant file
Chronic Homeless • Unaccompanied homeless individual • Disabling condition • Continuously homeless for a year or more OR at least four (4) episodes of homelessness in the past three (3) years • Must have been sleeping in a place not meant for human habitation (e.g., living on the streets) and/or in an emergency homeless shelter during that time • CSD’s Homeless Checklist with supporting documentation attached must be placed in each participant file
Examples of Inadequate Homelessness Documentation • Letter from referral source states: “Client has completed treatment and is ready for permanent housing.” • Letter from shelter states: “This letter is not to verify homelessness.” • Too much time between the date that the client was documented as being homeless and the lease start date. • Stayed in shelter on 9/15/08 • Lease start date 10/1/08
What’s wrong with this scenario? • Supporting homelessness documentation letter states: Ms. Smith was admitted to residential treatment on 1/2/08. Client was homeless at the time of admission to the residential treatment and is homeless at the time of discharge with no safe housing to return to that is healthy and supportive of recovery efforts and family reunification. She is financially indigent and will be living on the street or in a shelter if not able to obtain housing.
What’s wrong with this scenario? • The Homeless Status Checklist indicates Mr. Vines was residing in a transitional housing facility before entering the SPC program. The supporting homeless documentation denotes that the caseworker visually saw Mr. Vines residing in his car. He completed his transitional stay in 60 days.
What’s wrong with this scenario? • The Homeless Status Checklist indicates Mr. Anderson was living on the streets. The SEARCH mobile outreach team provided documentation that Mr. Anderson was living under the bridge at I45/Pierce. The physician’s note states that Mr. Anderson is looking forward to getting permanent housing so he can stop staying at his parents’ house.
Disability • Persons with disabilities - those who have a disability that • Is expected to be of long-continued and indefinite duration; • Substantially impedes his or her ability to live independently; and • Is of such a nature that the disability could be improved by more suitable housing conditions
Documentation of Disability • That the impairment is of a long-continued and indefinite duration AND it substantially impedes the person’s ability to live independently. • Written documentation must come from a credentialed professional trained to make such a determination. • Self-certification is unacceptable. • “CSD’s Disability Verification” form must be signed and placed in each participant file.
What’s wrong with this scenario? • Mr. Frazier entered the SPC program on 6/4/07. His disability verification came from a third party licensed social worker who provided source documentation verifying that he was a resident in their drug treatment program from 9/12/06 through 1/30/07.
What’s wrong with this scenario? • Mr. Garcia has been diagnosed with HIV. His source documentation was submitted by his physician indicating Mr. Garcia’s condition is long term and could be improved if he had a more suitable housing condition.
What’s wrong with this scenario? • Ms. Beautiful was referred to the SPC program by a local shelter. The shelter provided a copy of Ms. Beautiful’s Social Security Income Letter to prove she is disabled. The shelter also provided a letter signed by her physician that Ms. Beautiful has a diagnosis of Major Depression.
Eligible Activities 24CFR582.105 • There are two activities eligible under SPC • Rental assistance for program participants • Eligible administrative costs associated with administering the rental assistance (not the costs of administering supportive services or preparing the application, reports or audits) Refer to HUD’s Homeless Resource Exchange website: http://hudhre.info/index.cfm?do=viewSpcResourceManSec2-1
Rental Assistance 24CFR582.105 • Includes rent and a utility allowance (if it is not an “all bills paid” unit) • When necessary, includes a security deposit in an amount up to one month’s rent (to be discussed this afternoon) • Funds can be used for one month’s rent for housing units vacated by a program participant • “Vacated” excludes brief periods of inpatient care (limited to 90 days)
Administrative Costs 582.105(e)(2) Up to 8% of grant amount left over after Rental Assistance has been covered can may be used for: • Receiving participants into the program • Providing housing information and search assistance • Determining participant income and rent contributions • Processing rental payments to landlords and utility companies • Inspecting units for compliance with HQS (Grantee)
Leasing Requirements • Fair Market Rents • Rent Reasonableness • Utility Allowances • Housing Quality Standards • Lead-Based Paint Requirements • Occupancy Agreements • Termination of Assistance • Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity • Resident Rent Calculations
Fair Market Rents • The gross rent (amount of contract rent on the lease plus the amount of utility allowance) cannot exceed the Fair Market Rent for the unit. • FY2009 FMR’s effective October 1, 2008 for Harris County are: • SRO $481 • 1BR $642 • 2BR $714 • 3BR $1154 • 4BR $1451
Rent Reasonableness 24 CFR 582.305 The amount of rent charged must be certified as reasonable • in relation to rents being charged for comparable unassisted units with similar features and amenities • and not more that rents currently being charged by the same owner for comparable unassisted units Submit a Rent Reasonableness Request form for CSD approval before a new participant moves into the unit or before renewal lease begins. If tenant pays utilities, also send the Utility Allowance worksheet.
Utility Allowance Worksheet • When utilities are not included in the rent paid to the landlord, the SPC participant is given a utility allowance to be deducted from their resident rent portion. • Complete the Utility Allowance Form issued by either the Harris County Housing Authority (or the City of Houston Housing Authority if the unit is in the City of Houston.) • Remember there are different forms/amounts based on single family, mobile home, up to 4 units, and 5 or more unit complexes. • The worksheet must be submitted along with the Rent Reasonableness Request form.
NEW • Once the unit contract rent amount has been certified as reasonable, the Rent Reasonableness Request form is effective for the participant’s stay in the unit. If the participant moves or the rent amount increases, a new Rent Reasonableness Request form is required. • If an “all bills paid unit” will change to requiring the tenant to pay the utilities, a new Rent Reasonableness Request form must be submitted before the change. • Tip: obtain a copy of the “Renewal Letter” which is usually mailed out 35 days before the end of a lease.
What’s wrong with this scenario? • On 9/12/08, a Rent Reasonableness Request for Mr. Smith was submitted indicating that the contract rent would be $450.00. CSD certified this amount as reasonable on 9/13/08. The lease submitted with the October 2008 reports had $460.00 as the contract rent amount for the time period 10/1/08 through 9/30/09.
What’s wrong with this scenario? • Rent Reasonable Request
Housing Quality Standards 24CFR582.305 • HQS sets acceptable conditions for interior living space, building exterior, heating and plumbing systems and general health and safety • Before any rental assistance may be provided the grantee, or other qualified entity, must physically inspect and pass each SPC unit
Housing Quality Standards 24CFR582.305(a) • Problems must be corrected within 30 days from start of the lease • Grantee must verify problems have been corrected • Grantee must conduct annual physical inspections of all units
What’s wrong with this scenario? • An HQS was requested and passed on 6/16/07 for Ms. Hayes. In preparing the reports for July 2008 rents, Sponsor Agency staff notice that the annual inspection is past due. Ms. Hayes continues to live in the same apartment complex, so a new HQS request is submitted and the unit passed on 6/20/08.
Lead-Based Paint Requirements • Regulations at 24 CFR Part 35 • Applicability • Required activities • Training requirements • Place a copy of the Disclosure Form signed by the participant in the file. • For more information (regulations, disclosure forms, training opportunities, guides): • HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control homepage: www.hud.gov/offices/lead • EPA Clearinghouse: (800) 424-LEAD
Occupancy Agreements • Updated version now requires information on the names of the other persons living in the unit, their relationship to the participant, date of birth and gender. • Remember, the information on the Occupancy Agreement must match the information on the Lease, Rent Calculation Worksheet, Persons Served Worksheet and Household Characteristics Reports
What’s wrong with this scenario? • Occupancy Agreement lists 2 persons living with the participant: a 17 year old spouse and a 1 year old son • Rent Calculation Worksheet shows an allowance for 2 dependents
What’s wrong with this scenario? • An occupancy agreement dated 5/1/08 for Ms. Ritalin and two (2) dependents was submitted. As of today, 10/15/08, the participant has married and has one (1) additional dependent. The annual certification is not due until 5/1/09, however the original occupancy agreement is still on file.
Termination of Assistance • Rental assistance may be terminated if a participant violates conditions of occupancy • Regulations recommend that participants be terminated only for the most serious rule violations • If termination is necessary, the Project Sponsor must follow a formal process that recognizes the participant’s rights to the due process of law • May resume assistance to persons whose assistance was previously terminated
Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity • Federally funded projects cannot discriminate in the renting, selling, and advertising of dwelling units on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin, or on the basis of the renter or buyer being disabled. • Even though the SPC regulations permit housing providers to establish a target population, HUD’s position is that no homeless person with a disability can be denied admission to a SPC funded project just because he/she does not have that targeted disability. • Refer to Corporation for Supportive Housing, “Between the Lines”, Chapter Four: Serving Designated Populations, http://www.csh.org/html/btlnat1-6.pdf
Resident Rent Calculations24 CFR 582.310 Each resident of SPC must pay the highest of: • 30 percent of monthly adjusted income • 10 percent of monthly gross income • portion of the family’s welfare assistance designated for payment of rent
Calculating Tenant Rents • Requirements for calculating tenant rent payments are detailed in CPD Notice 96-03 • Shows how to calculate rental payments using a worksheet • Specifies items that must be included and excluded in determining annual income • Specifies allowable adjustments to income • Discusses general rent topics Note: If the utility allowance for tenant-paid utilities is more than the resident rent payment, the Project Sponsor can pay the difference to the utility company and request SPC reimbursement. • Use the rent calculation worksheet on CD or online at www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/homeless/programs/shp/rent.xls Use CSD’s form
Annual Income vs. Adjusted Income • Annual Income - The gross amount of income anticipated to be received by a household during the coming year • Adjusted Income – A household’s annual income less specified deductions based upon family circumstances
Income source documentation • Unacceptable calculations • Using only one paycheck stub • Using amount of food stamps in calculation • Not including income from assets (401k, life insurance policy, etc.) • Not reporting total household income • People/dependents listed on the Occupancy Agreement, Persons Served Worksheet, and HCR must match • Use the “Non-Income Affidavit” form when the participant has no income nor assets. • Use the “Non-Income Affidavit Statement of Sole Support” if other adults in the household have no income.
What’s wrong with this scenario? • The participant receives a pension in the amount of $900.00 and provides this source documentation on 2/3/06. It is now Feb. 2008 and it is the second annual period of the recertification; the participant’s income has not changed, and the letter from 2/3/06 is used for verification.
Small Group Rent Calculation Scenarios
Pre-approval for new SPC Participants - NEW • Effective immediately, Project Sponsors must submit an Individual Eligibility Form with supporting documentation for all participants entering the SPC program.
Annual Certification - NEW • Annual Certification is the day that a new lease, a new Resident Rent Calculation Worksheet with supporting income source documentation, and a new Occupancy Agreement are completed. • “New lease” applies to a participant moving to a new unit, renewing a lease, or when the lease changes due to an increase in rent or change in the utilities paid by the landlord/tenant. • In order for a participant to move, Sponsor Agency has to approve the move, and the move must be justified (unit burned in fire, HQS failed multiple times) – no hopping around.
CSD Programmatic Reports • Monthly Reports: • Project Status Report • SPC Household Characteristics Summary • SPC Household Characteristics Report • Quarterly Persons Served Worksheet
CSD Financial Reports • Presented by CSD Finance Staff
Annual Progress Reports • Use the Persons Served Worksheet and the APR from the previous reporting period • Use the CSD APR Checklist • Submit electronic copies of the CSD APR Checklist and APR to Project Monitor; signatures will be obtained after CSD’s review is completed • APR is due to CSD no later than 30 days after the end of the operating year.
Mistakes when completing APR • Inconsistencies between related APR questions • Wording in the objectives differs from previous year’s objectives • Project not at capacity on the last day of the operating year, but no explanation is given on the last page • Numbers of adults/children on the Person Served Worksheet does not match the number of persons reported in APR (such as in item 2. first day, entered, left, last day)
Participant Eligibility Housing Project Progress Match Documentation Overall Management Systems Monitoring Areas
Purpose of Annual Monitoring • To determine compliance with HUD regulations, circulars and statutes • To determine whether activities are implemented as described in the application and APR • To verify that all required documentation is in the file • To determine if all income was used to calculate resident rent