Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care News
October 2019
Texas Homeless Network is the lead agency for the Texas Balance of State Continuum of Care (TX BoS CoC) . The TX BoS CoC is a group of stakeholders that collaboratively plan and operate the CoC and a range of housing and services to prevent and end homelessness. The TX BoS CoC covers 215 counties and includes 24 Local Homeless Coalitions (LHCs) that plan, deliver, and evaluate local systems.
Welcome Our Newest Team Members
Linda Xiong - Systems Change Specialist

As the Systems Change Specialist, Linda serves as the liaison between THN and the Coordinated Entry Planning Entities. She also supports systems change in the planning and implementation of Coordinated Entry in the TX Balance of State COC. She holds a Masters of Sustainable Peacebuilding from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she studied systems thinking and conflict transformation. She is passionate about building relationships and resilience in communities. Her interest in addressing social and environmental issues stems from her background in the fashion industry where a multitude of issues emerge.
Katie Ledbetter - TX BoS CoC Coordinated Entry VISTA

Katie recently started as the Coordinated Entry VISTA in the last week of October. After working in corporate project management for a few years post college, she decided to join Americorps in order to find more purpose and meaning in her work. Katie graduated with a degree in Community Health from Baylor University in 2015, and is passionate about empowering communities to end homelessness in Texas. 
New Listserv

Agencies currently receiving Continuum of Care funding, as well as agencies interested in applying for funding in the future, are encouraged to sign up for the  FY2020 CoC Competition Listserv !  

Members of this listserv will receive information about the upcoming FY2020 Continuum of Care NOFA and information about THN webinars and training for new applicants, renewal applicants, and interested parties.
VISTAs Needed

Veterans Experiencing Homelessness Workforce Initiative
THN is searching for two BoS communities to co-lead a project to connect veterans to employment. This project will work with rural and mid-sized communities (an agency or city department in the TX BoS CoC) to deploy a VISTA member in the community to build a network of volunteers who will assist veterans to gain employment and secure or maintain housing. The volunteer-based community support network will use the tools created by our VISTA members to guide their work connecting Workforce Centers with LHCs. Also, they will use community mentoring practices to support Veterans. If you are interested, please reach out to  samantha@thn.org  for more information.

THN Data VISTA in Austin, TX
Want to use your expertise and passion for data to end and prevent homelessness? Through assisting with the coordination of the annual Point-in-Time and Housing Inventory Counts, analyzing quarterly performance grant data, and targeted technical assistance you can have a direct impact on the ways service providers work with data to help clients achieve housing stability.  Apply today  to be the THN Data VISTA today and work with us to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring across the state of Texas! 

Supportive Services for Veteran Families

TX BoS CoC Staff suspects that the Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) may be coming soon, as in the end of November early December soon. 
Last year, the SSVF NOFA made available 1 million dollars of new funding for the TX BoS CoC. This year, we are hoping the SSVF NOFA will make funding available to grantees in the BoS. 

Please stay tuned for more information coming in the December newsletter!
Important Dates

No CoC General Meeting in November

Increasing Housing Stock on a Community Level Webinar
Monday, November 18, 2019 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Topic: A training for manager-level staff to explore organizational and community strategies to engage market-rate landlords to increase potential housing stock that can be used by your organization.

Host Home Programs for Youth Experiencing Homelessness Webinar
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Topic: This webinar will feature presenters from TNOYS, Texas Appleseed, and Texas Homeless Network, discussing host home programs for youth experiencing homelessness.

CoC RRH Peer Learning Webinar - November
Thursday, November 21, 2019 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
CoC RRH projects will meet Monthly moving forward on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 10:00am to discuss best practices in RRH, review current policies and suggestions, and to discuss RRH struggles and strategies.


PIT Q&A and Counting Us Walk Through
Thursday 5 December 2019, 01:30 PM - 03:00 PM
Topic: This training session is intended to be used as both a Question and Answer session with THN staff about the PIT count, as well as a live demonstration of the Counting Us app.

CESC Meeting - December 2019
Tuesday 10 December 2019, 02:30 PM - 03:30 PM
Topic: The TX BoS CoC Systems Change Team will be hosting a virtual meeting for Coordinated Entry Steering Committee members. An agenda will be sent out Who is required to attend: Coordinated Entry Steering Committee Members

December 2019 General Meeting
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM
Topic: Point-in-Time (PIT) Count and Housing Inventory (HIC)

CoC RRH Peer Learning Webinar - December
Thursday 19 December 2019, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
CoC RRH projects will meet Monthly moving forward on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 10:00am to discuss best practices in RRH, review current policies and suggestions, and to discuss RRH struggles and strategies.

Right of First Refusal - Abilene & Longview

The owner of Crestview Apartments, located in Longview, and Carver Townhomes in Abilene, has in accordance with the Right of First Refusal (ROFR), provided proper notice of intent and requests that the Department find a qualified entity who will purchase the development at or above the prescribed price.

Multifamily tax credit developments for sale by owner to tenant organizations or qualified nonprofits only. The buyer must meet or exceed the list price and maintain the low-income requirements (see LURA). Offers expire on the agreed-upon deadline for each sale.

What does that mean?
ROFR refers to the agreement between TDHCA and a developer who wishes to sell a property publicly, but allows certain qualifying entities first opportunity to bid on that property. Each ROFRs can have differing qualifying entities as well as different biddable deadline; interested parties should refer to each land use restriction agreement (LURA)

Properties for Sale:
The 90-day period expires on January 23, 2020, at 5:00 pm.

The two-year ROFR expires on October 18. 2021, at 5:00 pm.

Youth Mental Health First Aid

The  SAMHSA  Emergency Response Grant (SERG) has announced a new free course, with two different training dates and locations, open for registration at  www.harveyserg.com .

Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) – Youth – Train the Trainer:
This five-day training prepares individuals to become trainers of the Mental Health First Aid-Youth workshop. YMHFA teaches members of the public how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. Mental Health First Aid does not teach people to treat or diagnose mental health or substance use conditions. Instead, the training teaches people how to offer initial support until appropriate professional help is received or until the crisis resolves.

Find out more here
Foster Youth Iniative (FYI)

HUD announced the Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) initiative, through the issuance of  Notice PIH 2019-20 . Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) partnering with Public Child Welfare Agencies (PCWAs) may request Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) in the form of Tenant Protection Vouchers (TPVs) to assist eligible youth for a period of 36 months, subject to availability.

Eligible youth must meet the following conditions:

  1. Has attained at least 18 years and not more than 24 years of age;
  2. Left foster care, or will leave foster care within 90 days, in accordance with a transition plan described in section 475(5)(H) of the Social Security Act at age 16 or older; and
  3. Is homeless or is at risk of becoming homeless.

Eligibility is not limited to single persons. For example, pregnant and/or parenting youth are eligible to receive assistance under this notice assuming they otherwise meet eligibility requirements.

PHAs are eligible if they currently administer the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program and do not administer the Family Unification Program (FUP). PHAs that administer the FUP, awarded any year, are not eligible to administer assistance under FYI TPV. A list of PHAs that administer the HCV program and do not administer FUP is  available here . For additional information on PHA eligibility requirements, please review the Notice. HUD will accept PHA requests for FYI Tenant Protection Vouchers (TVPs) on a rolling basis.

Read the one-pager here .

Read the full notice here .
Family Unification Program (FUP)

The 2019 Family Unification Program (FUP) Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) (FR-6300-N-41) has been announced. HUD expects to award approximately $20 million in new FUP vouchers to Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) that partner with a Public Child Welfare Agency (PCWA) and Continuum of Care (CoC) to administer assistance on behalf of the two eligible populations:
1.     Families for whom the lack of adequate housing is a primary factor in the imminent placement of the family’s child, or children, in out-of-home care; or the delay in the discharge of the child, or children, to the family from out-of-home care; and
2.     Youth at least 18 years and not more than 24 years of age who left foster care, or will leave foster care within 90 days, in accordance with a transition plan described in Section 475(5)(H) of the Social Security Act, and are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless at age 16 or older. 
Applications are due December 17, 2019 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time and must be submitted through Grants.gov.

To find the NOFA on Grants.gov, search by the CFDA number: 14.880.

You may preview the NOFA here .  
Across the TX BoS CoC...
These articles were gathered from Google Alerts and emails sent directly to us. If you have articles about your community's efforts to prevent and end homelessness that you want highlighted in our next newsletter, please email the articles to   txboscoc@thn.org.
Staff Recommendations

The following are resources TX BoS CoC Lead Agency staff have found that we believe would be beneficial to your local efforts to make homelessness rare, brief, and one-time:
The Housing and Health Services Coordination Council (HHSCC) at the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) linked to some important data about rent costs and wages in Texas, just one data point in a substantive annual report that demonstrates the gap between what people earn and what housing they can afford.

"Every year, NLIHC releases the 'Out of Reach' report. The report compares rental housing prices with the hourly wages of renters. Recently, the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC) shared a blog post that highlighted the report's findings in Texas. NLIHC found that in 2019, the fair market rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment in Texas is now $1,055. This is 5 percent higher than the FMR in 2018 ($1,005) and 10 percent higher than the FMR in 2017 ($956). Furthermore, wages are not keeping pace with rent increases. The average renter hourly wage in 2019 is $18.94, compared with $18.20 in 2018 and $17.89 in 2017. This means the average renter wage only increased 4 percent from 2018 to 2019 and 6 percent from 2017 to 2019, far slower than the increases in FMR."

To see TSAHC's post about the Out of Reach report, visit  here .

To see NLIHC's findings in Texas, visit here  
Anyone who works or lives in the CoC's geographic area, and all housing and homeless services projects in the CoC's geographic area, are considered to be members of the CoC. The CoC has an open invitation process, so members may join at any time.

THN invites members to participate in the CoC's activities. Learn more on the email list , the website , and social media . CoC General Meeting minutes and recordings are posted on THN's website, in the TX BoS CoC "Get Involved" page at  https://www.thn.org/texas-balance-state-continuum-care/get-involved/ . Presentations by and conversations between CoC members and staff on relevant topics keep members informed and up-to-date.

Share this email with anyone you think may be interested!
CoC General Meeting Schedule

Stay informed about CoC happenings by participating in the monthly webinars. Each meeting will feature a topic that is important to preventing and ending homelessness. See the schedule for dates, topics, and registration links.
CoC Program Funding

If you are a representative of an agency that is interested in applying for United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Continuum of Care (CoC) Program funding, please contact txboscoc@thn.org .
Your CoC Team

Get your questions answered and some face to face time with all of the CoC staff on the second Wednesday of every other month during the CoC General Meetings.
The TX BoS CoC is a focus area of the Texas Homeless Network.