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Emergency Solutions Grant Program: Survey to Inform Annual Plan

Posted January 28, 2014

The Vermont Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program, administered by the State Office of Economic Opportunity, provides a blend of state and federal (HUD) funding in all regions of the state for homeless shelters as well as non-profit programs engaged in work to prevent homelessness.  The purpose of the federal Emergency Solutions Grant program is to help individuals and families quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis or homelessness.  The vision is for Vermonters, especially vulnerable populations, live in safe and affordable housing.

The State of Vermont, as part of its annual HUD consolidated plan, submits an annual action plan for the Emergency Solutions Grant program describing the program standards, process for making subawards, and performance standards.  The Office of Economic Opportunity seeks consultation from community providers in determining priorities and development performance measures.  Please take a few minutes to complete the online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/38WSLVY.   The Information from the survey will be used to inform the annual action plan.

The Office of Economic Opportunity seeks input from all stakeholders within both Vermont Continua of Care regarding:

•  Allocation of Funding – priorities for funding (within activities eligible under ESG) and populations to be served, including justification for these priorities.

•  Performance Standards

The Office of Economic Opportunity recognizes there may be differences between state goals and local needs, and that communities meet different priorities with different resources.  There are also different perspectives in the approach to ending homelessness.  The Emergency Solutions Grant program occurs within the national context (http://www.usich.gov/opening_doors/ ) and state context (http://humanservices.vermont.gov/boards-committees/vermont-council-on-homelessness/vermont-council-on-homelessness-plan-to-end-homelessness/view ) to support work at the local level.

For information about the 2013 ESG Program:  http://dcf.vermont.gov/sites/dcf/files/pdf/oeo/ESG_Final_Report.pdf

As mentioned in the previous post, the State of Vermont’s Department of Housing and Community Development will conduct a public hearing in preparation for developing its 2014 Action Plan for the HUD Consolidated Plan for 2010-2015.  This hearing is Friday, February 7, 2014.  More information about the hearing is here.

 



February 7: DHCD Public Hearing on 2014 Action Plan for HUD Consolidated Plan

Posted

The State of Vermont’s Department of Housing and Community Development will conduct a public hearing in preparation for developing its 2014 Action Plan for the HUD Consolidated Plan for 2010-2015, to hear views about the State’s housing and community development needs, including priority non-housing community development needs and development of proposed activities, and review past performance related to its HUD Consolidated Plan.  The plan constitutes the State’s application for, and outlines priorities for use of approximately $10 million in Federal funding provided annually to the State for the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Home Investment Partnerships (HOME), and Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG).

The goals of the plan are to provide decent housing, assure a suitable living environment, and expand economic opportunities for Vermont’s citizens. The plan is available on the Department’s website here.

The date of the hearing is Friday, February 7, 2014, 3:30pm – 4:00pm in the Calvin Coolidge Room, 1 National Life Drive, Davis Building, 6th Floor, Montpelier.  The hearing room is handicapped accessible.  Accommodations for persons with disabilities, and interpreters to meet the needs of non-English speaking persons will be made available upon request.  Requests should be directed to Arthur Hamlin at (802) 828- 3211; TTY# l-800-253-0191 , or in writing to Arthur Hamlin, Housing Program Coordinator, Vermont DHCD, 1 National Life Drive, Davis Building, 6th Floor, Montpelier, VT 05620 by 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 30, 2014.

 



Point-In-Time Count of Vermont’s Homeless Starts Tonight

Posted

Tonight is the start of this year’s Point-In-Time Count.  The PIT Count allows local communities and state policy makers to understand current problems of homelessness, target limited funding to appropriate services, and track progress.

As stipulated in the HEARTH/McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, the PIT Count also allows us to secure funding from HUD Continuum of Care and Emergency Solutions Programs, HHS Runaway & Homeless Youth Programs, Veterans Affairs Homeless Programs, and others.

If you are homeless tonight, please call 2-1-1 to make sure you are counted.  By being counted, you are helping keep resources in our communities.

NOTE – as always: Survivors of domestic/sexual violence and households with a person with HIV/AIDS do not need to provide initials of names or date of birth (If possible, please provide YEAR).

This year’s point-in-time counts those homeless from 6:00PM (Tuesday, January 28th) to 6:00AM (Wednesday, January 29th).

Once survey forms are competed they must be sent to your local CoC coordinator, or designated contact by no later than February 5th, 2014.  Local coordinators in the Balance of State Continuum will then send the forms to VCEH Chair Jeanne Montross.

Your local coordinator’s name and address should be listed at the top of the PIT survey form.  For a list of your local coordinators for this year’s Point-In-Time, click here.

In order to meet federal deadlines and requirements, it is important to make sure your forms are sent to your local coordinator by February 5th, 2014.

 



Register Now for Understanding Tax Credits for Affordable Housing Event

Posted January 27, 2014

On Thursday, April 3 an important training opportunity, Understanding Tax Credits for Affordable Housing, will be offered by Vermont Housing and Conservation Board.  The workshop will be held at the Red School House on the Vermont Technical College Campus in Randolph from 9:00-3:30.

Tax Credit financing programs have become the most important source of financing for affordable rental housing.  The requirements of the various programs have implications for all aspects of affordable housing.  Yet many affordable housing decision makers, funders, advocates and others lack knowledge of how this complex financing program works.

This is a “basics” workshop for those who want to be more familiar with the various tax credit financing programs for affordable housing in Vermont.  The workshop will address the following topics and more:

  • The tax credit financing programs for affordable housing and how they work;
  • Who resides in Vermont’s tax credit financed housing;
  • Why tax credit financing is so important today;
  • Professional options for utilizing tax credits in a development or refinancing project;
  • The impacts of tax credit on ownership, property and asset management, financial management and more.

This workshop will be led by Amy Wright, Affordable Housing Development Consultant.  Ms. Wright previously worked as a housing developer with Cathedral Square Corporation and as a trainer with the NeighborWorks of America Training Institute.  She  has a long and productive involvement in the development of affordable housing in Vermont.  There will be other presenters focusing on specific parts of our agenda.

To register, email Rick DeAngelis at rick@vhcb.org or call 802-828-3526.  Include your name, organization and contact information. There is a $35 per person registration fee.  Once your registration is confirmed, instructions for sending in payment will be provided.

The deadline for registration is March 24.  However, it is recommend that you email or call soon, it is anticipated a great deal of  interest in this workshop and registration will be limited to 40.  Lunch is included!

 



February 19th: 16th Annual Homelessness Marathon Taking Place in Brattleboro

Posted

The 16th Annual Homelessness Marathon will be taking place on Wednesday, February 19.  The Marathon has previously been broadcast from places such as Detroit, Kansas City, and Mississippi, and this year will be live from Brattleboro, Vermont.

The Homelessness Marathon’s mission is to raise consciousness about homelessness and poverty in America and around the world. More from homelessnessmarathon.org:

The broadcast also takes calls, so people living in their homes can talk with people living on the streets.  It will originate from in front of the First Baptist Church of Brattleboro, at 190 Main St. The First Baptist Church provides the space for Brattleboro’s overflow shelter, operated by the Brattleboro Drop-In Center.  A few years ago, the church sold its prize possession – a Tiffany stained glass window – so that it could continue its mission, including its service to the poor.

The 16th Annual Homelessness Marathon will start at 7 p.m., EST. Wednesday, February 19th and will run for six hours until 1:00 a.m. Its audio signal will be available for free to all radio stations over the Public Radio Satellite System, the Pacifica Ku-band and Pacifica’s Audioport. Live video of the broadcast will be carried by Free Speech Television (FSTV), starting at 8:00 p.m., EST on Feb. 19th. FSTV has channel 9415 on the Dish Network and channel 348 on DirecTV as well as a webcast.

The broadcast is being hosted in Brattleboro by community radio WVEW-LP, 107.7 FM

For more information, contact Jeremy Alderson at 607-546-2084.

 



ICYMI: Leahy Editorial Spotlights Perils Facing Vermont’s Homeless Children

Posted

In case you missed it, earlier in the month Senator Patrick Leahy wrote an editorial highlighting the perils facing Vermont’s homeless children and some of the efforts being done to curb the problem.  From the Burlington Free Press:

The frigid New Year weather that has gripped Vermont and much of the nation is a challenge to each of us in our everyday lives. At times like these we can begin to imagine the day by day, life-or-death perils facing the homeless children and adults in our communities.

We think of those young Vermonters among us who may not have families to go home to, or warm places to escape the bitter cold. It is a sad reality that here in Vermont and in urban and rural communities across the country, rates of homelessness are on the rise. We must redouble our commitment and our efforts to helping those less fortunate than we are, including support for the most vulnerable among us, homeless children.

We can be proud of all that Vermonters do to help all of our children, including the great work of the Vermont Coalition of Runaway & Homeless Youth Programs (VCRHYP), which has been serving homeless young people for the last 32 years. In 2012 alone, 825 youths in Vermont were able to find shelter, totaling 25,024 nights. I am thankful that we have such talented and dedicated professionals here in Vermont providing these vital services.

Read the full article online here or in PDF format.

 



Tomorrow: VAHC Monthly Meeting in Montpelier

Posted January 14, 2014

A reminder that tomorrow, Wednesday, January 15, VAHC’s monthly meeting will be taking place.

Here are links to the background materials for Wednesday’s meeting:

The meeting will take place at our regular location:

9:30 -11:30 PM, January 15, 2014
VT Center for Independent Living
11 East State St., Montpelier

The call-in information for the meeting is as follows:

Dial-in Number: 1-626-677-3000
Participant Access Code: 83587

 

The Governor’s annual budget speech will take place later in the day, at 2pm at the State House.  Be sure to attend if you can stay until the afternoon, or listen in on VPR (streaming at www.vpr.net).

Hope to see you tomorrow!

 



CVOEO’s Mobile Home Program Seeking Resident Organizer

Posted January 8, 2014

The Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity is seeking an experienced, energetic, and committed individual to become the new Resident Organizer for the Mobile Home Program.

The position requires a motivated, problem-solver to provide education and outreach to residents of Vermont’s mobile home parks. More from the job posting:

Our ideal candidate will have good communication and facilitation skills and be able to keep a working knowledge of related statutes and regulations. Job responsibilities include: providing direct service to residents including individual advocacy, identifying resources and solutions to improve or maintain housing conditions, providing trainings and technical support for resident associations and resident-owned cooperatives.

Successful applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree in appropriate discipline or a combination of education and experience that provides equivalent skills and abilities. Relevant experience in one or more of the following areas: housing counseling, low income advocacy, code enforcement, community organizing and education, or cooperative development is desired.  A good driving record and access to a private vehicle is necessary.

This is a 32 hour / week position with excellent benefits. To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to: mhpdirector@cvoeo.org   Review of applications begins immediately and will continue until suitable candidates are found.

Read the full job posting on CVOEO’s website and about more job openings here.

 



Tomorrow: Homelessness Awareness Day and Memorial Vigil at the State House

Posted

This year’s Homelessness Awareness Day and Memorial Vigil is taking place tomorrow, Thursday, January 9, at the State House in Montpelier.

report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, released last month, showed an increase in homelessness in Vermont, and one of the largest increases in family homelessness in the country.

Throughout the day testimony will be offered in the House Appropriations, Senate Health and Welfare, and House General, Housing, and Military Affairs Committees where witnesses will stress the necessity of adequately funding programs working to alleviate poverty and homelessness in our state.

The day begins at 8:00am in the Card Room. Service providers and advocates will be there to share information about their respective programs, connect with policy makers, and see the work being done around the state.

At Noon community members, elected officials, administration representatives, and advocates will take to the State House steps for a Vigil to emphasize the urgency of the problems facing Vermonters who are homeless, to remember our friends and neighbors who have died without homes, and to bring awareness of the struggles of those still searching for safe and secure housing.

Following the Vigil, at 1:00pm individuals will assemble in the House Gallery to hear the reading of a Resolution calling attention to the crisis of homelessness in our state, and recognizing the hard work being done by homeless service providers and advocates.

The Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness is proud to be a co-sponsor, along with the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition, of the day’s activities.

For more information, please contact Linda Ryan by email or phone at 802.373.6505 or Erhard Mahnke by email, phone at 802.233.2902.

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

 



Upcoming Point-In-Time Training Events

Posted

Four dates have been scheduled for individuals to become trained and ready for this year’s Point-In-Time (PIT) Count.

The next PIT count of Vermont’s homeless population is taking place later this month on January 29-30, 2014. The PIT Count allows local communities and state policy makers to understand current problems of homelessness, target limited funding to appropriate housing and services, and track progress.  It also serves to highlight the need to ensure all Vermonters have safe, adequate, physically accessible, and affordable housing.

There are four dates to choose from to become ready for the count.  Webinars will take place on the 10th, 14th, and 24th.  An in-person training will occur after the next Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness  meeting taking place in Randolph on the 21st.  The training will allow folks to learn about the changes in this year’s PIT form and to become better prepared for implementing a successful and accurate count.

Please respond to this Doodle poll to pick which option works best for you, and help us be better prepared for knowing the numbers in each training session.

Prior to each training event, phone and log-in information for the webinars will be posted on the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness  website.