Los Angeles Regional Homeless Restoration Advisory Coalition
Every Homeless Service Provider & Agency Should Be Concern About LAHSA's Latest Prioritization Strategies & Decision


Last Friday, January 3, 2014  in a special meeting of the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) Commission, the LAHSA Commissioners decided upon different prioritization strategies for ranking projects for submission under the 2013 HUD McKinney Vento Program application. LAHSA's decision countered the fact that the Continuum of Care Coordinating Council, which represents a total of Eight Service Planning Areas (SPAs) within Los Angeles' Continuum had spent over six consecutive months (40 hrs+) of meetings in order to create and /or revise guiding principles and ranking guidelines that would address critical problems among SPA's. LAHSA is required to rank projects and assign the projects to two tiers in the final application, a tier 1 which represents 95% of our Renewal Burden funding, and tier 2 which represents 5% of the renewal burden. Projects that fall in tier 2 will be renewed if  HUD has adequate funding to cover 100% of all renewals. As a result, projects that fall in tier 2 are deemed at risk if HUD funding is inadequate to fund all renewals for FY 2013. 

 

In the published agenda, three scenarios were presented to the Commission for their consideration and approval:

 

 

Scenario 1) Recommendation of the Continuum of Care Coordinating Council and LAHSA Staff that would provide for 6 categories in priority order, as follows:

 

Category 1 - Continuum Wide Activities (HMIS, Planning, Coordinated Assessment)

Category 2 - Permanent Supportive Housing

Category 3 - Youth and Domestic Violence Transitional Housing Program

Category 4 - Reallocation Projects for new Permanent Supportive Housing targeting Chronic Homeless

Category 5 - Outreach and Access Center Programs

Category 6 - All other Transitional Housing and Supportive Service Only Projects.

 

Projects would be ranked within each category by renewal evaluation score, as determined by the Renewal Evaluation Tool based on Annual Performance Reports filed by each program with HUD; Projects falling at the bottom of category 6, based on their renewal score, would be placed in the Application Tier 2.

 

Scenario 2) Modifies Scenario 1 to eliminate the separate category 3 for transitional housing projects for youth and victim of domestic violence and combine with all other transitional housing and supportive service only projects;

 

Scenario 3) Modifies Scenario 2 to eliminate a separate category for street outreach and access center projects and combine with all other transitional housing and supportive service only projects.

 

After significant discussion and debate, the Commission felt strongly that program performance needed to be

the primary consideration, both to align with HUD's emphasis on performance-based evaluations, and to ensure that the ranking process recognized and rewarded higher performing programs. They also recognized that many areas lacked critical infrastructure to connect homeless people to the continuum of services and housing; outreach and access points are essential to help make those connections. As a result, the Commission adopted a new Scenario, approving the following categories and priorities for ranking in the 2013 CoC HUD McKinney Vento Application:

 

1)      Continuum-Wide Activities (HMIS, Planning, Coordinated Assessment)

2)      Street Outreach and Access Center Projects

3)      All Other Projects (Permanent Supportive Housing, Transitional Housing, Supportive Services Only), ranked based on their renewal evaluation score.

 

 Projects will be included in the application, in rank order of their project renewal evaluation score.

 

However, based on this approved scenario and the preliminary renewal evaluation scores, the following project types fall within Tier 2 of the application and be at risk of not being funded by HUD because of this scenario:

 

-  5 Permanent Supportive Housing Projects with 143 beds serving families with children and single adults

-  11 Transitional Housing Projects, with 151 beds serving families with children,

87 beds serving families with children who are victims of domestic violence, 95 beds serving single adults and 62 beds serving transitional age youth

4 Supportive Service Only Projects

 

A revised ranking worksheet can be viewed by CLICKING HERE 

 

 Translation? This critical decision by LAHSA Commissioners was not the right decision  because of the following:
  1. A rushed decision without fully assessing and appreciating the exhaustive months and hours of community meetings and CoC Coordinating Council weekly deliberations, in order to come up with a countered scenario (within 2 hours) that would not be reasonably aligned with HUD  McKinney Vento Application requirements and community solutions to existing homeless risk factors; 
  2. An unwise assessment of reducing Permanent Supportive Housing beds at a time when HUD is insisting on reducing Transitional Housing Funding for more permanent supportive housing availability is just wrong; and 
  3. The decision made was to appease an ill-notioned campaign presentation by one commissioner based upon undocumented data which has no bearing upon Los Angeles County Homelessness characteristics and what works best throughout Los Angeles' Service Planning Areas; and 
  4.  Los Angeles Homeless Continuum of Care cannot afford to lose hundreds of homeless beds and HUD funding at a time when LAHSA's 2013 Homeless Count Report have documented that the homeless population have risen to over 8,000 since 2011.
Solution? Because no decision is final, we are calling on you to contact those elected officials (County Supervisors, Mayor, and Councilmembers), who appointed LAHSA's Commissioners to get involved to the extent that accountability for his/her action be justified and reconsidered for the sake of correcting the Commissioners' unwise decision that will have negative affect from the streets of homelessness to the Halls of Congress. Because LAHSA's Commissioners is scheduled to meet January 24, 2014 at 9:00 AM, another opportunity to reconcile their decision can be considered.

If you would like to learn more as how your voice can be heard, join us at the upcoming LARHRAC Monthly Meeting:
Date: January 16, 2014 at 1:00-3:00 PM
Location: Second A.M.E. Church, 5500 South Hoover Street, Los Angeles, CA 90037 (Parking in rear & across street).

You may also email us your responses and recommendations if you are unable to attend. At least forward this email to other who have an investment and desire to see homelessness reduced within Los Angeles County sooner-rather-than-later.

"It's A Great Time To Try Again"

Dr. Micheal K. Williams, President (LARHRAC) & SPA 6 Representative, LAHSA'S Continuum of Care
CHECKOUT LARHRAC'S 2014 CAPACITY BUILDING TRAINING SESSION AT: www.larhrac.org