California Continuums of Care, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), State of California, and Successful Placement in or Retention of Permanent Housing

California Continuums of Care, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD),
State of California, and Successful Placement in or Retention of Permanent Housing

HUD and State of California increasingly require annual performance reports
as a competitive element for homelessness related funding

See Table 1 for percentage-based performance results
for each California Continuum of Care for past three years 

Read why awarding performance points by number comparison
instead of percentage comparison has more merit

During recent years, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the State of California have increasingly made system performance measures a competitive element for homelessness related funding.

The intent of system performance measures according to HUD is to encourage CoCs

“to regularly measure their progress in meeting the needs of people experiencing homelessness in their community and to report this progress to HUD. HUD uses system-level performance information as a competitive element in its annual CoC Program Competition and to gauge the state of the homeless response system nationally.”

The intent of system performance measures according to the State of California is to track

“numerical goals and performance measures established by the applicant, in collaboration with the relevant Continuum of Care, to be used to evaluate success in implementing eligible activities described in the application for the anticipated term of the (grant) agreement with the department.”

Successful Placement in or Retention of Permanent Housing

This report focuses on one of the system performance measures, which is Successful Placement in or Retention of Permanent Housing. HUD has required CoCs to report their performance regarding this measure for the past few years and the State of California will require the reporting of this measure, as noted in recent legislation, for recently awarded California Emergency Solutions and Housing (CESH) Program and the California Homeless Emergency Assistance Program (HEAP).

Reporting includes providing:

  1. “the percentage of individuals and persons in families in emergency shelter, safe havens, transitional housing, and rapid rehousing that exit to permanent housing destinations;” and
  2. “the percentage of individuals and persons in families in permanent housing projects, other than rapid rehousing, that retain their permanent housing or exit to permanent housing destinations.”

For number 1, the percentage of individuals and persons in families in emergency shelter, safe havens, transitional housing, and rapid rehousing that exit to permanent housing destinations for each CoC that reported emergency shelter, safe havens, transitional housing, and rapid rehousing beds was significantly less than the percentage for number 2. For each of the following years—2015, 2016, and 2017—the percentage was just over 40% as noted in the last row of Table 1. The 2018 data has not been made available.

For number 2, the percentage of individuals and persons in families in permanent housing projects, other than rapid rehousing, that retain their permanent housing or exit to permanent housing destinations for each CoC that reported permanent housing projects was close to, or more than, 90% for each of the following years—2015, 2016, and 2017. Collectively, the percentage was more than 90% for each of the three years as noted in the last row of Table 1.

Thus, California CoCs have recently been much more successful with helping individuals and families in permanent housing projects, other than rapid rehousing, retain their permanent housing or exit to permanent housing destinations than helping individuals and families in emergency shelter, safe havens, transitional housing, and rapid rehousing exit to permanent housing destinations. Exit to permanent housing destinations include rental by client with or without rental subsidy, ownership by client with or without housing subsidy, and staying or living with family or friends in permanent tenure.

Next Steps

Increased Permanent Housing Placement and improved housing stability are promoted by HUD and the State of California. In the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the 2018 Continuum of Care Program application, HUD stated on page 64 that points would be awarded to applicants that

“Demonstrate an increase in the rate at which persons exit to permanent housing destinations (and retain permanent housing if they are currently in a permanent housing project) of at least 5 percent as reported in HDX (HUD Exchange).”

The State of California recently stated in a notice regarding the Emergency Solutions Program (ESG) that awarding points for a measurement would be based on improvement.

Number vs Percentage

Increases and improvement over the current year could be measured by number or percentage. A number comparison of one year to the next, rather than a percentage comparison of one year to the next, could be viewed as the better way to award points by success.

For example, if a CoC had 1,000 emergency shelter, safe haven, transitional housing beds last year and 500 persons exited to permanent housing destinations, the percentage of persons who exited to permanent housing destinations would be 50%. If the same CoC had 1,200 emergency shelter, safe haven, transitional housing beds the following year and 550 persons exited to permanent housing destinations, the percentage of persons who exited to permanent housing destinations would be 45.8%.

Based on the example above, the CoC would not be awarded performance points because the percentage comparison would not be considered an increase or improvement since there was a decrease of 4.2%.

The CoC could be awarded performance points if a number comparison was used. In the example above, the number of persons who exited to permanent housing destinations increased by 10%, from 500 to 550 persons. Also, the number of emergency shelter, safe haven, transitional housing beds increased by 20%, from 1,000 to 1,200 beds.

Contrasted to a percentage comparison, the increase of 200 beds to 1,200 beds means that the CoC had to increase the number of persons who exited to permanent housing destinations to 600 in order to maintain an exit rate of 50% to permanent housing destinations or 601 persons to show an increase or improvement based on a percentage comparison to be awarded points.

As a matter of fact, over two years a percentage comparison instead of a number comparison has even less merit. If the same CoC increased the number of persons who exited to permanent housing destinations again by 10%, the number of successfully exited persons would rise from 550 to 605. If the same CoC increased the number of emergency shelter, safe haven, transitional housing beds again by 20%, the number of beds would rise from 1,200 to 1,440. The percentage comparison would decline further from 45.8% to 42.0%.

However, awarding points based on a numeric goal and the level of achievement of that goal would allow the project or CoC to set realistic numeric goals and be held accountable to achieve those goals. In the example above, if the CoC’s established goals had been expansion of the CoC housing capacity by 200 beds, and an increase in the number of persons placed of 50 persons both goals would have been fully met. The measure of success is achievement of a specific plan of improvement.

It is important to note that the State of California is providing an unprecedented amount of funding to end homelessness, which includes new shelter beds as an eligible activity. As a result, it is very likely that the number of shelter beds will increase in many CoCs. Shelter services is also an eligible activity which includes case managers who will work to connect homeless individuals and families to income, public benefits, health services, and permanent housing. It is also very likely that the number of persons in shelters exiting to permanent housing destinations will increase as well.

Hence, awarding points based on a number comparison would honor a CoC for helping more persons exit to permanent housing destinations compared to the previous year. It would also honor the CoC for increasing the number of shelter beds instead of penalizing the CoC by not awarding performance points because the increase in the number of shelter beds exceeded the increase in the number of persons that exited to permanent housing destinations and resulted in a percentage decrease based on a percentage comparison to the previous year.

HUD and the State of California should therefore consider basing increases and improvements on a number comparison rather than a percentage comparison from one year to the next for this system performance measure.

______________________________

 

Table 1. Percentage-based performance results for each California CoC for 2015 – 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CoC #

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continuum of Care (CoC)

 

 

% in emergency shelter, safe havens, transitional housing, and rapid rehousing that exited to permanent housing destinations

% in permanent housing projects, other than rapid rehousing, that retain their permanent housing or exit to permanent housing destinations

2015

2016 2017 2015 2016

2017

CA-500 San Jose/Santa Clara City & County CoC

23

44 28 96 97

93

CA-501 San Francisco CoC

13

6 69 94 97

97

CA-502 Oakland, Berkeley/Alameda County CoC

52

47 46 95 96

97

CA-503 Sacramento City & County CoC

62

56 42 96 96

97

CA-504 Santa Rosa, Petaluma/Sonoma County CoC

36

39 41 92 92

92

CA-505 Richmond/Contra Costa County CoC

47

58 58 97 96

97

CA-506 Salinas/Monterey, San Benito Counties CoC

54

50 44 87 93

97

CA-507 Marin County CoC

62

46 47 96 95

96

CA-508 Watsonville/Santa Cruz City & County CoC

35

40 44 88 92

100

CA-509 Mendocino County CoC

18

13 11 94 88

91

CA-510 Turlock, Modesto/Stanislaus County CoC

22

21 26 97 97

98

CA-511 Stockton/San Joaquin County CoC

20

29 14 97 98

95

CA-512 Daly City/San Mateo County CoC

43

54 46 96 98

96

CA-513 Visalia/Kings, Tulare Counties CoC

49

38 31 89 89

94

CA-514 Fresno City & County/Madera County CoC

71

68 69 91 91

91

CA-515 Roseville, Rocklin/Placer, Nevada Counties

42

26 31 92 94

89

CA-516 Redding/Shasta County CoC

N/A

N/A 55 90 82

100

CA-517 Napa City & County CoC

42

47 42 100 96

98

CA-518 Vallejo/Solano County CoC

38

34 46 92 85

91

CA-519 Chico, Paradise/Butte County CoC

41

29 24 94 93

95

CA-520 Merced City & County CoC

6

11 8 92 87

93

CA-521 Davis, Woodland/Yolo County CoC

56

56 51 92 95

98

CA-522 Humboldt County CoC

40

41 45 94 90

90

CA-523 Colusa, Glen, Trinity Counties CoC***

73

77 25 N/A N/A

N/A

CA-524 Yuba City/Sutter County CoC

52

41 61 N/A N/A

N/A

CA-525 El Dorado County CoC

48

23 25 100 100

100

CA-526 Tuolumne, Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa Counties CoC

81

77 64 85 94

92

CA-527 Tehama County CoC

15

13 32 N/A N/A

N/A

CA-529 Lake County CoC***

N/A

N/A N/A N/A N/A

N/A

CA-530 Alpine, Inyo, Mono Counties CoC

90

85 45 N/A N/A

N/A

CA-600 Los Angeles City & County CoC

35

34 44 96 96

96

CA-601 San Diego City and County CoC

42

43 43 92 92

95

CA-602 Santa Ana, Anaheim/Orange County CoC

39

41 49 96 97

99

CA-603 Santa Maria/Santa Barbara County CoC

37

36 33 95 92

96

CA-604 Bakersfield/Kern County CoC

45

39 56 97 97

97

CA-606 Long Beach CoC

46

55 56 94 91

90

CA-607 Pasadena CoC

28

18 14 96 97

96

CA-608 Riverside City & County CoC

36

40 44 95 96

97

CA-609 San Bernardino City & County CoC

38

49 57 94 97

98

CA-611 Oxnard, San Buenaventura/Ventura County CoC

30

40 58 96 98

100

CA-612 Glendale CoC

52

30 51 93 85

94

CA-613 Imperial County CoC

75

87 91 N/A N/A

N/A

CA-614 San Luis Obispo County CoC

13

18 14 86 96

86

 

Total of All Percentages:

1747

1699 1725 3466 3465

3521

 

Average Percentage:

43

41 42 94 94

95

 

 

 

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