During our General Membership meeting yesterday, Kate Speltz did an amazing job walking our members through the Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) proposed changes to the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act as it relates to the Interim Continuum of Care (CoC) rule. If you think this topic sounds esoteric, than you’re right. This stuff is really complicated, but it’s also THE legislation that regulates significant funding for homeless prevention, housing, and services federally and at the state level through competitive grants. The National Alliance to End Homelessness has done an admirable job summarizing the proposed changes and Kate pulled out the parts of the CoC rule which services providers and organizations who serve the homeless would be most impacted by.
The proposed CoC rule will go into effect on August 30th and individuals and organizations are encouraged to submit comments to HUD before October 1, 2012. Kate is interested in receiving comments from providers and organizations which will help to inform the Seattle-King County response to the proposal, however she encourages all concerned individuals to comment directly to HUD. Here are two areas in the proposal that Kate thinks service providers and homeless and housing advocates might like to comment on:
- McKinney Vento allowable funding. The current proposal specifically identifies which services can be paid for with McKinney funding. You are encouraged to review that list for services that you believe are important. Interpretation services, for example, are not currently included in the list. We know that many housing and homeless service organizations rely heavily on interpretive services when assessing, screening and serving homeless individuals.
- This proposal also requires states to setup and use a centralized or coordinated assessment system for all people entering the homeless assistance system by the end of 2014. It isn’t completely clear what it means to coordinate assessment, but the deadline is set. You might want to comment on the approach and/or the time frame.
If you want to send your comments to King County email them to: DCHS@kingcounty.gov
Send comments directly to HUD through the Federal Regulations website.