Monday, February 24, 2020

Metro Portland Good News: 594 Allocated But Not Yet Used HUD Funded Supportive Housing Vouchers Can Meet Regional Needs This Year With More Units Possible In Future.

The Portland Metro Council will vote Tuesday on a ballot measure that would provide $250M annually for supportive housing and other services like rental assistance that include housing vouchers. If approved by voters the ballot measure would become effective in tax year 2021.

Today, two HUD voucher programs help provide targeted rental assistance to homeless and disabled households, VASH and Mainstream. 

VASH also provides supportive services via VA funded case management; Mainstream requires MOU's for supportive services but those services are not funded by HUD.  

I thought it might be useful to provide a summary of HUD allocations for these programs,  their current utilization, and a count of the yet unused units from that funding.

The table below shows that analysis:
  1. HUD has allocated a total of 1,602 units for these two programs to the three Portland metro housing authorities. 
  2. As of November 2019 there were a total of 1,008 of these vouchers in use, leaving another 594 HUD funded vouchers still not yet used.  [Home Forward/Multnomah county successfully competed and received a new 115 unit VASH award in December 2019 that is included in my unit available count. I have also included new November 2019 Mainstream competitive awards to Clackamas county (50 units) and Washington county (34 units)].
  3. IF there is a regional need for 3,677 supportive housing units (The PSU study count, less doubled up students, the 435 yet unused VASH units could meet 12% of that total need (I count 614 homeless vets in the 3 counties in the 2019 PIT count). [My previous post HERE had several alternative projections of supportive housing need].
  4. Adding in the the 159 not yet used Mainstream vouchers, the total of not yet used vouchers increases to 594. That's 16% of the PSU study count of 3,677 needed supportive housing units, less doubled up students.
  5. Using a projected $10,000 per unit voucher cost and a $10,000 projected per unit supportive services cost (for only the VASH units) there is a total of $10.3 M in HUD supportive housing funds available but not yet used.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE: HUD will fund additional Mainstream and VASH vouchers this fiscal year; FY 2020 appropriations alone total $269M.  It also appears to me that there is an additional $270M available for Mainstream vouchers from prior fiscal year appropriations. 
Full utilization of existing VASH and Mainstream voucher allocations is critical to being able to compete for this $539M in future HUD funding.  

The existing not yet used VASH and Mainstream funding and any future HUD awards can help meet supportive housing needs between now and the receipt of funds from tax year 2021( should the ballot measure pass).

Data Sources:
Dashboard report, Home Forward board package Dec 2019.
A HUD published list of VASH awards through FY 2019
A HUD voucher dashboard report, Special Purpose Vouchers (as of Nov 2019)
A HUD November 2019 Mainstream Award list.
Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.

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