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Homeless Prevention

Homelessness Prevention Eligibility: 

It is often challenging to identify persons who are housed but have a very high risk of becoming homeless.  There are many people who are housed and have great need but would not become homeless if they did not receive assistance.  HCRP Prevention assistance funds are to be targeted to those individuals and families at risk of becoming homeless under Categories 1, 2 and 3. Also served through these funds are individuals and families defined in the homeless definition under Categories 2 and 4. The defining question as to whether or not a household qualifies for HCRP Prevention assistance is, “Would this individual or family be homeless but for this assistance?”  The answer must be “yes” and supporting evidence must be documented in the client file. Priority is given to people who are precariously housed and literally homeless in 14 days.

In order to receive homeless prevention financial assistance or services funded by HCRP, all program participants must meet the following minimum criteria: 

Homeless Prevention

Goal:

Prevent moving into shelter/uninhabitable place and to regain stability.

 

Participant must be “at risk of homelessness” under Category 1 , 2 or 3

 

Income below 30% AMI

 

Insufficient financial resources or support networks to prevent homelessness.

 

No appropriate subsequent housing options have been identified.

 

The household lacks the financial resources and support networks needed to obtain immediate housing or remain in its existing housing. 




Following Housing First Practices organizations will:

· Screen people applying for assistance to identify people who will become literally homeless “but for” homelessness prevention assistance (ie. Are losing their housing and have no other resources or housing options)

· Prioritizes people applying for homelessness prevention assistance who have greater urgency (closer to becoming literally homeless) and/or more severe service needs (eg. People with little or no income and/or with active mental health and substance abuse issues) to prioritize applicants when resources are limited. This includes people who are diverted from emergency shelter, but who have a safe and appropriate place to stay while they receive homelessness prevention assistance.

· Provides access to homelessness prevention assistance without preconditions, such as sobriety or minimum income level

· Participants and staff understand that a primary goal of homelessness prevention is to prevent literal homelessness as quickly as possible, regardless of other personal issues or concerns

· Participant assessment focuses on barriers to obtaining and/or maintaining (eg. Past rental/criminal/credit history, current income, legal issues etc)

· Participants are assisted with creating and updating individualized Housing Plans, designed to prevent literal homelessness and stabilize participants as quickly as possible

· Participants are provided or connected to assistance to locate and obtain permanent housing, financial assistance for move-in and/or stabilization costs, and housing case management in order to achieve their Housing Plan goals. Assistance is provided without additional preconditions, such as employment or sobriety, and with the understanding that housing may cost greater than 30% of the participant’s income and be precarious

· Staff helping participants are aware of and know how to access a wide array of housing options (public/private, subsidized/unsubsidized, all local permanent supportive housing, etc.) to help participants achieve their Housing Plan goals

· Staff are aware of and know how to access other community resources (eg. Legal services) that can help participants achieve their housing retention and stabilization goals

· Participation in services unrelated to housing retention is voluntary

Individuals and families that fall under the homeless definition can be served through prevention funds under the following categories:

 

Category 2

Imminent Risk of Homelessness

Individuals and families:

·         Annual income below 30%

·         AND

·         Who will imminently lose their primary nighttime residence provided that:

1.     Residence will be lost within 14 days

2.    No subsequent residence has been identified

3.    Lack sufficient resources or support networks to prevent literal homelessness;

 

Category 4

Fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence

Any individual or family who:

·         Is fleeing or is attempting to  flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking or other danger or life-threatening conditions that have either taken place within the primary nighttime residence or has made them afraid to return to that residence or has made them afraid to return to that residence;

·         Has no other residence; and

·         Lacks the resources or support networks (e.g., family, friends, and faith-based or other social networks) to obtain other permanent housing.

 

·         The household must be below 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI).  Please refer to the appropriate year’s Area Median Income limits.  Income limits are updated annually and new limits should be utilized when released.  Income limits are available on HUD’s website at http://www.huduser.org/DATASETS/il.html.  Income eligibility must be documented in the client file. 

At Risk of Homelessness:

Individuals and families defined as At Risk of Homelessness under the following categories are eligible for assistance: 

Individuals and families that fall under the homeless definition can be served through prevention funds under the following categories:

 

Category 2

Imminent Risk of Homelessness

Individuals and families:

·         Annual income below 30%

·         AND

·         Who will imminently lose their primary nighttime residence provided that:

1.       Residence will be lost within 14 days

2.      No subsequent residence has been identified

3.      Lack sufficient resources or support networks to prevent literal homelessness;

 

Category 4

Fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence

Any individual or family who:

·         Is fleeing or is attempting to  flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking or other danger or life-threatening conditions that have either taken place within the primary nighttime residence or has made them afraid to return to that residence or has made them afraid to return to that residence;

·         Has no other residence; and

·         Lacks the resources or support networks (e.g., family, friends, and faith-based or other social networks) to obtain other permanent housing.

 

·         The household must be below 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI).  Please refer to the appropriate year’s Area Median Income limits.  Income limits are updated annually and new limits should be utilized when released.  Income limits are available on HUD’s website at http://www.huduser.org/DATASETS/il.html.  Income eligibility must be documented in the client file.

·         Case Management Services must be provided on a monthly basis, unless prohibited by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) or Family Violence and Prevention Services Act (FVPSA), and provide housing stability planning to assist participant to retain permanent housing post-ESG assistance.  The limits are that the assistance cannot exceed 30 days during the period the participant is seeking permanent housing and 24 months during the period the participant is living in permanent housing.

 

Category 1

Individuals and Families

Individuals and families:

·         Annual income below 30%

·         Lack sufficient resources or support networks to prevent literal homelessness; AND

·         Meet at least one of the following seven conditions:

1.    Moved two or more times due to economic reasons in 60 days prior to application

2.    Living in another’s home due to economic hardship

3.    Losing housing within 21 days of application

4.    Living in hotel/motel NOT paid by charitable or government program

5.    Living in severely overcrowded unit (more than 2 people in SRO/efficiency or in larger housing more than 1.5 persons per room)

6.    Exiting publicly funded institution or system of care

7.    Lives in housing associated with instability and increased risk of homelessness, per recipient Consolidated Plan.

 

Category 2

Unaccompanied Children and Youth

Unaccompanied children and youth:

·         Does not include children/youth who qualify under the homeless definition

·         Does not include parents or guardians

·         Regulations included the list of applicable other federal statues

Category 3

Families with Children and Youth

Families with children and youth:

·         Children /youth who qualify under the Education for Children and Youth program (§725(2) McKinney-Vento Act) and the parents or guardians that child/youth if living with him/her.

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