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Chronically Homeless Status of Bridge Housing Clients Returned to Prioritization List
Sent by Erin DeRycke on 03/24/2016 07:52 PM (ET)
In a separate ticket, we were told by HUD that “HUD has determined that after an individual or family has been accepted into a [permanent support housing] program but before an appropriate unit has been identified, a household may stay with a friend or family or in a hotel or motel without losing their eligibility for the permanent supportive housing program in which they have already been accepted.” If a client is accepted into a PSH project and goes into bridge housing while waiting for an appropriate unit to be identified, and then is returned to the prioritization list because an appropriate unit hasn’t been identified, does that mean that the client loses his chronically homeless status?
09/01/2016 12:49 PM (ET)
Thank you for your question.
The information you presented in your question does not provide us with enough information to answer your question. Below is some general information that will hopefully help to answer your question. If you need additional information, please submit a new question with more details and reference this question.
Regarding eligibility for Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), an individual's eligibility is determined at the point of intake and acceptance to the project. If an individual has been confirmed to be chronically homeless and enrolled in a PSH project, he or she will generally maintain that eligibility until a unit is secured. During this time, it does not matter where the individual stays (e.g., with a friend or family or in bridge housing).
HUD does not establish a maximum amount of time that an individual has to secure a unit from the time that he or she is enrolled in the project. Instead, HUD expects that the recipient or subrecipient works with the individual to help identify and secure a unit in a timely manner for the recipient or subrecipients housing market. HUD recognizes that many recipients and subrecipients establish a maximum time frame by which a program participant who has been enrolled in the project must identify and lease up a unit. However, HUD encourages recipients to work with program participants and consider the circumstances preventing a program participant from securing a unit prior to withdrawing the PSH assistance from the individual if a unit has not been secured.
In the case where the program participant is not able to secure a unit and the recipient or subrecipient withdraws the assistance from the program participant, then whether or not the individual maintains his or her chronically homeless status depends on how the bridge housing is categorized (i.e., rapid re-housing, transitional housing, or emergency shelter).
- If the bridge housing is categorized as emergency shelter then the time spent in that bridge housing continues to count towards the length of time an individual or head of household must reside in a place not meant for human habitation, an emergency shelter, or a safe haven. In this case, the individual would likely maintain his or her chronic status and should be re-prioritized accordingly.
- If the bridge housing is categorized as transitional housing, then time spent in this housing (assuming that it was for 7 nights or greater) would be considered a break and the individual may only qualify as chronically homeless again to the extent that he or she is currently living in an emergency shelter, safe haven, or place not meant for human habitation and has spent 12 months over at least 4 occasions living in one of these locations. If the individual does not meet these criteria then he or she can no longer be considered chronically homeless.
- If the bridge housing is considered rapid re-housing, then program participants maintain their homeless or chronically homeless status until they exit the rapid re-housing program as described in FAQ 530. However, if the program participant is exited from the RRH and has subsequently lost their PSH assistance, then the time in RRH would be considered a break and the individual may only qualify as chronically homeless again to the extent that he or she is currently living in an emergency shelter, safe haven, or place not meant for human habitation and has spent 12 months over at least 4 occasions living in one of these locations. If the individual does not meet these criteria then he or she can no longer be considered chronically homeless.
Regarding your question about how the individual should be prioritized for assistance, to determine the answer to that question you will have to review your CoC's written standards for prioritizing assistance. If the individual no longer meets the definition of chronically homeless then he or she will likely not be prioritized for PSH that is dedicated to individuals and families experiencing chronic homelessness. However, the individual may be prioritized for PSH that is not dedicated to chronic homelessness or may be eligible for dedicated PSH if the recipient or subrecipient is not able to identify an individual or family that is currently chronically homeless and willing to enter the project and the individual you ask about in your question is the next person on the list with the highest needs and longest history of homelessness.
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