The number one goal in Opening Doors: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness is to finish the job of ending chronic homelessness by 2015. HUD has defined chronic homelessness as an individual or family with a disabling condition who has been continuously homeless for a year or more or has had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years. The definition of chronically homelessness in the CoC Program interim rule is currently in effect.
On March 27, 2013, HUD published the Rural Housing Stability Assistance Program (RHSP) interim rule in the Federal Register. The proposed rule included a revised definition of chronically homelessness that includes a definition of homeless occasion that better targets persons with the longest histories of homelessness and the highest level of need. The public comment period on the definition of chronically homeless closed on May 28, 2013.