Funding Availability Under Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program, 2312-2318 [2016-00727]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 2312 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 10 / Friday, January 15, 2016 / Notices into two time periods. Subsection (b)(1) would reflect the convictions that the defendant sustained before his or her first deportation or order of removal (whichever event occurs first). Subsection (b)(2) would then reflect the convictions that the defendant sustained after that event (when the criminal conduct that resulted in the conviction took place after that event). What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a particular deportation or order of removal as the determining event for whether a prior conviction qualifies for an enhancement under subsection (b)(1) or subsection (b)(2)? Should the Commission use a different approach to distinguish predeportation convictions from postreentry convictions? For example, should the Commission provide instead that a prior conviction sustained before any deportation would qualify for an enhancement for pre-deportation convictions? If so, how should such enhancement interact with an enhancement based on post-reentry convictions as provided in the proposed amendment? 5. In 2014, the Commission amended the Commentary to § 2L1.1 to add a departure provision for cases in which the defendant is located by immigration authorities while the defendant is in state custody for a state offense unrelated to the federal illegal reentry offense. In such a case, the time served is not covered by adjustment under § 5G1.3 (Imposition of a Sentence on a Defendant Subject to an Undischarged Term of Imprisonment or Anticipated State Term of Imprisonment) and, accordingly, is not covered by a departure under § 5K2.23 (Discharged Terms of Imprisonment). Under the current guideline, the departure allows courts to depart to reflect all or part of the time served in state custody for the unrelated offense, from the time federal immigration authorities locate the defendant until the service of the federal sentence commences, that the court determines will not be credited to the federal sentence by the Bureau of Prisons. The proposed amendment brackets the possibility of deleting the departure provision at Application Note 8 to § 2L1.2. If the Commission were to promulgate the proposed amendment revising how the enhancements at the illegal reentry guideline work, should the Commission delete the departure based on time served in state custody? If not, how should the new enhancements at § 2L1.2 interact with the departure provision? For example, should the Commission limit the applicability of the departure provision? VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:01 Jan 14, 2016 Jkt 238001 6. The Commission recently promulgated an amendment that amends the definition of ‘‘crime of violence’’ in subsection (a) of § 4B1.2 (Definitions of Terms Used in Section 4B1.1), effective August 1, 2016 (to be published in a forthcoming edition of the Federal Register). The changes made by that amendment include revising the list of enumerated offenses and adding definitions for the enumerated offenses of extortion and a forcible sex offense. Finally, the amendment includes a downward departure provision in § 4B1.1 for cases in which the defendant’s prior ‘‘crime of violence’’ or ‘‘controlled substance offense’’ is based on an offense that was classified by the laws of the state as a misdemeanor. The proposed amendment would eliminate the use of the term ‘‘crime of violence’’ in § 2L1.2. In the event that the Commission does not promulgate the proposed amendment, and retains the term ‘‘crime of violence’’ in § 2L1.2, should the Commission incorporate all or part of the definition of ‘‘crime of violence’’ provided in the recently amended § 4B1.2 into § 2L1.2? If the Commission were to conform § 2L1.2 to the new definition in § 4B1.2(a), are there any particular offenses that would no longer qualify as a ‘‘crime of violence’’ but that nonetheless should receive an enhancement under subsection (b)(1) (e.g., statutory rape or burglary of a dwelling)? [FR Doc. 2016–00766 Filed 1–14–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 2210–40–P DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Funding Availability Under Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program Veterans Health Administration, VA. ACTION: Notice of fund availability. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Funding Opportunity Title: Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program. Announcement Type: Initial. Funding Opportunity Number: VA– SSVF–011516. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 64.033, VA Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is announcing the availability of funds for supportive services grants under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program. This Notice of Fund Availability (NOFA) PO 00000 Frm 00153 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 contains information concerning the SSVF Program, initial supportive services grant application processes, and the amount of funding available. Awards made for supportive services grants will fund operations beginning October 1, 2016. DATES: Applications for supportive services grants under the SSVF Program must be received by the SSVF Program Office by 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on February 5, 2016. In the interest of fairness to all competing applicants, this deadline is firm as to date and hour, and VA will treat as ineligible for consideration any application that is received after the deadline. Applicants should take this practice into account and make early submission of their materials to avoid any risk of loss of eligibility brought about by unanticipated delays, computer service outages, or other delivery-related problems. ADDRESSES: For a Copy of the Application Package: Copies of the application can be downloaded directly from the SSVF Program Web site at: www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp. Questions should be referred to the SSVF Program Office via email at SSVF@va.gov. For detailed SSVF Program information and requirements, see part 62 of Title 38, Code of Federal Regulations (38 CFR part 62). Submission of Application Package: Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications electronically following instructions found at www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp. Alternatively, applicants can mail in applications. If mailed, applicants must submit two completed, collated, hard copies of the application and two compact discs (CDs) containing electronic versions of the entire application are required. Each application copy must (i) be fastened with a binder clip, and (ii) contain tabs listing the major sections of and exhibits to the application. Each CD must be labeled with the applicant’s name and must contain an electronic copy of the entire application. A budget template must be attached in Excel format on the CD, but all other application materials may be attached in a PDF or other format. The application copies and CDs must be submitted to the following address: Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program Office National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans, 4100 Chester Avenue, Suite 201, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Applicants must submit two hard copies and two CDs. Applications may not be sent by facsimile (FAX). Applications must be received in the SSVF Program Office by E:\FR\FM\15JAN1.SGM 15JAN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 10 / Friday, January 15, 2016 / Notices 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the application deadline date. Applications must arrive as a complete package. Materials arriving separately will not be included in the application package for consideration and may result in the application being rejected. See Section II.C. of this NOFA for maximum allowable grant amounts. Technical Assistance: Information regarding how to obtain technical assistance with the preparation of an initial supportive services grant application is available on the SSVF Program Web site at: http://www.va.gov/ HOMELESS/SSVF.asp. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. John Kuhn, Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program Office, National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans, 4100 Chester Avenue, Suite 201, Philadelphia, PA 19104; SSVF@va.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES I. Funding Opportunity Description A. Purpose: The SSVF Program’s purpose is to provide supportive services grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives, who will coordinate or provide supportive services to very lowincome Veteran families who: (i) Are residing in permanent housing; (ii) are homeless and scheduled to become residents of permanent housing within a specified time period; or (iii) after exiting permanent housing within a specified time period, are seeking other housing that is responsive to such very low-income Veteran family’s needs and preferences. B. Funding Priorities: VA will provide up to $300 million for existing grantees seeking to renew their grants. C. Definitions: Part 62 of title 38, Code of Federal Regulations (38 CFR part 62), contains definitions of terms used in the SSVF Program. D. Approach: Respondents to this NOFA should base their proposals and applications on the current requirements of part 62. Grantees will be expected to leverage supportive services grant funds to enhance the housing stability of very low-income Veteran families who are occupying permanent housing. In doing so, grantees are required to establish relationships with local community resources. Therefore, agencies must work through coordinated partnerships built either through formal agreements or the informal working relationships commonly found amongst strong social service providers. The scoring criteria for grantees applying for renewal supportive services grants are at 38 CFR VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:01 Jan 14, 2016 Jkt 238001 62.24, which provides for points to be awarded based on the success of the grantee’s program. As part of the application, all applicants are strongly encouraged to provide letters of support from their respective VA Network Homeless Coordinator (or their designee). In addition, applicants are strongly encouraged to provide letters of support from the Continuum of Care (CoC) where they plan to deliver services that reflect the applicant’s engagement in the CoC’s efforts to coordinate services. The CoC may elect to provide VA with a rank order of their support in lieu of providing individual letters of support. A CoC is a community plan to organize and deliver housing and services to meet the needs of people who are homeless as they move to stable housing and maximize self-sufficiency. It includes action steps to end homelessness and prevent a return to homelessness (CoC locations and contact information can be found at the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Web site, http:// www.hudhre.info/index.cfm?do=view CocMaps). The CoC’s letter of support should describe the applicant’s participation in the CoC’s coordinated assessment efforts (coordinated assessment refers to a common process for accessing homeless assistance services including: Prevention, diversion, emergency shelter, transitional housing, rapid re-housing, supportive services and even permanent supportive housing). In addition, any applicant proposing to serve an Indian Tribal area is strongly encouraged to provide a letter of support from the relevant Indian Tribal Government. The aim of the provision of supportive services is to assist very low-income Veteran families residing in permanent housing to remain stably housed and to rapidly transition those not currently in permanent housing to stable housing. SSVF emphasizes the placement of homeless Veteran families who are described in regulation as (i) very lowincome Veteran families who are homeless and scheduled to become residents of permanent housing within 90 days, and (ii) very low-income Veteran families who have exited permanent housing within the previous 90 days to seek other housing that is responsive to their needs and preferences. As a crisis intervention program, the SSVF Program is not intended to provide long-term support for participants, nor will it be able to address all of the financial and supportive services needs of participants that affect housing stability. Rather, when participants require long- PO 00000 Frm 00154 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2313 term support, grantees should focus on connecting such participants to income supports, such as employment and mainstream Federal and community resources (e.g., HUD–VA Supportive Housing program, HUD Housing Choice Voucher programs, McKinney-Vento funded supportive housing programs, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Social Security Income/Social Security Disability Insurance (SSI/SSDI) etc.) that can provide ongoing support as required. Assistance in obtaining or retaining permanent housing is a fundamental goal of the SSVF Program. Grantees must provide case management services in accordance with 38 CFR 62.31. Such case management should include tenant counseling, mediation with landlords and outreach to landlords. E. Authority: Funding applied for under this NOFA is authorized by 38 U.S.C. 2044. VA implements the SSVF Program by regulation in 38 CFR part 62. Funds made available under this NOFA are subject to the requirements of the aforementioned regulations and other applicable laws and regulations. F. Requirements for the Use of Supportive Services Grant Funds: The grantee’s request for funding must be consistent with the limitations and uses of supportive services grant funds set forth in 38 CFR part 62 and this NOFA. In accordance with the regulations and this NOFA, the following requirements apply to supportive services grants awarded under this NOFA: 1. Grantees may use a maximum of 10 percent of supportive services grant funds for administrative costs identified in 38 CFR 62.70. 2. Grantees must use a minimum of 60 percent of the temporary financial assistance portion of their supportive services grant funds to serve very lowincome Veteran families who qualify under 38 CFR 62.11(b). (NOTE: Grantees may request a waiver to decrease this minimum, as discussed in section V.B.3.a.) 3. Grantees may use a maximum of 50 percent of supportive services grant funds to provide the supportive service of temporary financial assistance paid directly to a third party on behalf of a participant for child care, emergency housing assistance, transportation, rental assistance, utility-fee payment assistance, security deposits, utility deposits, moving costs, and general housing stability assistance (which includes emergency supplies) in accordance with 38 CFR 62.33 and 38 CFR 62.34. G. Guidance for the Use of Supportive Services Grant Funds: It is VA policy to support a ‘‘Housing First’’ model in E:\FR\FM\15JAN1.SGM 15JAN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 2314 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 10 / Friday, January 15, 2016 / Notices addressing and ending homelessness. Housing First establishes housing stability as the primary intervention in working with homeless persons. The Housing First approach is based on research that shows that a homeless individual or household’s first and primary need is to obtain stable housing, and that other issues that may affect the household can and should be addressed as housing is obtained. Research supports this approach as an effective means to end homelessness. Housing is not contingent on compliance with mandated therapies or services; instead, participants must comply with a standard lease agreement and are provided with the services and supports that are necessary to help them do so successfully. Grantees must develop plans that will ensure that Veteran participants have the level of income and economic stability needed to remain in permanent housing after the conclusion of the SSVF intervention. Both employment and benefits assistance from VA and non-VA sources represent a significant underutilized source of income stability for homeless Veterans. The complexity of program rules and the stigma some associate with entitlement programs contributes to their lack of use. To this effect, grantees are encouraged to consider strategies that can lead to prompt and successful access to employment and benefits that are essential to retaining housing. 1. Consistent with the Housing First model supported by VA, grantees are expected to offer the following supportive services: Housing counseling; assisting participants in understanding leases; securing utilities; making moving arrangements; providing representative payee services concerning rent and utilities when needed; and mediation and outreach to property owners related to locating or retaining housing. Grantees may also assist participants by providing rental assistance, security or utility deposits, moving costs or emergency supplies; or using other Federal resources, such as the HUD’s ESG, or supportive services grant funds subject to the limitations described in this NOFA and 38 CFR 62.34. 2. As SSVF is a short-term crisis intervention, grantees must develop plans that will produce sufficient income to sustain Veteran participants in permanent housing after the conclusion of the SSVF intervention. Grantees must ensure the availability of employment and vocational services either through the direct provision of these services or their availability through formal or informal service VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:01 Jan 14, 2016 Jkt 238001 agreements. Agreements with Homeless Veteran Reintegration Programs funded by the U.S. Department of Labor are strongly encouraged. For participants unable to work due to disability, income must be established through available benefits programs. 3. Per 38 CFR 62.33, grantees must assist participants in obtaining public benefits. Grantees must screen all participants for eligibility for a broad range of entitlements such as TANF, Social Security, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and local General Assistance programs. Grantees are expected to access the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) program either though community linkages or by training staff to deliver SOAR services. In addition, where available grantees should access information technology tools to support case managers in their efforts to link participants to benefits. 4. Grantees are encouraged to provide, or assist participants in obtaining, legal services relevant to issues that interfere with the participants’ ability to obtain or retain permanent housing. (Note: Information regarding legal services provided may be protected from being released to the grantee or VA under attorney-client privilege, although grantee must provide sufficient information to demonstrate the frequency and type of service delivered.) Support for legal services can include paying for court filing fees to assist a participant with issues that interfere with the participant’s ability to obtain or retain permanent housing or supportive services, including issues that affect the participant’s employability and financial security. Grantees (in addition to employees and members of grantees) may represent participants before VA with respect to a claim for VA benefits, but only if they are recognized for that purpose pursuant to 38 U.S.C. Chapter 59. Further, the individual providing such representation must be accredited pursuant to 38 U.S.C. Chapter 59. 5. Access to mental health and addiction services are required by SSVF; however, grantees cannot fund these services directly through the SSVF grant. Therefore, applicants must demonstrate, through either formal or informal agreements, their ability to promote rapid access and engagement to mental health and addiction services for the Veteran and family members. PO 00000 Frm 00155 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 6. VA recognizes that extremely lowincome Veterans, with incomes below 30 percent of the area median income, face greater barriers to permanent housing placement. Grantees should consider how they can support these participants. 7. When serving participants who are residing in permanent housing, the defining question to ask is: ‘‘Would this individual or family be homeless but for this assistance?’’ The grantee must use a VA-approved screening tool with criteria that targets those most at-risk of homelessness. To qualify for SSVF services, a participant who is served under 38 CFR 62.11(a) (homeless prevention) must not have sufficient resources or support networks (e.g., family, friends, faith-based or other social networks) immediately available to prevent them from becoming homeless. To further qualify for services under 38 CFR 62.11(a), the grantee must document that the participant meets at least one of the following conditions: (a) Has moved because of economic reasons two or more times during the 60 days immediately preceding the application for homelessness prevention assistance; (b) Is living in the home of another because of economic hardship; (c) Has been notified in writing that their right to occupy their current housing or living situation will be terminated within 21 days after the date of application for assistance; (d) Lives in a hotel or motel and the cost of the hotel or motel stay is not paid by charitable organizations or by Federal, State, or local government programs for low-income individuals; (e) Is exiting a publicly funded institution or system of care (such as a health care facility, a mental health facility, or correctional institution) without a stable housing plan; or (f) Otherwise lives in housing that has characteristics associated with instability and an increased risk of homelessness, as identified in the recipient’s approved screening tool. 8. SSVF grantees are required to participate in local planning efforts designed to end Veteran homelessness. Grantees may use grant funds to support SSVF involvement in such community planning by sub-contracting with CoCs, when such funding is essential to create or sustain the development of these data driven plans. 9. When other funds from community resources are not readily available to assist program participants, grantees may choose to utilize supportive services grants, to the extent described in this NOFA and in 38 CFR 62.33 and 62.34, to provide temporary financial E:\FR\FM\15JAN1.SGM 15JAN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 10 / Friday, January 15, 2016 / Notices 5. Applicants should fill out separate applications for each supportive services renewal funding request. D. Supportive Services Grant Award Period: Grant awards are generally made for a 1-year period, although selected grants may be eligible for a 3-year award (see VI.C.6). All grants are eligible to be renewed subject to the availability of funding. II. Award Information mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES assistance. Such assistance may, subject to the limitations in this NOFA and 38 CFR part 62, be paid directly to a third party on behalf of a participant for child care, transportation, family emergency housing assistance, rental assistance, utility-fee payment assistance, security or utility deposits, moving costs and general housing stability assistance as necessary. III. Eligibility Information A. Eligible Applicants: Only eligible entities that are existing grantees can apply in response to this NOFA. In order to be eligible, an applicant must qualify as a private non-profit organization (section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) tax exempt status is required) or a consumer cooperative as defined in 38 U.S.C. 2044(f). In addition, tribally designated housing entities (as defined in section 4 of the Native American Housing Assistance and SelfDetermination Act of 1996 (25 U.S.C. 4103)) are eligible. B. Cost Sharing or Matching: None. A. Overview: This NOFA announces the availability of funds for supportive services grants under the SSVF Program and pertains to proposals for renewal of existing supportive services grant programs. New applications for SSVF grant awards will not be funded through this NOFA. Up to $300 million will be available through this NOFA. B. Funding: To be eligible for renewal of a supportive services grant, the grantee’s program concept must be substantially the same with the program concept of the grantee’s current grant award. Renewal applications can request funding that is equal to or less than their current award. If sufficient funding is available, VA may provide an increase of up to 2 percent from the previous year’s award. Any percentage increase, if provided, will be awarded uniformly to all grant recipients regardless of their grant award. As provided in section V.5., VA may in its discretion offer to award a non-renewed grant to the highest-ranked applicant that is awarded a renewal grant in the same community as, or a proximate community to, the non-renewed grant, so long as that applicant has the capacity to promptly begin providing services in connection with all awards. In such instance, the amount of the award will be equal to or less than the prior award which was not renewed. C. Allocation of Funds: Funding will be awarded under this NOFA to existing grantees for a 1- to 3-year period beginning October 1, 2016. The following requirements apply to supportive services grants awarded under this NOFA: 1. In response to this NOFA, only existing grantees can apply. 2. Each grant request cannot exceed the current award. 3. Applicants may request an amount less than their current award (this will not be considered a substantial change to the program concept). 4. If a grantee failed to use all of awarded funds in the previous fiscal year (2016), VA may elect to limit renewal award to the amount of funds used in the previous fiscal year. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:01 Jan 14, 2016 Jkt 238001 IV. Application and Submission Information A. Address to Request Application Package: Download directly from the SSVF Program Web site at www.va.gov/ homeless/ssvf.asp or send a written request for an application to SSVF Program Office, National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans, 4100 Chester Avenue, Suite 201, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Any questions regarding this process should be referred to the SSVF Program Office via phone at (877) 737–0111 (toll-free number) or via email at SSVF@va.gov. For detailed SSVF Program information and requirements, see 38 CFR 62. B. Content and Form of Application: Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications electronically following instructions found at www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp. Alternatively, applicants can mail in applications. If mailed, applicants must submit two completed collated, hard copies of the application and two CDs containing electronic versions of the entire application are required. Each application copy must (i) be fastened with a binder clip, and (ii) contain tabs listing the major sections of and exhibits to the application. Each CD must be labeled with the applicant’s name and must contain an electronic copy of the entire application. A budget template must be attached in Excel format on the CD, but all other application materials may be attached in a PDF or other format. C. Submission Dates and Times: Applications for supportive services PO 00000 Frm 00156 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2315 grants under the SSVF Program must be received by the SSVF Program Office by 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on February 5, 2016. Awards made for supportive services grants will fund operations beginning October 1, 2016. Applications must arrive as a complete package. Materials arriving separately will not be included in the application package for consideration and may result in the application being rejected. Additionally, in the interest of fairness to all competing applicants, this deadline is firm as to date and hour, and VA will treat as ineligible for consideration any application that is received after the deadline. Applicants should take this practice into account and make early submission of their materials to avoid any risk of loss of eligibility brought about by unanticipated delays, computer service outages, or other delivery-related problems. D. Intergovernmental Review: This section is not applicable to the SSVF Program. E. Funding Restrictions: Up to $300 million may be awarded depending on funding availability and subject to available appropriations for supportive services grants to be funded under this NOFA. Applicants should fill out separate applications for each supportive services funding request. Funding will be awarded under this NOFA to existing grantees for a 1- to 3year period beginning October 1, 2016. F. Other Submission Requirements: 1. Applicants may apply only as renewal applicants using the application designed for renewal grants. 2. At the discretion of VA, multiple grant proposals submitted by the same lead agency may be combined into a single grant award if the proposals provide services to contiguous areas. Any funds awarded pursuant to section V.5. will be combined into a single award. 3. Additional supportive services grant application requirements are specified in the application package. Submission of an incorrect or incomplete application package will result in the application being rejected during threshold review. The application packages must contain all required forms and certifications. Selections will be made based on criteria described in 38 CFR part 62 and this NOFA. Applicants and grantees will be notified of any additional information needed to confirm or clarify information provided in the application and the deadline by which to submit such information. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications electronically. If mailed, applications and CDs must be submitted E:\FR\FM\15JAN1.SGM 15JAN1 2316 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 10 / Friday, January 15, 2016 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES to the following address: SSVF Program Office, National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans, 4100 Chester Avenue, Suite 201, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Applicants must submit two hard copies and two CDs. Applications may not be sent by facsimile (FAX). V. Application Review Information A. Criteria: 1. VA will only score applicants that meet the following threshold requirements: (a) The application is filed within the time period established in the NOFA, and any additional information or documentation requested by VA under 38 CFR 62.20(c) is provided within the time frame established by VA; (b) The application is completed in all parts; (c) The applicant is an eligible entity; (d) The activities for which the supportive services grant is requested are eligible for funding under 38 CFR part 62; (e) The applicant’s proposed participants are eligible to receive supportive services under this part; (f) The applicant agrees to comply with the requirements of 38 CFR part 62; (g) The applicant does not have an outstanding obligation to the Federal Government that is in arrears and does not have an overdue or unsatisfactory response to an audit; and (h) The applicant is not in default by failing to meet the requirements for any previous Federal assistance. 2. VA will use the following criteria to score grantees applying for renewal of a supportive services grant: (a) VA will award up to 55 points based on the success of the grantee’s program. (b) VA will award up to 30 points based on the cost-effectiveness of the grantee’s program. (c) VA will award up to 15 points based on the extent to which the grantee’s program complies with SSVF Program goals and requirements. 3. VA will use the following process to select applicants to receive supportive services grants: VA will score all applicants that meet the threshold requirements set forth in 38 CFR 62.21 using the scoring criteria set forth in 38 CFR 62.24. B. Review and Selection Process: VA will review all supportive services renewal grant applications in response to this NOFA according to the following steps: 1. Score all applications that meet the threshold requirements described in 38 CFR 62.21. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:01 Jan 14, 2016 Jkt 238001 2. Rank those applications who score at least 75 cumulative points and receive at least one point under each of the categories identified for renewal applicants in 38 CFR 62.24. The applications will be ranked in order from highest to lowest scores in accordance with 38 CFR 62.25. 3. Utilize the ranked scores of applications as the primary basis for selection. However, VA will also utilize the following considerations in 38 CFR 62.23(d) to select applicants for funding: (a) Give preference to applications that provide or coordinate the provision of supportive services for very lowincome Veteran families transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing. Consistent with this preference, where other funds from community resources are not readily available for temporary financial assistance, applicants are required to spend no less than 60 percent of all budgeted temporary financial assistance on participants occupying permanent housing as defined in 38 CFR 62.11(b)). Waivers to this 60 percent requirement may be requested when grantees can demonstrate significant local progress towards eliminating homelessness in the target service area. Waiver requests must include data from authoritative sources such as HUD’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report, annual Point-In-Time Counts and evidence of decreased demand for emergency shelter and transitional housing. Waivers for the 60 percent requirement may also be requested for services provided to rural Indian tribal areas and other rural areas where shelter capacity is insufficient to meet local need. Waiver requests must include an endorsement by the impacted CoC explicitly stating that a shift in resources from rapid re-housing to prevention will not result in an increase in homelessness. (b) To the extent practicable, ensure that supportive services grants are equitably distributed across geographic regions, including rural communities and tribal lands. This equitable distribution criteria will be used to ensure that SSVF resources are provided to those communities with the highest need as identified by authoritative sources such as HUD’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report, annual Point-In-Time Counts and VA Homeless Registry data. 4. Subject to the considerations noted in paragraph B.3 above, VA will fund the highest-ranked applicants for which funding is available. 5. VA may in its discretion offer to award a non-renewed grant to the highest-ranked applicant that is PO 00000 Frm 00157 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 awarded a renewal grant in the same community as, or a proximate community to, the non-renewed grant, so long as that applicant has the capacity to promptly begin providing services in connection with all awards. If that applicant declines the award, VA will offer the award to the next highestranked applicant and continue in that manner until a qualifying grantee accepts the award. VI. Award Administration Information A. Award Notices: Although subject to change, the SSVF Program Office expects to announce grant recipients for all applicants in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2016 with grants beginning October 1, 2016. Prior to executing a funding agreement, VA will contact the applicants and make known the amount of proposed funding and verify that the applicant would still like the funding. Once VA verifies that the applicant is still seeking funding, VA will execute an agreement and make payments to the grant recipient in accordance with 38 CFR part 62 and this NOFA. B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: It is VA policy to support a ‘‘Housing First’’ model in addressing and ending homelessness. Housing First establishes housing stability as the primary intervention in working with homeless persons. The Housing First approach is based on research that shows that a homeless individual or household’s first and primary need is to obtain stable housing, and that other issues that may affect the household can and should be addressed as housing is obtained. Housing is not contingent on compliance with services; instead, participants must comply with a standard lease agreement and are provided with the services and supports that are necessary to help them do so successfully. Research supports this approach as an effective means to end homelessness. Consistent with the Housing First model supported by VA, grantees are expected to offer the following supportive services: Housing counseling; assisting participants in understanding leases; securing utilities; making moving arrangements; providing representative payee services concerning rent and utilities when needed; and mediation and outreach to property owners related to locating or retaining housing. Grantees may also assist participants by providing rental assistance, security or utility deposits, moving costs or emergency supplies, using other Federal resources, such as the ESG, or supportive services grant funds to the extent described in this NOFA and 38 CFR 62.34. E:\FR\FM\15JAN1.SGM 15JAN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 10 / Friday, January 15, 2016 / Notices As SSVF grants cannot be used to fund treatment for mental health or substance use disorders, applicants must provide evidence that they can provide access to such services to all program participants through formal and informal agreements with community providers. C. Reporting: VA places great emphasis on the responsibility and accountability of grantees. As described in 38 CFR 62.63 and 62.71, VA has procedures in place to monitor supportive services provided to participants and outcomes associated with the supportive services provided under the SSVF Program. Applicants should be aware of the following: 1. Upon execution of a supportive services grant agreement with VA, grantees will have a VA regional coordinator assigned by the SSVF Program Office who will provide oversight and monitor supportive services provided to participants. 2. Grantees will be required to enter data into a Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) Web-based software application. This data will consist of information on the participants served and types of supportive services provided by grantees. Grantees must treat the data for activities funded by the SSVF Program separate from that of activities funded by other programs. Grantees will be required to work with their HMIS Administrators to export client-level data for activities funded by the SSVF Program to VA on at least a monthly basis. 3. VA shall complete annual monitoring evaluations of each grantee. Monitoring will also include the submittal of quarterly and annual financial and performance reports by the grantee. The grantee will be expected to demonstrate adherence to the grantee’s proposed program concept, as described in the grantee’s application. All grantees are subject to audits conducted by the VA Financial Services Center. 4. Grantees will be required to provide each participant with a satisfaction survey which can be submitted by the participant directly to VA within 30 days of such participant’s pending exit from the grantee’s program. 5. Grantees will be assessed based on their ability to meet critical performance measures. In addition to meeting program requirements defined by the regulations and applicable NOFA(s), grantees will be assessed on their ability to place participants into housing and the housing retention rates of participants served. Higher placement for homeless participants and higher VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:01 Jan 14, 2016 Jkt 238001 housing retention rates for at-risk participants are expected for very-low income Veteran families when compared to extremely low-income Veteran families with incomes below 30 percent of the area median income. 6. Organizations receiving renewal awards and that have had ongoing SSVF program operation for at least 1 year (as measured from the start of initial SSVF services until January 16, 2016) may be eligible for a 3-year award. Grantees meeting outcome goals defined by VA and in substantial compliance with their grant agreements (defined by meeting targets and having no outstanding corrective action plans) and who, in addition, receive 3-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in Employment and Community Services: Rapid Rehousing and Homeless Prevention standards or a 4-year accreditation from the Council on Accreditation’s (COA) accreditation in Supported Community Living Services standards are eligible for a 3-year grant renewal subject to funding availability (NOTE: Multi-year awards are contingent on funding availability). If awarded a multiple year renewal, grantees may be eligible for funding increases as defined in NOFAs that correspond to years 2 and 3 of their renewal funding. VII. Agency Contact John Kuhn, Supportive SSVF Program Office, National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans, 4100 Chester Avenue, Suite 201, Philadelphia, PA 19104; (877) 737–0111 (this is a toll-free number); SSVF@va.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: VIII. Other Information A. VA Goals and Objectives for Funds Awarded Under this NOFA: In accordance with 38 CFR 62.24(c), VA will evaluate an applicant’s compliance with VA goals and requirements for the SSVF Program. VA goals and requirements include the provision of supportive services designed to enhance the housing stability and independent living skills of very low-income Veteran families occupying permanent housing across geographic regions and program administration in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines. For purposes of this NOFA, VA goals and requirements also include the provision of supportive services designed to rapidly re-house or prevent homelessness among people in the following target populations who also meet all requirements for being part of a very low-income Veteran family occupying permanent housing: PO 00000 Frm 00158 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2317 1. Veteran families earning less than 30 percent of area median income as most recently published by HUD for programs under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f) (http://www.huduser.org). 2. Veterans with at least one dependent family member. 3. Veterans returning from Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, or Operation New Dawn. 4. Veteran families located in a community, as defined by HUD’s CoC, or a county not currently served by a SSVF grantee. 5. Veteran families located in a community, as defined by HUD’s CoC, where current level of SSVF services is not sufficient to meet demand of Category 2 and 3 (currently homeless) Veteran families. 6. Veteran families located in a rural area. 7. Veteran families located on Indian Tribal Property. B. Payments of Supportive Services Grant Funds: Grantees will receive payments electronically through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Payment Management System. Grantees will have the ability to request payments as frequently as they choose subject to the following limitations: 1. During the first quarter of the grantee’s supportive services annualized grant award period, the grantee’s cumulative requests for supportive services grant funds may not exceed 35 percent of the total supportive services grant award without written approval by VA. 2. By the end of the second quarter of the grantee’s supportive services annualized grant award period, the grantee’s cumulative requests for supportive services grant funds may not exceed 60 percent of the total supportive services grant award without written approval by VA. 3. By the end of the third quarter of the grantee’s supportive services annualized grant award period, the grantee’s cumulative requests for supportive services grant funds may not exceed 80 percent of the total supportive services grant award without written approval by VA. 4. By the end of the fourth quarter of the grantee’s supportive services annualized grant award period, the grantee’s cumulative requests for supportive services grant funds may not exceed 100 percent of the total supportive services grant award. Signing Authority The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and E:\FR\FM\15JAN1.SGM 15JAN1 2318 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 10 / Friday, January 15, 2016 / Notices submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Robert L. Nabors II, Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on January 7, 2016, for publication. Dated: January 12, 2016. Michael P. Shores, Chief Impact Analyst, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs. [FR Doc. 2016–00727 Filed 1–14–16; 8:45 am] mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES BILLING CODE 8320–01–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:01 Jan 14, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00159 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 E:\FR\FM\15JAN1.SGM 15JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 10 (Friday, January 15, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 2312-2318]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-00727]


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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS


Funding Availability Under Supportive Services for Veteran 
Families Program

AGENCY: Veterans Health Administration, VA.

ACTION: Notice of fund availability.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: 
    Funding Opportunity Title: Supportive Services for Veteran Families 
Program.
    Announcement Type: Initial.
    Funding Opportunity Number: VA-SSVF-011516.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 64.033, VA 
Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program.
    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is announcing the 
availability of funds for supportive services grants under the 
Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program. This Notice of 
Fund Availability (NOFA) contains information concerning the SSVF 
Program, initial supportive services grant application processes, and 
the amount of funding available. Awards made for supportive services 
grants will fund operations beginning October 1, 2016.

DATES: Applications for supportive services grants under the SSVF 
Program must be received by the SSVF Program Office by 4:00 p.m. 
Eastern Time on February 5, 2016. In the interest of fairness to all 
competing applicants, this deadline is firm as to date and hour, and VA 
will treat as ineligible for consideration any application that is 
received after the deadline. Applicants should take this practice into 
account and make early submission of their materials to avoid any risk 
of loss of eligibility brought about by unanticipated delays, computer 
service outages, or other delivery-related problems.

ADDRESSES: For a Copy of the Application Package: Copies of the 
application can be downloaded directly from the SSVF Program Web site 
at: www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp. Questions should be referred to the 
SSVF Program Office via email at SSVF@va.gov. For detailed SSVF Program 
information and requirements, see part 62 of Title 38, Code of Federal 
Regulations (38 CFR part 62).
    Submission of Application Package: Applicants are strongly 
encouraged to submit applications electronically following instructions 
found at www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp. Alternatively, applicants can 
mail in applications. If mailed, applicants must submit two completed, 
collated, hard copies of the application and two compact discs (CDs) 
containing electronic versions of the entire application are required. 
Each application copy must (i) be fastened with a binder clip, and (ii) 
contain tabs listing the major sections of and exhibits to the 
application. Each CD must be labeled with the applicant's name and must 
contain an electronic copy of the entire application. A budget template 
must be attached in Excel format on the CD, but all other application 
materials may be attached in a PDF or other format. The application 
copies and CDs must be submitted to the following address: Supportive 
Services for Veteran Families Program Office National Center on 
Homelessness Among Veterans, 4100 Chester Avenue, Suite 201, 
Philadelphia, PA 19104. Applicants must submit two hard copies and two 
CDs. Applications may not be sent by facsimile (FAX). Applications must 
be received in the SSVF Program Office by

[[Page 2313]]

4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the application deadline date. Applications 
must arrive as a complete package. Materials arriving separately will 
not be included in the application package for consideration and may 
result in the application being rejected. See Section II.C. of this 
NOFA for maximum allowable grant amounts.
    Technical Assistance: Information regarding how to obtain technical 
assistance with the preparation of an initial supportive services grant 
application is available on the SSVF Program Web site at: http://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/SSVF.asp.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. John Kuhn, Supportive Services for 
Veteran Families Program Office, National Center on Homelessness Among 
Veterans, 4100 Chester Avenue, Suite 201, Philadelphia, PA 19104; 
SSVF@va.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    A. Purpose: The SSVF Program's purpose is to provide supportive 
services grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer 
cooperatives, who will coordinate or provide supportive services to 
very low-income Veteran families who: (i) Are residing in permanent 
housing; (ii) are homeless and scheduled to become residents of 
permanent housing within a specified time period; or (iii) after 
exiting permanent housing within a specified time period, are seeking 
other housing that is responsive to such very low-income Veteran 
family's needs and preferences.
    B. Funding Priorities: VA will provide up to $300 million for 
existing grantees seeking to renew their grants.
    C. Definitions: Part 62 of title 38, Code of Federal Regulations 
(38 CFR part 62), contains definitions of terms used in the SSVF 
Program.
    D. Approach: Respondents to this NOFA should base their proposals 
and applications on the current requirements of part 62. Grantees will 
be expected to leverage supportive services grant funds to enhance the 
housing stability of very low-income Veteran families who are occupying 
permanent housing. In doing so, grantees are required to establish 
relationships with local community resources. Therefore, agencies must 
work through coordinated partnerships built either through formal 
agreements or the informal working relationships commonly found amongst 
strong social service providers. The scoring criteria for grantees 
applying for renewal supportive services grants are at 38 CFR 62.24, 
which provides for points to be awarded based on the success of the 
grantee's program. As part of the application, all applicants are 
strongly encouraged to provide letters of support from their respective 
VA Network Homeless Coordinator (or their designee). In addition, 
applicants are strongly encouraged to provide letters of support from 
the Continuum of Care (CoC) where they plan to deliver services that 
reflect the applicant's engagement in the CoC's efforts to coordinate 
services. The CoC may elect to provide VA with a rank order of their 
support in lieu of providing individual letters of support. A CoC is a 
community plan to organize and deliver housing and services to meet the 
needs of people who are homeless as they move to stable housing and 
maximize self-sufficiency. It includes action steps to end homelessness 
and prevent a return to homelessness (CoC locations and contact 
information can be found at the Department of Housing and Urban 
Development's (HUD) Web site, http://www.hudhre.info/index.cfm?do=viewCocMaps). The CoC's letter of support should describe 
the applicant's participation in the CoC's coordinated assessment 
efforts (coordinated assessment refers to a common process for 
accessing homeless assistance services including: Prevention, 
diversion, emergency shelter, transitional housing, rapid re-housing, 
supportive services and even permanent supportive housing). In 
addition, any applicant proposing to serve an Indian Tribal area is 
strongly encouraged to provide a letter of support from the relevant 
Indian Tribal Government. The aim of the provision of supportive 
services is to assist very low-income Veteran families residing in 
permanent housing to remain stably housed and to rapidly transition 
those not currently in permanent housing to stable housing. SSVF 
emphasizes the placement of homeless Veteran families who are described 
in regulation as (i) very low-income Veteran families who are homeless 
and scheduled to become residents of permanent housing within 90 days, 
and (ii) very low-income Veteran families who have exited permanent 
housing within the previous 90 days to seek other housing that is 
responsive to their needs and preferences. As a crisis intervention 
program, the SSVF Program is not intended to provide long-term support 
for participants, nor will it be able to address all of the financial 
and supportive services needs of participants that affect housing 
stability. Rather, when participants require long-term support, 
grantees should focus on connecting such participants to income 
supports, such as employment and mainstream Federal and community 
resources (e.g., HUD-VA Supportive Housing program, HUD Housing Choice 
Voucher programs, McKinney-Vento funded supportive housing programs, 
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Social Security 
Income/Social Security Disability Insurance (SSI/SSDI) etc.) that can 
provide ongoing support as required.
    Assistance in obtaining or retaining permanent housing is a 
fundamental goal of the SSVF Program. Grantees must provide case 
management services in accordance with 38 CFR 62.31. Such case 
management should include tenant counseling, mediation with landlords 
and outreach to landlords.
    E. Authority: Funding applied for under this NOFA is authorized by 
38 U.S.C. 2044. VA implements the SSVF Program by regulation in 38 CFR 
part 62. Funds made available under this NOFA are subject to the 
requirements of the aforementioned regulations and other applicable 
laws and regulations.
    F. Requirements for the Use of Supportive Services Grant Funds: The 
grantee's request for funding must be consistent with the limitations 
and uses of supportive services grant funds set forth in 38 CFR part 62 
and this NOFA. In accordance with the regulations and this NOFA, the 
following requirements apply to supportive services grants awarded 
under this NOFA:
    1. Grantees may use a maximum of 10 percent of supportive services 
grant funds for administrative costs identified in 38 CFR 62.70.
    2. Grantees must use a minimum of 60 percent of the temporary 
financial assistance portion of their supportive services grant funds 
to serve very low-income Veteran families who qualify under 38 CFR 
62.11(b). (NOTE: Grantees may request a waiver to decrease this 
minimum, as discussed in section V.B.3.a.)
    3. Grantees may use a maximum of 50 percent of supportive services 
grant funds to provide the supportive service of temporary financial 
assistance paid directly to a third party on behalf of a participant 
for child care, emergency housing assistance, transportation, rental 
assistance, utility-fee payment assistance, security deposits, utility 
deposits, moving costs, and general housing stability assistance (which 
includes emergency supplies) in accordance with 38 CFR 62.33 and 38 CFR 
62.34.
    G. Guidance for the Use of Supportive Services Grant Funds: It is 
VA policy to support a ``Housing First'' model in

[[Page 2314]]

addressing and ending homelessness. Housing First establishes housing 
stability as the primary intervention in working with homeless persons. 
The Housing First approach is based on research that shows that a 
homeless individual or household's first and primary need is to obtain 
stable housing, and that other issues that may affect the household can 
and should be addressed as housing is obtained. Research supports this 
approach as an effective means to end homelessness. Housing is not 
contingent on compliance with mandated therapies or services; instead, 
participants must comply with a standard lease agreement and are 
provided with the services and supports that are necessary to help them 
do so successfully.
    Grantees must develop plans that will ensure that Veteran 
participants have the level of income and economic stability needed to 
remain in permanent housing after the conclusion of the SSVF 
intervention. Both employment and benefits assistance from VA and non-
VA sources represent a significant underutilized source of income 
stability for homeless Veterans. The complexity of program rules and 
the stigma some associate with entitlement programs contributes to 
their lack of use. To this effect, grantees are encouraged to consider 
strategies that can lead to prompt and successful access to employment 
and benefits that are essential to retaining housing.
    1. Consistent with the Housing First model supported by VA, 
grantees are expected to offer the following supportive services: 
Housing counseling; assisting participants in understanding leases; 
securing utilities; making moving arrangements; providing 
representative payee services concerning rent and utilities when 
needed; and mediation and outreach to property owners related to 
locating or retaining housing. Grantees may also assist participants by 
providing rental assistance, security or utility deposits, moving costs 
or emergency supplies; or using other Federal resources, such as the 
HUD's ESG, or supportive services grant funds subject to the 
limitations described in this NOFA and 38 CFR 62.34.
    2. As SSVF is a short-term crisis intervention, grantees must 
develop plans that will produce sufficient income to sustain Veteran 
participants in permanent housing after the conclusion of the SSVF 
intervention. Grantees must ensure the availability of employment and 
vocational services either through the direct provision of these 
services or their availability through formal or informal service 
agreements. Agreements with Homeless Veteran Reintegration Programs 
funded by the U.S. Department of Labor are strongly encouraged. For 
participants unable to work due to disability, income must be 
established through available benefits programs.
    3. Per 38 CFR 62.33, grantees must assist participants in obtaining 
public benefits. Grantees must screen all participants for eligibility 
for a broad range of entitlements such as TANF, Social Security, the 
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Low Income Home 
Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), the Earned Income Tax Credit 
(EITC), and local General Assistance programs. Grantees are expected to 
access the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's 
SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) program either though 
community linkages or by training staff to deliver SOAR services. In 
addition, where available grantees should access information technology 
tools to support case managers in their efforts to link participants to 
benefits.
    4. Grantees are encouraged to provide, or assist participants in 
obtaining, legal services relevant to issues that interfere with the 
participants' ability to obtain or retain permanent housing. (Note: 
Information regarding legal services provided may be protected from 
being released to the grantee or VA under attorney-client privilege, 
although grantee must provide sufficient information to demonstrate the 
frequency and type of service delivered.) Support for legal services 
can include paying for court filing fees to assist a participant with 
issues that interfere with the participant's ability to obtain or 
retain permanent housing or supportive services, including issues that 
affect the participant's employability and financial security. Grantees 
(in addition to employees and members of grantees) may represent 
participants before VA with respect to a claim for VA benefits, but 
only if they are recognized for that purpose pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 
Chapter 59. Further, the individual providing such representation must 
be accredited pursuant to 38 U.S.C. Chapter 59.
    5. Access to mental health and addiction services are required by 
SSVF; however, grantees cannot fund these services directly through the 
SSVF grant. Therefore, applicants must demonstrate, through either 
formal or informal agreements, their ability to promote rapid access 
and engagement to mental health and addiction services for the Veteran 
and family members.
    6. VA recognizes that extremely low-income Veterans, with incomes 
below 30 percent of the area median income, face greater barriers to 
permanent housing placement. Grantees should consider how they can 
support these participants.
    7. When serving participants who are residing in permanent housing, 
the defining question to ask is: ``Would this individual or family be 
homeless but for this assistance?'' The grantee must use a VA-approved 
screening tool with criteria that targets those most at-risk of 
homelessness. To qualify for SSVF services, a participant who is served 
under 38 CFR 62.11(a) (homeless prevention) must not have sufficient 
resources or support networks (e.g., family, friends, faith-based or 
other social networks) immediately available to prevent them from 
becoming homeless. To further qualify for services under 38 CFR 
62.11(a), the grantee must document that the participant meets at least 
one of the following conditions:
    (a) Has moved because of economic reasons two or more times during 
the 60 days immediately preceding the application for homelessness 
prevention assistance;
    (b) Is living in the home of another because of economic hardship;
    (c) Has been notified in writing that their right to occupy their 
current housing or living situation will be terminated within 21 days 
after the date of application for assistance;
    (d) Lives in a hotel or motel and the cost of the hotel or motel 
stay is not paid by charitable organizations or by Federal, State, or 
local government programs for low-income individuals;
    (e) Is exiting a publicly funded institution or system of care 
(such as a health care facility, a mental health facility, or 
correctional institution) without a stable housing plan; or
    (f) Otherwise lives in housing that has characteristics associated 
with instability and an increased risk of homelessness, as identified 
in the recipient's approved screening tool.
    8. SSVF grantees are required to participate in local planning 
efforts designed to end Veteran homelessness. Grantees may use grant 
funds to support SSVF involvement in such community planning by sub-
contracting with CoCs, when such funding is essential to create or 
sustain the development of these data driven plans.
    9. When other funds from community resources are not readily 
available to assist program participants, grantees may choose to 
utilize supportive services grants, to the extent described in this 
NOFA and in 38 CFR 62.33 and 62.34, to provide temporary financial

[[Page 2315]]

assistance. Such assistance may, subject to the limitations in this 
NOFA and 38 CFR part 62, be paid directly to a third party on behalf of 
a participant for child care, transportation, family emergency housing 
assistance, rental assistance, utility-fee payment assistance, security 
or utility deposits, moving costs and general housing stability 
assistance as necessary.

II. Award Information

    A. Overview: This NOFA announces the availability of funds for 
supportive services grants under the SSVF Program and pertains to 
proposals for renewal of existing supportive services grant programs. 
New applications for SSVF grant awards will not be funded through this 
NOFA. Up to $300 million will be available through this NOFA.
    B. Funding: To be eligible for renewal of a supportive services 
grant, the grantee's program concept must be substantially the same 
with the program concept of the grantee's current grant award. Renewal 
applications can request funding that is equal to or less than their 
current award. If sufficient funding is available, VA may provide an 
increase of up to 2 percent from the previous year's award. Any 
percentage increase, if provided, will be awarded uniformly to all 
grant recipients regardless of their grant award. As provided in 
section V.5., VA may in its discretion offer to award a non-renewed 
grant to the highest-ranked applicant that is awarded a renewal grant 
in the same community as, or a proximate community to, the non-renewed 
grant, so long as that applicant has the capacity to promptly begin 
providing services in connection with all awards. In such instance, the 
amount of the award will be equal to or less than the prior award which 
was not renewed.
    C. Allocation of Funds: Funding will be awarded under this NOFA to 
existing grantees for a 1- to 3-year period beginning October 1, 2016. 
The following requirements apply to supportive services grants awarded 
under this NOFA:
    1. In response to this NOFA, only existing grantees can apply.
    2. Each grant request cannot exceed the current award.
    3. Applicants may request an amount less than their current award 
(this will not be considered a substantial change to the program 
concept).
    4. If a grantee failed to use all of awarded funds in the previous 
fiscal year (2016), VA may elect to limit renewal award to the amount 
of funds used in the previous fiscal year.
    5. Applicants should fill out separate applications for each 
supportive services renewal funding request.
    D. Supportive Services Grant Award Period: Grant awards are 
generally made for a 1-year period, although selected grants may be 
eligible for a 3-year award (see VI.C.6). All grants are eligible to be 
renewed subject to the availability of funding.

III. Eligibility Information

    A. Eligible Applicants: Only eligible entities that are existing 
grantees can apply in response to this NOFA. In order to be eligible, 
an applicant must qualify as a private non-profit organization (section 
501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) tax exempt status is required) or a consumer 
cooperative as defined in 38 U.S.C. 2044(f). In addition, tribally 
designated housing entities (as defined in section 4 of the Native 
American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 (25 
U.S.C. 4103)) are eligible.
    B. Cost Sharing or Matching: None.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    A. Address to Request Application Package: Download directly from 
the SSVF Program Web site at www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp or send a 
written request for an application to SSVF Program Office, National 
Center on Homelessness Among Veterans, 4100 Chester Avenue, Suite 201, 
Philadelphia, PA 19104. Any questions regarding this process should be 
referred to the SSVF Program Office via phone at (877) 737-0111 (toll-
free number) or via email at SSVF@va.gov. For detailed SSVF Program 
information and requirements, see 38 CFR 62.
    B. Content and Form of Application: Applicants are strongly 
encouraged to submit applications electronically following instructions 
found at www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp. Alternatively, applicants can 
mail in applications. If mailed, applicants must submit two completed 
collated, hard copies of the application and two CDs containing 
electronic versions of the entire application are required. Each 
application copy must (i) be fastened with a binder clip, and (ii) 
contain tabs listing the major sections of and exhibits to the 
application. Each CD must be labeled with the applicant's name and must 
contain an electronic copy of the entire application. A budget template 
must be attached in Excel format on the CD, but all other application 
materials may be attached in a PDF or other format.
    C. Submission Dates and Times: Applications for supportive services 
grants under the SSVF Program must be received by the SSVF Program 
Office by 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on February 5, 2016. Awards made for 
supportive services grants will fund operations beginning October 1, 
2016. Applications must arrive as a complete package. Materials 
arriving separately will not be included in the application package for 
consideration and may result in the application being rejected. 
Additionally, in the interest of fairness to all competing applicants, 
this deadline is firm as to date and hour, and VA will treat as 
ineligible for consideration any application that is received after the 
deadline. Applicants should take this practice into account and make 
early submission of their materials to avoid any risk of loss of 
eligibility brought about by unanticipated delays, computer service 
outages, or other delivery-related problems.
    D. Intergovernmental Review: This section is not applicable to the 
SSVF Program.
    E. Funding Restrictions: Up to $300 million may be awarded 
depending on funding availability and subject to available 
appropriations for supportive services grants to be funded under this 
NOFA. Applicants should fill out separate applications for each 
supportive services funding request. Funding will be awarded under this 
NOFA to existing grantees for a 1- to 3-year period beginning October 
1, 2016.
    F. Other Submission Requirements:
    1. Applicants may apply only as renewal applicants using the 
application designed for renewal grants.
    2. At the discretion of VA, multiple grant proposals submitted by 
the same lead agency may be combined into a single grant award if the 
proposals provide services to contiguous areas. Any funds awarded 
pursuant to section V.5. will be combined into a single award.
    3. Additional supportive services grant application requirements 
are specified in the application package. Submission of an incorrect or 
incomplete application package will result in the application being 
rejected during threshold review. The application packages must contain 
all required forms and certifications. Selections will be made based on 
criteria described in 38 CFR part 62 and this NOFA. Applicants and 
grantees will be notified of any additional information needed to 
confirm or clarify information provided in the application and the 
deadline by which to submit such information. Applicants are strongly 
encouraged to submit applications electronically. If mailed, 
applications and CDs must be submitted

[[Page 2316]]

to the following address: SSVF Program Office, National Center on 
Homelessness Among Veterans, 4100 Chester Avenue, Suite 201, 
Philadelphia, PA 19104. Applicants must submit two hard copies and two 
CDs. Applications may not be sent by facsimile (FAX).

V. Application Review Information

    A. Criteria:
    1. VA will only score applicants that meet the following threshold 
requirements:
    (a) The application is filed within the time period established in 
the NOFA, and any additional information or documentation requested by 
VA under 38 CFR 62.20(c) is provided within the time frame established 
by VA;
    (b) The application is completed in all parts;
    (c) The applicant is an eligible entity;
    (d) The activities for which the supportive services grant is 
requested are eligible for funding under 38 CFR part 62;
    (e) The applicant's proposed participants are eligible to receive 
supportive services under this part;
    (f) The applicant agrees to comply with the requirements of 38 CFR 
part 62;
    (g) The applicant does not have an outstanding obligation to the 
Federal Government that is in arrears and does not have an overdue or 
unsatisfactory response to an audit; and
    (h) The applicant is not in default by failing to meet the 
requirements for any previous Federal assistance.
    2. VA will use the following criteria to score grantees applying 
for renewal of a supportive services grant:
    (a) VA will award up to 55 points based on the success of the 
grantee's program.
    (b) VA will award up to 30 points based on the cost-effectiveness 
of the grantee's program.
    (c) VA will award up to 15 points based on the extent to which the 
grantee's program complies with SSVF Program goals and requirements.
    3. VA will use the following process to select applicants to 
receive supportive services grants: VA will score all applicants that 
meet the threshold requirements set forth in 38 CFR 62.21 using the 
scoring criteria set forth in 38 CFR 62.24.
    B. Review and Selection Process: VA will review all supportive 
services renewal grant applications in response to this NOFA according 
to the following steps:
    1. Score all applications that meet the threshold requirements 
described in 38 CFR 62.21.
    2. Rank those applications who score at least 75 cumulative points 
and receive at least one point under each of the categories identified 
for renewal applicants in 38 CFR 62.24. The applications will be ranked 
in order from highest to lowest scores in accordance with 38 CFR 62.25.
    3. Utilize the ranked scores of applications as the primary basis 
for selection. However, VA will also utilize the following 
considerations in 38 CFR 62.23(d) to select applicants for funding:
    (a) Give preference to applications that provide or coordinate the 
provision of supportive services for very low-income Veteran families 
transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing. Consistent with 
this preference, where other funds from community resources are not 
readily available for temporary financial assistance, applicants are 
required to spend no less than 60 percent of all budgeted temporary 
financial assistance on participants occupying permanent housing as 
defined in 38 CFR 62.11(b)). Waivers to this 60 percent requirement may 
be requested when grantees can demonstrate significant local progress 
towards eliminating homelessness in the target service area. Waiver 
requests must include data from authoritative sources such as HUD's 
Annual Homeless Assessment Report, annual Point-In-Time Counts and 
evidence of decreased demand for emergency shelter and transitional 
housing. Waivers for the 60 percent requirement may also be requested 
for services provided to rural Indian tribal areas and other rural 
areas where shelter capacity is insufficient to meet local need. Waiver 
requests must include an endorsement by the impacted CoC explicitly 
stating that a shift in resources from rapid re-housing to prevention 
will not result in an increase in homelessness.
    (b) To the extent practicable, ensure that supportive services 
grants are equitably distributed across geographic regions, including 
rural communities and tribal lands. This equitable distribution 
criteria will be used to ensure that SSVF resources are provided to 
those communities with the highest need as identified by authoritative 
sources such as HUD's Annual Homeless Assessment Report, annual Point-
In-Time Counts and VA Homeless Registry data.
    4. Subject to the considerations noted in paragraph B.3 above, VA 
will fund the highest-ranked applicants for which funding is available.
    5. VA may in its discretion offer to award a non-renewed grant to 
the highest-ranked applicant that is awarded a renewal grant in the 
same community as, or a proximate community to, the non-renewed grant, 
so long as that applicant has the capacity to promptly begin providing 
services in connection with all awards. If that applicant declines the 
award, VA will offer the award to the next highest-ranked applicant and 
continue in that manner until a qualifying grantee accepts the award.

VI. Award Administration Information

    A. Award Notices: Although subject to change, the SSVF Program 
Office expects to announce grant recipients for all applicants in the 
fourth quarter of fiscal year 2016 with grants beginning October 1, 
2016. Prior to executing a funding agreement, VA will contact the 
applicants and make known the amount of proposed funding and verify 
that the applicant would still like the funding. Once VA verifies that 
the applicant is still seeking funding, VA will execute an agreement 
and make payments to the grant recipient in accordance with 38 CFR part 
62 and this NOFA.
    B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: It is VA policy 
to support a ``Housing First'' model in addressing and ending 
homelessness. Housing First establishes housing stability as the 
primary intervention in working with homeless persons. The Housing 
First approach is based on research that shows that a homeless 
individual or household's first and primary need is to obtain stable 
housing, and that other issues that may affect the household can and 
should be addressed as housing is obtained. Housing is not contingent 
on compliance with services; instead, participants must comply with a 
standard lease agreement and are provided with the services and 
supports that are necessary to help them do so successfully. Research 
supports this approach as an effective means to end homelessness.
    Consistent with the Housing First model supported by VA, grantees 
are expected to offer the following supportive services: Housing 
counseling; assisting participants in understanding leases; securing 
utilities; making moving arrangements; providing representative payee 
services concerning rent and utilities when needed; and mediation and 
outreach to property owners related to locating or retaining housing. 
Grantees may also assist participants by providing rental assistance, 
security or utility deposits, moving costs or emergency supplies, using 
other Federal resources, such as the ESG, or supportive services grant 
funds to the extent described in this NOFA and 38 CFR 62.34.

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    As SSVF grants cannot be used to fund treatment for mental health 
or substance use disorders, applicants must provide evidence that they 
can provide access to such services to all program participants through 
formal and informal agreements with community providers.
    C. Reporting: VA places great emphasis on the responsibility and 
accountability of grantees. As described in 38 CFR 62.63 and 62.71, VA 
has procedures in place to monitor supportive services provided to 
participants and outcomes associated with the supportive services 
provided under the SSVF Program. Applicants should be aware of the 
following:
    1. Upon execution of a supportive services grant agreement with VA, 
grantees will have a VA regional coordinator assigned by the SSVF 
Program Office who will provide oversight and monitor supportive 
services provided to participants.
    2. Grantees will be required to enter data into a Homeless 
Management Information System (HMIS) Web-based software application. 
This data will consist of information on the participants served and 
types of supportive services provided by grantees. Grantees must treat 
the data for activities funded by the SSVF Program separate from that 
of activities funded by other programs. Grantees will be required to 
work with their HMIS Administrators to export client-level data for 
activities funded by the SSVF Program to VA on at least a monthly 
basis.
    3. VA shall complete annual monitoring evaluations of each grantee. 
Monitoring will also include the submittal of quarterly and annual 
financial and performance reports by the grantee. The grantee will be 
expected to demonstrate adherence to the grantee's proposed program 
concept, as described in the grantee's application. All grantees are 
subject to audits conducted by the VA Financial Services Center.
    4. Grantees will be required to provide each participant with a 
satisfaction survey which can be submitted by the participant directly 
to VA within 30 days of such participant's pending exit from the 
grantee's program.
    5. Grantees will be assessed based on their ability to meet 
critical performance measures. In addition to meeting program 
requirements defined by the regulations and applicable NOFA(s), 
grantees will be assessed on their ability to place participants into 
housing and the housing retention rates of participants served. Higher 
placement for homeless participants and higher housing retention rates 
for at-risk participants are expected for very-low income Veteran 
families when compared to extremely low-income Veteran families with 
incomes below 30 percent of the area median income.
    6. Organizations receiving renewal awards and that have had ongoing 
SSVF program operation for at least 1 year (as measured from the start 
of initial SSVF services until January 16, 2016) may be eligible for a 
3-year award. Grantees meeting outcome goals defined by VA and in 
substantial compliance with their grant agreements (defined by meeting 
targets and having no outstanding corrective action plans) and who, in 
addition, receive 3-year accreditation from the Commission on 
Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in Employment and 
Community Services: Rapid Rehousing and Homeless Prevention standards 
or a 4-year accreditation from the Council on Accreditation's (COA) 
accreditation in Supported Community Living Services standards are 
eligible for a 3-year grant renewal subject to funding availability 
(NOTE: Multi-year awards are contingent on funding availability). If 
awarded a multiple year renewal, grantees may be eligible for funding 
increases as defined in NOFAs that correspond to years 2 and 3 of their 
renewal funding.

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Kuhn, Supportive SSVF Program 
Office, National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans, 4100 Chester 
Avenue, Suite 201, Philadelphia, PA 19104; (877) 737-0111 (this is a 
toll-free number); SSVF@va.gov.

VIII. Other Information

    A. VA Goals and Objectives for Funds Awarded Under this NOFA: In 
accordance with 38 CFR 62.24(c), VA will evaluate an applicant's 
compliance with VA goals and requirements for the SSVF Program. VA 
goals and requirements include the provision of supportive services 
designed to enhance the housing stability and independent living skills 
of very low-income Veteran families occupying permanent housing across 
geographic regions and program administration in accordance with all 
applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines. For purposes of this 
NOFA, VA goals and requirements also include the provision of 
supportive services designed to rapidly re-house or prevent 
homelessness among people in the following target populations who also 
meet all requirements for being part of a very low-income Veteran 
family occupying permanent housing:
    1. Veteran families earning less than 30 percent of area median 
income as most recently published by HUD for programs under section 8 
of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f) (http://www.huduser.org).
    2. Veterans with at least one dependent family member.
    3. Veterans returning from Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation 
Iraqi Freedom, or Operation New Dawn.
    4. Veteran families located in a community, as defined by HUD's 
CoC, or a county not currently served by a SSVF grantee.
    5. Veteran families located in a community, as defined by HUD's 
CoC, where current level of SSVF services is not sufficient to meet 
demand of Category 2 and 3 (currently homeless) Veteran families.
    6. Veteran families located in a rural area.
    7. Veteran families located on Indian Tribal Property.
    B. Payments of Supportive Services Grant Funds: Grantees will 
receive payments electronically through the U.S. Department of Health 
and Human Services Payment Management System. Grantees will have the 
ability to request payments as frequently as they choose subject to the 
following limitations:
    1. During the first quarter of the grantee's supportive services 
annualized grant award period, the grantee's cumulative requests for 
supportive services grant funds may not exceed 35 percent of the total 
supportive services grant award without written approval by VA.
    2. By the end of the second quarter of the grantee's supportive 
services annualized grant award period, the grantee's cumulative 
requests for supportive services grant funds may not exceed 60 percent 
of the total supportive services grant award without written approval 
by VA.
    3. By the end of the third quarter of the grantee's supportive 
services annualized grant award period, the grantee's cumulative 
requests for supportive services grant funds may not exceed 80 percent 
of the total supportive services grant award without written approval 
by VA.
    4. By the end of the fourth quarter of the grantee's supportive 
services annualized grant award period, the grantee's cumulative 
requests for supportive services grant funds may not exceed 100 percent 
of the total supportive services grant award.

Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this 
document and authorized the undersigned to sign and

[[Page 2318]]

submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for 
publication electronically as an official document of the Department of 
Veterans Affairs. Robert L. Nabors II, Chief of Staff, Department of 
Veterans Affairs, approved this document on January 7, 2016, for 
publication.

    Dated: January 12, 2016.
Michael P. Shores,
Chief Impact Analyst, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office 
of the General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2016-00727 Filed 1-14-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8320-01-P