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Reminder: Register for Point-in-Time (PIT) Count Office Hours Sessions – Starting November 24, 2020

November 20, 2020 Print ShareThis

As we approach the upcoming 2021 Housing Inventory Count (HIC) and Point-in-Time (PIT) count, we continue to face the harmful effects of COVID-19. Communities have each addressed the pandemic with solutions and varying priorities. It is crucial for us to understand some basic information about who is experiencing homelessness, while balancing the need to protect those who are most vulnerable and the people that serve them.

Given these important factors, HUD plans to implement the following requirements for the 2021 HIC and PIT counts:

  1. Conduct the HIC as normal
  2. Conduct the sheltered PIT count as normal
  3. Conduct the unsheltered count based on the allowances outlined in the Conducting the 2021 Unsheltered PIT Count resource

Due to the challenges created by COVID-19, HUD knows that the unsheltered count will not resemble unsheltered PIT counts of the past. The purpose of an unsheltered PIT count is to have information about how the unsheltered PIT count has been impacted by COVID-19. HUD believes this will be valuable for Continuums of Care (CoCs) and for national partners to understand how homelessness has generally changed and what additional efforts or resources may be needed. HUD recognizes that this data will not be comparable to past counts – however, it will provide information about whether unsheltered homelessness has increased and decreased in different types of communities.

Unsheltered PIT Count Exceptions

HUD understands that some CoCs will not be able to conduct an unsheltered PIT count due to the pandemic. CoCs will be able to request an exception to some or all of the requirements for the unsheltered PIT count. CoCs that cannot meet the requirements for the 2021 unsheltered PIT count must submit a request for an exception to William Snow at that describes:

  1. Why the CoC cannot conduct a full unsheltered PIT count
  2. Whether the CoC is requesting an exception to some or all of the requirements of the unsheltered PIT count
  3. If the CoC is conducting a count, what exactly will be included in the count (e.g., a head count only)
  4. Other efforts they are taking to understand the needs of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness in their community

CoCs do not need to submit an exception request if they plan on submitting the full unsheltered PIT count data but are changing their methodology. For example, if a CoC is shifting to an observation-based count or is changing their sampling methods, the CoC does not need to request an exception. CoCs that have questions about changes they want to make can review the guidance, attend office hours, or submit an Ask A Question (AAQ) via the HUD Exchange.

CoCs may also request an exception to counting in the last 10 days of January. However, CoCs will still be expected to submit their count data at the end of April, even if an exception to the date is granted. CoCs that want to move their date should still try to count at the end of the month. A change to the date would apply to the HIC, sheltered PIT count, and unsheltered PIT count. To submit an exception request, CoCs must send an email to William Snow at that includes why an exception is being requested and when they propose to conduct the count.

PIT Count Resources and Office Hours

HUD is hosting the first of five Point-in-Time (PIT) Count Office Hours this Tuesday, November 24, 2020 from 3:00 to 4:30 PM EST. This first PIT Count Office Hours will focus on HUD’s Conducting the 2021 Unsheltered PIT Count guidance and any questions you have about conducting the 2021 PIT count.

Upcoming Office Hours Sessions

The PIT Count Office Hours will be held on the following schedule. HUD will update CoCs on the topics of focus for future sessions through HUD Exchange listserv announcements in advance of each session.

Session Date and Time Registration
Session #1
2021 Unsheltered PIT Count Flexibilities
November 24, 2020
3:00 – 4:30 PM EST
Register Now
Session #2
December 3, 2020
3:00 – 4:30 PM EST
Register Now
Session #3
December 15, 2020
3:00 – 4:30 PM EST
Register Now
Session #4
January 12, 2021
3:00 – 4:30 PM EST
Register Now
Session #5
January 19, 2021
3:00 – 4:30 PM EST
Register Now

Additional Resources

To view all of HUD’s PIT count and Housing Inventory Count (HIC) resources visit the PIT and HIC Guides, Tools, and Webinars Page. This is a one-stop site where communities can access all of HUD’s guidance on how to plan and implement their PIT counts. The resources include the PIT Count Methodology Guide, survey tool resources, implementation resources, etc.

If you have any questions about planning, implementing, or reporting your HIC or PIT count data that are not covered in the resources listed above, please submit your questions to the Ask A Question (AAQ) portal. In Step 2 of the question submission process, select “HDX Homelessness Data Exchange (including PIT, HIC, AHAR, Sys PM, LSA, and PDX)” from the “My question is related to” drop down list.