How does STRMU assistance fit with other HOPWA activities?

Date Published: May 2006

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STRMU is one type of the three main types of HOPWA housing activities, along with Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) and residency in a housing facility, such as a community residence. The use of funds annually to provide these three types of housing support are considered the housing outputs of HOPWA programs, as reported in annual performance reports. HOPWA activities can involve other costs in addition to the direct housing costs for STRMU payments, rental subsidies or the development and operation costs for housing facilities. These other activities include permanent housing placement services and housing information services which can play a direct role in assisting clients gain access to available housing stock and qualify for or secure occupancy. Permanent housing placement services can be used to help address pressing housing situations in order to secure a new residence. Permanent housing placement costs may include reasonable costs for security deposits (not to exceed two months of rent costs), related credit checks, and assistance in completing permanent housing applications. In addition, many clients have service needs that can be addressed with related supportive services offered on-site or by improved access off-site as part of a supportive housing project. Grantees should consider how to best make use of these program activities, found at 24 CFR 574.300(b), and the connection with other resources to address the needs in the community. A generalized statement on the main HOPWA activities is shown in an attached chart to this FAQ.

The goal of the HOPWA program is to provide a stable living environment for households who are experiencing a financial crisis as a result of issues arising from their HIV/AIDS condition. STRMU assistance is used as part of a homeless prevention strategy, intended to reduce the risks of homelessness, and to improve access to health care and other needed support. As a reasonable public policy goal, HUD seeks to foster long-term solutions to housing problems of eligible persons. This can be done through the use these time-limited housing assistance payments (STRMU) and by the creation of individual housing service plans that include an assessment of current resources and establish long-term goals for recipient households. These goals should involve efforts to restore client self-sufficiency and future independence from the need for housing support. On-going assessments of the housing assistance and supportive services requested by participants, as required under 24 CFR 574.500, may be evidenced by the development of a housing service plan for every client of the agency approving the expenditure of STRMU payments.

Updated HOPWA performance reporting tools such as the Annual Performance Report (APR) for competitive grantees (form HUD-40110-C, revised 1/2006) and the Consolidated Annual Performance Report (CAPER) and Integrated Information and Disbursement System (IDIS) for formula grantees (form HUD-40110-D, revised 1/2006 and IDIS version 10.0 released May, 2006) also focus on the results of HOPWA housing efforts. Stand-alone STRMU payments are likely to create only a temporary solution that reduces the clients more immediate risks of homelessness for many client households. Others may only require this limited support to address a temporary crisis or housing issue. A short-term project may only evidence a partial achievement of your project goals for client outcomes. For HOPWA, these program outcomes will be shown in data on how clients achieve and maintain stable housing, reduce their risks of homelessness and improve their access to care. Grantees should consider how these short-term efforts connect to more stable living arrangements that are needed and can be addressed in a housing service plan for the household along with the provision of this permanent housing support from HOPWA or other sources.

Tags: HOPWA Rental Assistance - Short-term Rent, Mortgage, and Utility Assistance (STRMU) Payments