Summary of County Homeless Housing Plans by rockandrolldreams

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									            Summary of County Homeless Housing Plans

OVERVIEW
Thirty-six of the thirty-nine counties submitted 10 Year Homeless Housing plans.
These plans have been a vehicle to create discussion between community decision-
makers and service providers in identifying who the homeless of their community are and
begin to identify strategies tailored to meet those needs.

Pacific, San Juan and Skamania counties did not submit 10 Year Homeless Housing
Plans. Pacific County is currently working on their plan with state funded technical
assistance. Asotin County opted-out of directly participating in the Act, meaning that
CTED is responsible for implementing the Act in Asotin County.

All counties lack sufficient resources to fully implement their plans. Most counties have
more existing services and more strategies to enhance housing and services for homeless
families. Generally speaking, plans are have few specific strategies for homeless youth
and for chronically homeless adults. Most counties prioritized better access to state
mainstream services in their plans, but had few ideas about how to accomplish that.
Improved discharge planning from jails, prisons, emergency rooms, and/or state hospitals
were included as strategies for most large and medium sized counties. All but a few
plans identified the need to improve data collection through the Point In Time counts and
to better manage and analyze data gathered from housing and service providers.

Large Urban Counties
The five counties not included in the Balance of State Continuum of Care, (Clark, King,
Pierce, Snohomish and Spokane), presented plans that demonstrate capacity in
identifying needs and, with a diversity of housing and service providers, a capacity to
implement new strategies to reduce homelessness. These counties will receive between
$500,000 and $2.1 million in local 2163 funds/year to assist in implementation of their
plans Common themes in the big counties are:
     Development of additional supportive housing for all subpopulations and
        particularly for chronically homeless people.
     Simplified access to and coordination of housing and services for homeless
        people.
     Incentives and protocols for effective partnering between service providers and
        landlords to utilize existing housing stock for homeless people.
     Discharge planning strategies for chronically homeless and for youth exiting
        foster care.

Medium Sized Counties (Cowlitz, Chelan/Douglas, Skagit, Whatcom,
Benton/Franklin, Yakima, Thurston, Kitsap, Island)
These counties had a good cross section of housing and service providers participating in
the planning process. They will receive between $100,000 and $300,000 annually in local
2163 revenues. Most have at least one entitlement community that receives HOME,
Community Development Block Grant and/or Emergency Shelter Grant resources.


Prepared for CTED by Common Ground                                           April 20, 2006
Populations are large enough in these counties that housing needs for sub-populations are
recognized, including ex-offenders, mentally ill, farm workers and veterans. Most have
reasonable databases to begin development of their homeless housing strategies, but all
cite the need for improvements in their systems. Other common strategies include:
      Improved access to and coordination of services and housing for homeless
         people.
      Increased outreach and case management services for at risk individuals,
         families, and/or youth.
      Improved discharge planning from jails, prisons and hospitals and better planning
         for youth aging out of foster care.
      Expedited application processes to access mainstream programs and funding.
      Development and/or expansion of Drug and Mental Health Courts.
      Landlord recruitment and retention programs.
      New unit development focused on permanent supportive housing for chronic
         homeless.

Small Counties (Adams, Asotin, Stevens, Okanogan, Kittitas, Jefferson, Whitman,
Mason, Grant, Walla Walla, Clallam, Lewis, Grays Harbor)
These counties will receive between $15,000 and $100,000 annually from local 2163
revenues and receive some funding for shelter, prevention and other services for
homeless from CTED. Improved PIT and HMIS processes were common goals for these
counties to better assess the county homeless needs. Most small counties placed an
emphasis on family homeless prevention and intervention strategies. Common strategies
included:
     Emergency rental/ mortgage and utility assistance, housing counseling.
     Expanded case management services.
     Increased public awareness regarding the community’s homeless.
     Transportation solutions for better access and use of existing support services.
     Increased housing for victims of domestic violence.
     Permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless.

Very small counties (Garfield, Wahkiakum, Columbia, Ferry, Pend Oreille,
Lincoln)
These counties will receive less than $15,000 annually from local 2163 revenues and
have and generally receive small amounts of funding for shelter and prevention services
from CTED. Given the low and widely scattered populations, limited capacity of local
organizations, and small amount of 2163 funding, strategies in these counties were
limited to:
     Improved data collection in the pointing time count of homeless persons.
     Increased outreach and case management to at risk families and persons living in
        encampments.
     Increased prevention activities such as rental/mortgage assistance.




Prepared for CTED by Common Ground                                           April 20, 2006
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE NEEDS

For All Counties
    Discharge planning between housing and service providers and
       jails/prisons/hospitals and foster care system.
    Chronic homeless single adults – expand knowledge base of chronic homeless
       strategies and “best practices” for supportive housing.
    Homeless youth - expand knowledge base of homeless youth and “best practices”
       for housing.
    Landlord recruitment and retention program for housing homeless.
    Expediting access to mainstream service programs of DSHS, DVA, DES.
    Improving county PIT and HMIS data entry.
    Converting existing buildings (i.e. hotels) into housing and/or shelter units.
    Community point/s of entry to housing and services.

Large Urban Counties
Given the resources available to these five counties, state funds should focus on assisting
medium and small counties. Large counties could benefit from the models and strategies
developed in above priorities for all counties.

Medium Sized Counties
These counties could benefit in additional technical assistance to complete Phase II of
their plans, detailing out approaches, timelines and improved cost estimates. Survey
medium counties to assess interest in TA for phase II planning process.
     Provide tools and methodology for counties that have identified a housing needs
        assessment such as Whatcom
     Implementation Planning with Thurston, Island, Skagit
     Mobil home park closure mitigation plan – Chelan/Douglas

Small and Very Small Counties
Most of these counties could benefit from assistance with Phase 2 of their planning
process. In addition, small and very small counties need assistance to:
    Survey small counties to assess possibility of partnering with neighboring
       counties (Walla Walla/Columbia).
    Provide tools and methodology for counties that have identified a housing needs
       assessment; Walla Walla, Mason, Lewis, Adams, Columbia, Lincoln.
    Assist counties with more complete plans, like Clallam and Grant, to begin
       implementation of priorities.
    Mobil home park closure mitigation plan – Grant.
    Plan development for San Juan, Klickitat and Skamania.
    Transportation solutions in rural areas.




Prepared for CTED by Common Ground                                            April 20, 2006
LOCAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR STATE ADMINISTRATIVE AND
LEGISLATIVE CHANGES

Local planning groups were asked to identify state legislative or policy changes that
would further the goal of reducing homelessness in 10 years and in carrying out particular
strategies that the counties included in their plans. The following list highlights key
suggestions:

Legislative Actions
        Develop employer incentives for livable wages.
        Place legislative limitations on predatory lending.
        Reduce regulations that increase costs for youth shelters.
        Create exceptions to the Privacy Law to allow for exchange of information
           among youth serving organizations.
        Create private developer incentives to include new units affordable for people
           under 30% area median income (AMI).
        Add ex-offenders and victims of DV to non-discriminatory list for housing.
        Revise Landlord/Tenant Law prohibiting evictions of families in winter
           months and provide for just cause evictions.
        Increase significantly the state budget for housing individuals who make less
           than 30% AMI.
        Adequately fund mental health and substance abuse services for homeless
           people.
        Provide sufficient state resources to serve people with chronic mental illnesses
           who are not eligible for Medicaid.
        Fund a 211 information and referral system.
        Increase state resources for youth and expand eligible age for all youth
           services to 21 years.

Administrative Actions
      Increase flexibility of funding sources to enhance coordination and impact of
         state programs serving homeless people at the local level.
      Make reduction of homelessness a performance measure for DSHS, DOC,
         CTED, DVA, DES and coordinate reporting for all state sources for homeless
         services.
      Stop discharging people without a plan for housing and supporting services.
      Revise Point In Time count to allow for “couch surfers”, and better
         accounting of seasonal/migrant homeless.
      Allow ESAP funds to be used for prevention activities.
      Make case management a priority for existing services funding provided to
         local communities.
      Increase state flexibility regarding restricted use requirements of housing
         (Washington State Housing Finance Commission and CTED).
      Decrease barriers to housing and employment for ex-offenders and substance
         abusers.


Prepared for CTED by Common Ground                                           April 20, 2006
          Improve access and availability of health and dental services, especially in
           more rural areas of the state.
          Increase flexibility in the use of state only dollars for MH and CD services to
           cover clients who are not or not yet Medicaid eligible.
          Revise service/treatment eligibility requirements to better serve homeless with
           co-occurring disorders.
          Increase flexibility of funding sources between state departments to allow for
           more integrated service delivery at the local level.
          Reduce regulations that unnecessarily increase costs for youth shelters.
          Create a centralized system for background checks and credit checks for low
           income.
          Create employment programs for GAU assistance clients.
          Pilot funding of integrated housing and service models for chronically
           homeless people.




Prepared for CTED by Common Ground                                            April 20, 2006

								
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