New Rental Assistance and Homeless System Performance Measures

Overview

Passed by the Washington State Legislature in April 2021, the new rental assistance and homeless system performance measures in Chapter 214, Laws of 2021 (ESHB 1277) provide additional revenue source for eviction prevention and housing stability services. Additionally, this act requires the Washington State Department of Commerce to award project-based vouchers to eligible grantees in a manner that distributes 15 percent of the funding as a performance-based allocation in accordance with the department’s performance metrics.

Commerce is working to fulfill the requirements by consulting with stakeholders to create performance metrics and determine eligibility requirements for grantees and households receiving this funding assistance. Commerce will also consult with stakeholders to inform the design of measures and benchmarks to promote equitable program access and outcomes.

Engagement Plan

In August 2021, the Department of Commerce contracted with BDS Planning & Urban Design to provide facilitation and engagement services for its effort on implementation of the new rental assistance and new homeless system performance measures. To develop the county homelessness performance metrics for a new project-based voucher program and equity measures and benchmarks for acess to and outcomes of the new state Eviction Prevention Rental Assistance Program, BDS Planning has created an engagement plan that follows the legislative requirements.

In Phase I of the engagement plan, counties and other other current grantees of the Consolidated Homeless Grant (CHG) and State Demonstration Grant (SDG) are invited to participate in three Performance Metrics Workshops during October 2021 to help develop recommendations for performance metrics to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will compromise approximately 15 members reflecting the diverse set of stakeholder groups named in the legislation. The Steering Committee will consider the recommendations of the counties and other granteees and make their final recommendations to the Department of Commerce.

In Phase II of the engagement plan, Steering Committee members will continue to provide consultation to the Department of Commerce for design of the new Eviction Prevention Rental Assistance Program, including developing measures and benchmarks that promote both equitable program access and outcomes, as well as the design of the new project-based voucher program.

Performance Metrics Workshop

Counties and other organizations currently contracting with the Department of Commerce under the Consolidated Homeless Grant (CHG) and Systems Demonstration Grant (SDG) programs are invited to participate in three workshops during the month of October to make recommendations to the Steering Committee on a set of performance metrics for each county receiving new funding from the Home Security Fund (60% of the new revenue), including the new project-based voucher program.

The metrics must target actions within a county’s control that will prevent and reduce homelessness, such as increasing the number of permanent supportive housing units and increasing or maintaining an adequate number of noncongregate shelter beds. The Department of Commerce must create these metrics by December 15, 2021 in consultation with key stakeholder groups.

Steering Committee

The Department of Commerce is required to consult with the following stakeholder groups to create the performance metrics described above, and equity benchmarks and measures and other elements of the new rental assistance and homeless system performance measures and the project-based voucher program:

  • Persons at risk of homelessness due to unpaid rent
  • Representative of a community(s) of color
  • Homeless service provider
  • Landlord representative
  • A representative of a local government that administers homelessness assistance
  • A statewide association representing a city
  • A statewide association representing a county
  • A representative of homeless youth and young adults
  • Affordable housing advocates

To satisfy this requirement and create a cross-sectional group of stakeholders to advise the Department of Commerce, a Steering Committee will be formed to provide recommendations on all the elements named above.

Apply to join the Steering Committee:

Please submit your application at the following link no later than Oct. 11, 2021. Please note: this is a fairly simple application asking for basic information about applicants and some initial thoughts on implementing the legislation. It does not require, for instance, letters of recommendation, long-form essays, etc.  Applications are estimated to take 15 minutes or less to complete.

Click here to apply to the Steering Committee.

The Steering Committee will meet during the following times in November 2021. The goal of the 2021 meetings is to provide recommendations to the Department of Commerce on the design of the performance metrics, which must be created by Dec. 15, 2021.

  1. Monday, November 1, 2021, 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm
  2. Tuesday, November 9, 2021, 11:30 am – 2:30 pm
  3. Tuesday, November 15, 2021, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

All meetings in November will be convened on Zoom. A fourth and final meeting in 2021 will be scheduled according to Steering Committee members’ availability. The intent for this meeting is to be held in December, possibly in person, if public health guidelines allow.

In 2022, the Steering Committee will continue to consult the department on developing equity benchmarks and measures and other elements of the new Eviction Prevention Rental Assistance Program and the project-based voucher program.

Dates TBD

Note Steering Committee members who cannot participate during Phase I can still join to participate in Phase II.

If you or your organization is interested in becoming a member of the Steering Committee, you must submit the Steering Committee Application Form by Oct. 11, 2021.

Resources

Questions?

Email Kathy Kinard at the Department of Commerce or Dori Krupanics at BDS Planning & Urban Design.