HUD TA Resource – Landlord Engagement

Private market landlords, property managers, owners, and public housing authorities are responding to the same conditions impacting housing crisis response systems nationwide. As everyone faces new or changing conditions and uncertain futures, Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) recipients in partnership with Continuums of Care (CoCs) should prioritize working with landlords and property owners to house people experiencing homelessness. A proactive, affirmative landlord engagement system is one of the most efficient means of increasing the supply of available rental units in your community.
The Landlord Engagement: Reset your community’s critical partnerships document details how to start a landlord engagement system, keys to a dedicated organization(s) which can manage the system, and communication, recruitment, and retention planning and action steps.
ESG and CoC providers should also work within their organizations to improve landlord engagement in the time of COVID-19. This document highlights tips for building and sustaining relationships with landlords, and includes actions and examples for how to incentivize landlord participation in housing programs, perform contactless lease ups, and provide consistent services.
These documents should be utilized by providers and community leaders to build top down consistency across housing programs and their interactions with landlords. They include numerous links to existing tools and examples from other communities to improve and invest in landlord engagement. For more landlord engagement resources, including a spotlight on Miami-Dade County, please view this page.

Wolf Administration: More Than $5 Million (ESG FY20) in Funding for Homelessness Assistance, Promoting Affordable Housing

Harrisburg, PA — Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin announced more than $5 million in funding is available for assisting homeless families in finding housing and combatting homelessness across the commonwealth. The funding is provided through the federal Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program.
“The Wolf Administration is committed to combatting homelessness and providing reliable, safe, and affordable housing options to residents across Pennsylvania, and the ESG funding plays a major role in this effort,” said Sec. Davin. “This funding provides critical and necessary resources and assistance to communities striving to find resolution for homeless residents and support homelessness prevention programs.”
The 2020 ESG funding eligibility falls into six categories: rapid rehousing, homelessness prevention, street outreach, emergency shelter, homeless management information systems (HMIS), and administration. Rapid rehousing helps individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness, fleeing violence, or living in a home not suitable for human habitation to swiftly move to stable housing. Homelessness prevention resources help families or individuals who are currently housed but may be in jeopardy of losing their homes with rental assistance and case management resources. Street outreach connects unsheltered homeless individuals with emergency shelter and/or health services. Emergency shelter funding supports costs associated with essential services, operating expenses, and renovations necessary to provide emergency shelter.
It is authorized by McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act as amended by the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009.
Priority for funding is given to applicants representing areas of the commonwealth that do not already receive a direct allocation of Emergency Solutions Grant funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
A total of $5,480,359 in ESG funding was approved for the following counties:
Allegheny County – $176,375
Armstrong County – $191,938
Beaver County – $31,125
Blair County – $282,589
Bucks County – $114,125
Butler County – $60,383
CAP of Cambria* – $166,000
Carbon County – $55,000
Center for Community Action* – $153,550
Central Susquehanna Opportunity* – $321,781
Clinton County* – $302,950
Cumberland County – $128,650
Dauphin County – $103,750
Franklin County – $176,375
Indiana County – $105,618
Lawrence County* – $1,720,417
Lehigh County* – $207,500
McKean County – $180,525
Mercer County – $150,438
Monroe County* – $295,688
Montgomery County – $119,313
Schuylkill County – $268,713
Union-Snyder Community Action Agency* – $66,400
Wayne County – $101,156
Asterisks note a regional grant.
CAP of Cambria will distribute funding to Blair and Cambria counties.
Center for Community Action will distribute funding to Bedford, Fulton, Huntington, Mifflin, and Juniata counties.
Central Susquehanna Opportunities will distribute funding to Columbia, Montour, and Northumberland counties.
Clinton County will distribute funding to Bradford, Clinton and Lycoming counties.
Lawrence County will distribute funding to a 20-county area, including Armstrong, Beaver, Blair, Butler, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clarion, Crawford, Delaware, Elk, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Venango, and Warren counties.
Lehigh County will distribute funding to Lehigh and Northampton counties.
Monroe County will distribute funding to Monroe and Pike counties.
Union-Snyder CAA will distribute funding to Union and Snyder counties.
For more information about the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
MEDIA CONTACT:
Casey Smith, DCED, casesmith@pa.gov

Emergency Solutions Grant – CARES Act (ESG-CV)

The Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED), has received notice of the award of the first allocation of Emergency Solutions Grant program funds appropriated under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) – ESG-CV funds. DCED will administer an appropriation of $19,920,655 based on the HUD federal fiscal year 2020 formula distribution.

DCED’s priority for the use of these ESG funds will be to assist homeless providers and communities prepare for, prevent the spread of and respond to the coronavirus among individuals and families who are homeless or receiving homeless assistance and to support additional homeless assistance and homelessness prevention activities to mitigate the impacts created by coronavirus. DCED will award ESG CARES funding to support applicants who will work to end or prevent homelessness quickly and as efficiently as possible for all vulnerable populations.

The Emergency Solutions Grant – CARES (ESG-CV) Application and Guidelines are available for review at https://dced.pa.gov/programs/emergency-solutions-grant-cares-act-esg-cv/.

Important Dates and Deadlines:

Electronic Single Application (ESA) – opens today, April 23, 2020, and will close at 4:00pm on Monday, June 1, 2020. No application submitted after this time will be considered for funding. Competitive applications for funding will only be accepted through the DCED Electronic Single Application. All required addenda must be submitted with the application through ESA.

Please contact Stacy Hawthorne at shawthorne@pa.gov if you need assistance.

HMIS Upgrade Updates

Dear HMIS and CoC Partners,

I know so many of you are and have been working diligently over the last several weeks in direct response to urgent and emerging needs in our homeless communities surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic and your local response. Thank you for all you are doing in the field – I pray that you remain healthy and safe while you are actively working to serve our most vulnerable in PA.

I want to provide you with a short update on where DCED and our partners at Eccovia/ClientTrack are in the upgrade and transition to the new HMIS-ClientTrack.19 to meet HUD’s required coordinated entry data standards. As many of you are likely aware, as a result of the current situation, HUD has extended the deadline for the CES transition from April 1, 2020 to October 1, 2020. While this offered a small amount of breathing room in our upgrade, it has not slowed the activity we are undertaking with Eccovia, because we know how critical some of these upgrades will be to your continued success in utilizing the system locally and becoming confident with the new screens and tools available.

At this time, the tentative plan is to upgrade ClientTrack on or about May 1, 2020. We will be working with our team and CES managers to finalize the HMIS Security Protocols, participate in administrator training at the DCED level and begin a “Train the Trainer” series that will end with direct service providers who use ClientTrack to receive training before the launch.

We are coordinating with Eccovia to provide training dates in mid-late April. Please know that we are mindful of the fluid situation that many of our users are experiencing in the field and we will do our best to be sensitive to that during the training period.

During this extended implementation time-period we have also extended the ability of our ESG subgrantees to submit invoices in HMIS. We will provide notification to subgrantees when the processing of ESG invoices in HMIS will need to be suspended as a result of the upgrade.

Our team is reviewing these timetables weekly and will be sure to keep you informed as we move forward.

Thank you again for your amazing support and for all that you are doing in our communities every day.

All my best to you for continued health and safety.

Kathy Possinger

Eastern PA CoC’s Statement Related to Operating Procedures and COVID-19

The Eastern PA CoC’s Governing Board conducted a teleconference meeting yesterday and are providing the below guidance and resources.

1) No face-to-face CoC-related meetings should occur before May 1st.  Any official meetings of the CoC must be conducted via teleconference or video conference.

2) The CoC’s next General Membership is scheduled to occur April 20th.  This meeting will be conducted as a virtual online meeting with an abbreviated agenda, which will include an opportunity for attendees to converse with one another about their community/ program response to the Coronavirus.

3) In order to share information about resources and current practices, facilitate conversation, etc., a new COVID-19 Workplace page has been established.  Please direct your COVID-19 questions and ideas to this page.  We will be sharing ideas that we have heard from the PA Balance of State CoCs, emergency responses being implemented by CoCs from around the country, new resources made available by HUD and other funders, etc.

  • If you already have a Workplace account and would like to join the COVID-19 Response group, please click this link https://fb.me/g/13n6F2KzE/NEwJHMZC
  • If you do not already have a Workplace account and would like to join the CoC’s online community to receive critical news related to the CoC and COVID-19, please send an email to Brendan Auman at breauman@pa.gov that indicates our name, email, and county that you work in to be added.

We know this is a stressful time for everyone and hope that the new Workplace page provides us with an opportunity to support each other as we learn to navigate through our new reality.  Please join the conversation and stay safe.

Eastern PA CoC Governance Charter Updates Open for Comment through April 6, 2020 at 5pm

HUD’s CoC Interim Rule, under section § 578.7 Responsibilities of the Continuum of Care, requires the CoC to annually update the CoC’s Governance Charter.

The Governance Committee has reviewed and updated the Charter and is publishing the draft version to the CoC for review and comment. You can view the proposed draft charter here.

Please review the document and send any comments, questions, or concerns to the CoC’s email address at easterncoc@pennsylvaniacoc.org by April 6, 2020 at 5 p.m.

The final vote to approve the Charter will take place at our next General Membership meeting which is currently scheduled to take place on April 20, 2020. Please note that the CoC’s Governing Board will be meeting on March 19th to determine if this meeting will be postponed or only occur via teleconference. More information will be provided as details are finalized

Infectious Disease Preparedness for Homeless Assistance Providers Webinar Update: Materials Posted and Upcoming Office Hours

HUD’s Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) apologizes for the technical difficulties and cancellation of the Infectious Disease Preparedness for Homeless Assistance Providers and Their Partners webinar scheduled for March 10, 2020. Due to the high volume of interest, the 75-minute presentation has been recorded and can be accessed on the HUD Exchange training page.

There will be a live question and answer session with presenters in the very near future. Please review the webinar content before this question and answer session and pay attention to this listserv for additional information.

Additional Resources

  • Visit the Infectious Disease Prevention & Response page to access technical assistance materials from HUD as well as guidance issued from HUD’s federal partners dedicated to preparing for and responding to infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
  • HUD is also available to provide technical assistance to our homeless assistance providers who need support in preventing or responding to the spread of infectious disease. Submit your questions to the Ask A Question (AAQ) portal. In Step 2 of the question submission process, select “CoC: Continuum of Care Program” from the “My question is related to” drop down list and write “Health Preparedness and Response” in the subject line.

Join Us for the Western CoC Youth Count 2020!

One by One, the Western PA Continuum of Care (CoC) works to prevent and end homelessness.

Join the Western PA CoC in our first Youth Count from April 22-24. The Youth Count is a community-wide effort to better identify youth aged 16-24 experiencing homelessness or unstable housing within our 20-county region and advocate for more resources.

You can help by raising awareness or volunteering to join a street team that will be composed of volunteers and youth guides. Teams will approach young people in the community at assigned “hotspot” locations and encourage youth to complete a brief electronic survey about their housing situation.

If you are participating in the Youth Count, or would like to, please join us for a webinar on Wednesday, March 25th from 10am-12pm. The webinar will provide participants with an overview of the Youth Count, an introduction to the survey tool and techniques on how to engage with young people experiencing homelessness.

Click here to register for the webinar.

2020 Emergency Solutions Grant

The 2020 Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Application and Guidelines are available for review at https://dced.pa.gov/programs/emergency-solutions-grant-esg/.

Important Dates and Deadlines:

2020 Pre-Application Webinar – February 27, 2020 at 10:00am. This webinar will cover the basics of the grant, new changes to the application process, and information on the new Keystone Logon process. You can register for the webinar here.

Electronic Single Application (ESA) – opens today, FEBRUARY 18, 2020, and will close at 5:00pm Friday MARCH 27, 2020.  No application submitted after this time will be considered for funding.

Please contact Stacy Hawthorne at shawthorne@pa.gov if you need assistance.

Western PA CoC Youth System Mapping Events

Are you a community partner interested in helping to prevent and end youth homelessness in Western PA? Then come share your expertise with One by One Youth Committee and Advocates4Change Youth Action Board and the National Network for Youth in an exciting effort to map out systems that serve youth experiencing homelessness in our region.

Your expertise is vital to helping us better understand our region’s strengths and challenges and identify solutions to more effectively serve youth experiencing homelessness in our community.

WHAT YOU’LL BE DOING:
This System Mapping Project aims to bring together stakeholders and community partners involved in systems that work with youth (those up to 25 years old) experiencing homelessness or housing instability. Through interactive exercises, attendees will provide knowledge, input and context to help One by One identify opportunities to improve our system’s ability to better serve youth. We’ll explore:

  • How youth navigate the current homeless services system
  • Where service connections exist with other systems & the strength of those connections
  • Where service gaps exist that could be filled & how.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND:
We welcome all community partners who work with vulnerable youth, including:

  • CoC agencies and other housing and homeless services providers
  • County Child and Youth Services offices
  • Youth services providers
  • Providers of mental/behavioral health services and/or Drug & Alcohol programs
  • Those who work in the education system
  • Those working in juvenile justice or criminal justice systems
  • Youth employment and workforce development providers
  • Those working with victims of human trafficking &/or domestic violence
  • Any stakeholder or community partner who engages with youth experiencing homelessness and housing instability.

WHERE & WHEN:
We’ll be holding four (4) system mapping sessions throughout the One by One 20-county region:

  • February 26th, 9:00am-11:30am in Crawford County: CHAPS, 944 Liberty Street Meadville, PA
  • February 26th, 2:00pm-4:30pm in McKean County: Beacon Light, 800 East Main Street, Bradford, PA
  • February 27th, 9:00am-11:30am in Clarion County: Clarion Psychiatric Center, 2 Hospital Dr, Clarion, PA
  • February 27th, 2:00pm-4:30pm in Westmoreland County: Westmoreland Casemanagement and Supports Inc., 770 E Pittsburgh St, Greensburg, PA

*Attendance is limited to 25-30 people per event. To reserve your spot at one of these events, please be sure to fill out this simple registration form to let us know you plan to attend: http://sgiz.mobi/s3/One-by-One-Western-PA-CoC-Youth-Homelessness-System-Mapping-Event-Registration