Supportive Housing Program Fact Sheet
This fact sheet provides an overview of important information related to the Supportive Housing Program (SHP). For more detailed guidance, please select Additional Information.
The Supportive Housing Program (SHP) helps develop housing and related supportive services for people moving from homelessness to independent living. Program funds help homeless people live in a stable place, increase their skills and their income, and gain more control over the decisions that affect their lives.
Generally speaking, SHP helps homeless people who are sleeping in places not meant for human habitation, such as cars, parks, sidewalks, and abandoned buildings, or those who are sleeping in an emergency shelter as a primary nighttime residence.
On December 5, 2011, HUD published the final rule on the Definition of Homeless in the Federal Register. As this is the final rule, there is not a further comment period for the definition of homeless. The final rule on the Definition of Homeless went into effect on January 4, 2012. The final rule applies to all recipients of Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program funds as well as all recipients of SHP and S+C funding awarded through the FY2011 CoC Competition. Recipients of the former Emergency Shelter Grants program funds, as well as existing SHP and S+C projects that did not renew in the FY2011 CoC Competition, must continue to use the definition of homeless in effect prior to January 4, 2012, which is attached to their current grant agreements. Click here for more information about how the revised definition affects existing SHP and S+C grants.
Eligible applicants include States, local governments, other government agencies (such as public housing agencies), private nonprofit organizations, and community mental health associations that are public nonprofit organizations.
SHP features six components or approaches to help homeless people achieve independence. Applicants may choose the approach that best suits the needs of the people they intend to serve.
The transitional housing component facilitates the movement of homeless individuals and families to permanent housing. Homeless persons may live in transitional housing for up to 24 months and receive supportive services such as childcare, job training, and home furnishings that help them live more independently.
Permanent Housing for Persons with Disabilities
This component provides long-term housing with supportive services for homeless persons with disabilities. This type of supportive housing enables special needs populations to live as independently as possible in a permanent setting.
Supportive Services Only
Supportive Services Only (SSO) projects address the service needs of homeless persons. Projects are classified as this component only if the project sponsor is not also providing housing to the same persons receiving the services. SSO projects may be in a structure or operated independently of a structure, such as street outreach or mobile vans for health care.
A Safe Haven is a form of supportive housing that serves hard-to-reach homeless persons with severe mental illness and other debilitating behavioral conditions who are on the street and have been unable or unwilling to participate in housing or supportive services. A Safe Haven project that has the characteristics of permanent supportive housing and requires clients to sign a lease may also be classified as permanent housing when applying for HUD funds. It is expected that clients will be reengaged with treatment services as they become stabilized and learn to trust service providers.
Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS)
An HMIS is a data collection software designed to capture information over time on the characteristics of persons experiencing homelessness. For an SHP applicant, an HMIS can be a new project or a renewal of a dedicated HMIS project.
Innovative Supportive Housing
The Innovative Supportive Housing component enables the applicant to design a program outside the scope of the other components. In particular, a proposed innovative project must demonstrate that it represents a distinctively different approach when viewed within its geographic area, is a sensible model for others, and can be replicated elsewhere. An applicant should not propose a project under this component unless a compelling case is made that these criteria can be met.
SHP funding is generally available to support the following activities in supportive housing projects:
Acquisition and Rehabilitation
Many applicants propose to purchase property that will be used to provide supportive housing to homeless persons. In each project, the SHP grant for acquisition and rehabilitation is available up to between $200,000 and $400,000 per structure, depending on the area. Consult the HUD Field Office to determine your area's acquisition and rehabilitation cost limits. The recipient must match the funds received for this purpose with money from other sources.
Proposals to build structures in which homeless persons will reside are also funded under SHP. Grants for new construction are limited to $400,000 per structure, regardless of where the project is located. If the applicant is also acquiring the land in tandem with the new construction, the $400,000 limit applies to both activities. The recipient must match the funds received for this purpose with money from other sources.
Grantees may lease structures to provide supportive housing or supportive services, or individual units.
Services directly facilitating the movement of homeless participants to independent living are eligible for SHP support, such as outreach, case management, childcare, job training/placement, health care, and transportation. SHP grantees must share in the costs of supportive services, including a 20 percent cash match of the total services budget. Grantees are encouraged to augment the support received in this activity via mainstream resources like Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Costs associated with the physical, day-to-day operations of a supportive housing facility and requiring cash payments are eligible, such as maintenance and repair, operations staff, utilities, equipment, supplies, insurance, food, relocation, and furnishings. In addition, grantees must provide a cash contribution equal to 25 percent of the total operating costs budget.
Project Administrative Costs
Up to 5 percent of any grant awarded under SHP may be used for paying the costs of administering the assistance (i.e., the costs associated with reporting to HUD). Applicants and project sponsors must work together to determine a fair plan for distributing administrative funds between applicant and project sponsor.
Development or Implementation of Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS)
These are now categorized as separate, eligible activity with a separate budget line item in the SHP budget summary. Grantees must contribute 20 percent of the total HMIS budget.
Grant Size and Duration
The term of new SHP grants is 3 years. Renewal grants may be 1, 2, or 3 year terms.
Requirements and Responsibilities
Specific performance measures must be established population to be served. Grant recipients are required to regularly monitor their clients' progress in meeting performance measures. In addition to recordkeeping purposes, HUD requires recordkeeping and annual progress reports. Grantees are also expected to make changes in their program or adjust performance measures in response to ongoing evaluation of their progress.
Grants under SHP are awarded through a national competition held annually. A notice of funding availability, published in the Federal Register, establishes submission dates and specific rules of the competition for applicants. SHP projects should be submitted through the community Continuum of Care system.
For more detailed information about SHP, please visit the following sources: