HUD Priority Community Initiative
Tampa-Hillsborough County is participating in the “HUD Priority Communities” initiative program. This initiative, a joint effort by U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) - Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPs) and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), is working with ten selected Priority Communities across the country in an attempt to move the needle on homelessness in these select cities. HUD believes this is a key part of the strategy to decrease homelessness nationwide.
The Tampa-Hillsborough community, through surveys and stakeholder meetings that included a diverse representation of the community, has identified five areas to focus improvements to the Homeless Continuum of care to better meet the needs of our homeless and near homeless neighbors.
- Structure & Governance: Review the structure of the Homeless Continuum of Care, including the lead agency and the continuum's primary decision making group, to ensure a diverse group of local key stakeholders is involved in the process of ending homelessness in the community
- 10 Year Plan: Work with the Tampa and Hillsborough County communities to update their plan to end homelessness to incorporate the required changes necessary under the Federal HEARTH Act, the Federal Strategic Plan to End Homelessness (Open Doors), and that the plan has the support of elected officials. Ensuring the plan embraces these key elements will position the community to be more competitive when seeking federal funding to the community to enhance their efforts to reach this goal.
- Performance Measurements: Evaluate the performance of Tampa’s currently funded HUD projects and target technical assistance and guidance to programs that do not meet national performance standards
- Best Practices: Assist the community in identifying and adopting best practices to help our homeless neighbors. This includes a possible pilot project targeting high-cost, high need populations to decrease the overall strain on the public systems, more specifically the 100,000 Homes Campaign.
- Homeless Management Information System (HMIS): Provide intense technical assistance on data collection policies and procedures around HMIS with the goal of expanding the system’s usage to collect information about the people served, the services they receive and the benefits of the services provided. This will allow the community to better understand homelessness in Tampa-Hillsborough and meet the reporting requirements for the Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (AHAR) which is provided to the U.S. Congress each year.
HUD has assigned the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), Collaborative Solutions and the Cloudburst Group to provide the technical assistance in collaboration with the Homeless Coalition to the Tampa and Hillsborough Community to meet all of these objectives.
As part of the process to write the new 10 Year Plan to end homelessness in our community CSH and the Homeless Coalition will be using the Charette process to engage the community in dialogue about the homeless issues that matter most. The topics of each session will be selected by public response, please click here to select the topics that are most important to you. To be more involved in the process please attend one (or all) of the public meetings.
All of us at the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County are grateful for the support of HUD and Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners who are funding this project. Without their generous support we would not be able to move forward the community-developed strategy to decrease homelessness in this community.
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