Section P: Technical Assistance

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SHP is the only McKinney-Vento Act homeless assistance program for which the Act makes technical assistance an eligible use of grant funds (see section 423(a)(6) of the Act, 42 USC 11383(a)(6)). The program regulations implementing technical assistance are found at 24 CFR 583.140. The regulation authorizes HUD to set aside funds to competitively select technical assistance grantees to provide technical assistance to prospective applicants, applications, recipients or other providers of supportive housing or services for homeless persons in SHP-funded projects.

Every year since the late 1990s, Congress has set aside funds to be used for technical assistance from the annual appropriation. These funds must also be awarded competitively, but may be used for technical assistance for all McKinney-Vento Act homeless assistance programs. Each year’s NOFA establishes the requirements for the use of that year’s funds and those requirements have generally been based on 24 CFR 583.140.

What is Technical Assistance (TA)?

Technical assistance is the transfer of skills and knowledge in planning, developing and administering eligible program activities to an entity that does not possess such skills and knowledge. TA is provided under the authority of the Appropriations Acts. TA is used to increase the level of expertise in potential applicants, applicants, recipients or other providers of supportive housing for homeless persons. It includes identifying and sharing information on best practices, providing critically needed training and on-site consultations or other activities to improve projects. The focuses of SHP technical assistance are to help states, localities, and nonprofit organizations to better plan, develop, and administer their projects and Continuum of Care strategies.

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Receiving Technical Assistance

Under the authority of the Appropriations Acts, HUD awards grants or contracts to local and national TA providers who assess TA needs and provide necessary assistance to grantees. To receive TA, grantees should contact their local field office to find out about TA efforts and opportunities in their area. Grantees can reference regulations on technical assistance at 24 CFR 583.140 .

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Examples of Technical Assistance

Often, the technical assistance given to an individual grantee can be replicated for other grantees having similar problems or needs. Many of HUD’s technical assistance documents can be found on HUD’s Homelessness Resource Exchange web site. National TA normally results in a product or a training session intended for broad use. Examples of such recent technical assistance products created under contract to HUD include:

HMIS

Discharge Planning

Serving Homeless Veterans

Continuum of Care Planning & Grant Management

Project Development & Financing

Job Training Strategies

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