HUD has released a notice to Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) and its Field Office directors to provide strategies that can be used by PHAs to contribute to community efforts to end homelessness. The guidance points PHAs to specific HUD policies and regulations that are key to more effectively serving homeless people including: wait list management; establishing preferences; admissions policies for tenants with criminal backgrounds; substance use issues, and poor rental histories; eviction and termination policies; and the use of project based Section 8 to create supportive housing.
HUD’s guidance is a greatly welcomed and important supplement to CSH’s Public Housing Agency Toolkit, which we released in September 2012.
CSH is particularly pleased that the guidance provides important details about how PHAs can create homeless preferences, which are referenced to as “a PHA’s greatest tool for increasing program access for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.” The guidance also provides important clarity about admissions policies for people with challenging or limited rental histories, including those who’ve been involved in the criminal justice system.
Finally, the guidance discusses the importance of PHA’s properly reporting homelessness as people enter PHA programs. To assist PHA’s, the guidance shares the new definition of homelessness under the HEARTH Act and provides some helpful guidance to PHAs that are determining whether a person is homeless under HUD’s definition.
Stay tuned for more information from CSH about how this guidance and CSH's PHA Toolkit can be used together to more effectively partner with PHAs and execute strategies to reduce homelessness.