oversight

Homelessness: Grant Applicants' Characteristics and Views on the Supportive Housing Program

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-08-12.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                  United States General Accounting Office

GAO               Report to Congressional Requesters




August 1999
                  HOMELESSNESS
                  Grant Applicants’
                  Characteristics and
                  Views on the
                  Supportive Housing
                  Program




GAO/RCED-99-239
      United States
GAO   General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      Resources, Community, and
      Economic Development Division

      B-281481

      August 12, 1999

      Congressional Requesters

      Many homeless people in America have multiple personal, social, and
      economic problems that prevent them from obtaining permanent housing.
      Research has shown that housing alone is often not a solution to
      homelessness for many people. A comprehensive set of supportive
      services—such as substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment,
      child care services, and employment assistance—is also needed. The
      Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Supportive
      Housing Program was established in 1992 to address this need.
      Organizations such as state and local government agencies and nonprofit
      agencies can apply to HUD for Supportive Housing Program grants, which
      they can use to provide housing and certain kinds of supportive services to
      homeless people to help them live as self-sufficiently as possible. In 1997
      and 1998, HUD awarded over $620 million and $724 million, respectively, in
      Supportive Housing Program grants to organizations that serve the
      homeless.1

      Because many of the supportive services funded by the Supportive
      Housing Program mirror services provided by federal mainstream social
      service programs and could potentially be funded by them, there is some
      concern that this program may be taking scarce resources away from
      HUD’s core mission of providing housing. As a result, you asked us to
      review the Supportive Housing Program. Specifically, you asked us to
      provide information on (1) the characteristics of Supportive Housing
      Program applicants, (2) the types of programs and services for homeless
      people that this program supports, (3) the importance of Supportive
      Housing Program grants to applicants’ programs for the homeless, and
      (4) the various funding sources, in addition to Supportive Housing
      Program grants, that applicants rely on for their programs and services for
      homeless people. You also asked us to provide, to the extent possible,
      information on the percentage of veterans served by this program. This
      report is the third in a series of reviews you asked us to conduct on issues
      related to homelessness.2


      1
       These awards require applicants to provide HUD with additional information about their projects,
      such as documentation to show that the projects are financially feasible, before their grants can
      receive final approval and funding.
      2
        Homelessness: Coordination and Evaluation of Programs Are Essential (GAO/RCED-99-49, Feb. 26,
      1999); Homelessness: State and Local Efforts to Integrate and Evaluate Homeless Assistance Programs
      (GAO/RCED-99-178, June 29, 1999).



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                   To provide the information that you requested, we surveyed 1,174
                   applicants for Supportive Housing Program grants in 1997. We surveyed
                   applicants that requested grants for previously funded projects (renewals)
                   as well as new projects. Some of these applicants were awarded grants,
                   while others were not. Our results can be generalized, with a sampling
                   error of plus or minus 5 percent, to the entire group of applicants for funds
                   in 1997; however, our results cannot be generalized to those agencies that
                   did not submit applications that year. Furthermore, our results are based
                   on the information reported by the applicants; we did not verify the
                   accuracy of this information. Appendix I provides a more detailed
                   description of our objectives, scope, and methodology.


                   About 90 percent of the applicants for Supportive Housing Program grants
Results in Brief   in 1997 are nonprofit organizations. Almost 70 percent of the applicants
                   have been in existence for between 10 and 50 years; however, most of the
                   applicants have generally offered services to the homeless only during the
                   last 20 years. About 64 percent of the applicants serve fewer than 500
                   homeless people each year, and the types of homeless people they most
                   often serve include adults with dependent children, individuals with
                   physical and mental disabilities, and persons with substance abuse
                   problems.

                   The majority of the Supportive Housing Program grants support programs
                   that provide transitional housing with supportive services or supportive
                   services only. On the basis of applicants’ responses, we estimate that
                   about 59 percent of the requests for Supportive Housing Program grants in
                   1997 were for programs that provide transitional housing with supportive
                   services and 30 percent were for programs that provide supportive
                   services only. The remaining 11 percent were requests for programs that
                   provide permanent housing for persons with disabilities and innovative
                   supportive housing projects. The types of supportive services that
                   applicants most often provide to homeless people include case
                   management,3 instruction in life skills such as budgeting and parenting,
                   outreach, employment assistance, and transportation.

                   Supportive Housing Program grants provide a significant portion of the
                   funding available for some applicants’ homeless assistance programs, and
                   applicants generally believe that these grants are an important source of
                   funding for their programs. On the basis of applicants’ responses, we

                   3
                    Case management involves assessing the needs of homeless individuals and linking them to
                   appropriate housing and supportive services.



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             estimate that Supportive Housing Program grants represent about
             45 percent of the resources that applicants receive from all sources to
             support their programs for the homeless. In 1997, the average grant
             requested by applicants was about $450,000, and the average grant
             awarded was about $440,000. The importance of the Supportive Housing
             Program is evident from the negative consequences that applicants often
             faced when they did not receive an award. For example, our survey results
             indicate that almost a third of the applicants had to reduce the programs
             and services they provided to the homeless or reduce the number of
             homeless people they served because they did not receive Supportive
             Housing Program grants. In addition, over 70 percent of the applicants that
             were denied Supportive Housing Program grants were unable to either
             expand existing programs or implement new programs to serve homeless
             people. Similarly, about 78 percent of these applicants were unable to
             obtain funding from other sources to replace the Supportive Housing
             Program funds they had applied for but not received. Finally, our survey
             results indicate a widespread belief among applicants that the Supportive
             Housing Program is an important and unique source of funding for
             homeless assistance programs and that receiving an award from the
             program confers legitimacy on the applicants’ efforts.

             In addition to Supportive Housing Program grants, applicants request and
             receive funds from a variety of other federal and nonfederal sources to
             support their homeless assistance programs. However, the majority of
             applicants requested and received funds for their homeless assistance
             programs from nonfederal rather than other federal sources. For example,
             on the basis of applicants’ responses, we estimate that about 74 percent of
             the applicants requested funds from state and local governments, private
             donors, and foundations. In contrast, about 25 percent of the applicants
             requested funds from federal sources other than the Supportive Housing
             Program. This relatively low reliance on other federal sources is consistent
             with applicants’ responses that a lack of knowledge about other federal
             programs was their main reason for not applying for other federal funds.


             Authorized by the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, as
Background   amended, the Supportive Housing Program (SHP) is designed to promote
             the development of supportive housing and services that help people make
             the transition from being homeless to living as independently as possible.
             Program funds may be used to provide (1) supportive services only, such
             as substance abuse treatment, education, employment assistance,
             nutritional counseling, life skills training, and case management;



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(2) transitional housing with supportive services for a period of up to 24
months; (3) permanent housing with supportive services for persons with
disabilities; and (4) innovative special projects that enable agencies to
design supportive housing for homeless people that is not included in the
other three categories.4 Agencies that receive SHP grants may use the funds
to acquire facilities; build, rehabilitate, or lease facilities; meet some of the
day-to-day operating costs of their facilities; and pay for new or higher
levels of supportive services for the homeless people they serve. Agencies
that use SHP grants to acquire, rehabilitate, or construct facilities for
homeless people were required to match these funds with equal amounts
of funds from other sources, such as state and local governments or
private contributors.

Funding for SHP is provided under HUD’s “Continuum of Care” strategy. In
1993, HUD established this strategy to encourage and enable states and
localities to develop a coordinated and comprehensive community-based
approach for providing programs and services that homeless people need.
The strategy, which is designed to build partnerships among states,
localities, nonprofit organizations, and the federal government,
encourages the development of long-term solutions for addressing
homelessness. A locality’s Continuum of Care planning effort brings
together local housing stakeholders in order to (1) identify the size and
scope of the local homelessness problem; (2) inventory the assets
available in the community to alleviate homelessness; (3) rank the
community’s needs in order of priority; (4) strategically plan the range of
services and programs that should be implemented to address
homelessness, and (5) identify leveraging resources, including other
federal, state, local, and private funds, for addressing concerns about
homelessness in the locality. Agencies applying for SHP funds for their
homeless assistance programs are generally required to submit requests to
the local Continuum of Care development body, which reviews and ranks
all requests on the basis of the needs and priorities established in the
locality’s Continuum of Care plan. Communities then submit their
Continuum of Care plans along with agencies’ applications for SHP funding
to HUD.

In reviewing communities’ Continuum of Care plans and agencies’ SHP
applications, HUD conducts two types of reviews. One review involves an


4
 SHP funds may also be used to provide “safe havens” for hard-to-reach homeless persons who have
severe mental illness, are on the streets, and have been unwilling to participate in supportive services.
Safe havens are authorized under title IV, subpart D, of the McKinney Act; however, because the
Congress has not funded them as a separate program, HUD has elected to provide funding for these
efforts under SHP.



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                             assessment of each community’s Continuum of Care plan and need for
                             housing and services for homeless people. The second review involves an
                             assessment of each SHP application to ensure that the projects for which
                             funds have been requested meet all of HUD’s eligibility requirements and
                             that the application is complete. Funding awards are based on a
                             combination of scores for the community’s Continuum of Care plan and
                             each individual project. Those projects with the highest scores receive
                             “conditional awards,” after which awardees must provide additional
                             technical information to HUD before they can obtain final approval and
                             funding.

                             In 1997, HUD received 3,011 SHP applications.5 Almost half of these
                             applications were submitted by agencies in eight states; agencies in two
                             states alone—California and New York— submitted over 20 percent of the
                             applications. About 81 percent of all 1997 SHP applications requested
                             funding for new projects, while about 20 percent requested funding for
                             existing projects. HUD conditionally awarded over $620 million in SHP
                             grants in 1997 for about half of all the applications that it received.
                             Appendix II provides additional information on the geographical
                             distribution of SHP applications and of the awards HUD made for 1997.


                             SHP applicants are generally nonprofit organizations that are involved in
Most SHP Applicants          the development of their community’s Continuum of Care plan. In
Are Nonprofit                addition, on the basis of applicants’ responses, we estimate that almost
Organizations That           70 percent of SHP applicants have been in existence for between 10 and 50
                             years, and about half have been serving homeless people for between 10
Serve a Wide Range of        and 20 years. The majority of the applicants serve fewer than 500 homeless
Homeless Clients             people annually. However, many of the applicants serve a wide range of
                             clients, including adults with dependent children, individuals with physical
                             and mental disabilities, and individuals with substance abuse problems.


Characteristics of SHP       According to our survey results, agencies that apply for SHP funds have the
Applicants                   following characteristics:

                         •   About 90 percent of SHP applicants are nonprofit organizations with or
                             without a religious affiliation, as illustrated in figure 1.1. The remaining
                             applicants are either state or local government agencies or other types of
                             organizations, such as public housing authorities.

                             5
                              For this study, we used information for 1997, because this was the latest year for which complete
                             information was available at the time we conducted our survey. In 1998, HUD received 2,644
                             applications for SHP grants and awarded $724 million, according to a HUD official.



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Figure 1.1: SHP Applicants, by
Organizational Type


                                                                                         1%
                                                                                         State government

                                                                                         2%
                                                                                         Other


                                                                  •                      6%
                                                                                         Local government

                                                                  11%
                                                                    •




                                                79%
                                                  •




                                                                                         Nonprofit with religious affiliation

                                                                                         Nonprofit




                                     Note: The percentages do not total 100 because of rounding.




                                 •   Almost 70 percent of SHP applicants have been in existence for between 10
                                     and 50 years, and about 48 percent have served the homeless for between
                                     10 and 20 years. As indicated in table 1.1, SHP applicants have generally
                                     been in existence for longer than they have served homeless people, and
                                     over a third of the applicants have been serving homeless people for 10
                                     years or less.




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Table 1.1: Number of Years SHP Applicants Have Been in Existence and Have Served Homeless People
                                Percentage of applicants that have been in   Percentage of applicants that have served the
Range of years                             existence for this length of time              homeless for this length of time
Under 10                                                                        17                                                         36
10 to 20                                                                        32                                                         48
21 to 50                                                                        36                                                         13
51 to 100                                                                       10                                                          2
Over 100                                                                         6                                                          1

                                          Note: The percentages may not total 100 because of rounding.


                                      •   The annual budgets of the nonprofit organizations in our survey ranged
                                          from $2,500 to over $414 million. About 25 percent of the organizations
                                          had an annual budget of $616,000 or less, and about 25 percent had an
                                          annual budget of $5.5 million or more. On the basis of applicants’
                                          responses, we estimate that the average annual budget of the nonprofit
                                          organizations that apply for SHP grants is about $5.8 million. Similarly, the
                                          annual budgets of the state and local government agencies in our survey
                                          ranged from $160,000 to about $5 billion. About 25 percent of these
                                          agencies had an annual budget of $3.1 million or less, and about 25 percent
                                          had an annual budget of $67 million or more. We further estimate that the
                                          average annual budget was about $925 million for the state government
                                          agencies that apply for SHP grants and about $36 million for the local
                                          government agencies.
                                      •   Approximately 62 percent of the funding for an SHP applicant’s average
                                          annual budget in 1997 was provided by public sources that include local,
                                          state, and federal governments. The remaining funds were provided by
                                          private sources, such as (1) donors and contributors, including individuals,
                                          corporations, and foundations such as the United Way; (2) self-generated
                                          income, such as sales, rents, and investments; (3) fees for services that
                                          agencies provide for federal programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, and
                                          Supplementary Security Income;6 and (4) other sources. The composition
                                          of an SHP applicant’s average annual budget is illustrated in figure 1.2.




                                          6
                                           Some of the fees for services that applicants receive may come from federal and state funding
                                          sources.



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Figure 1.2: Sources of Funding for an
SHP Applicant’s Average Annual
Budget, 1997                                                                         1%
                                                                                     Other


                                                                  •                  7%
                                                                                     Fees for services
                                                                      •



                                                                      21%
                                                     62%                •
                                                       •




                                                                                     9%
                                                                                     Self-generated

                                                                                     Private

                                                                                     Federal, state, and local
                                                                                     governments




                                        •   About 69 percent of SHP applicants identified themselves as highly involved
                                            in the development of their local Continuum of Care plan, and another
                                            26 percent identified themselves as somewhat involved.
                                        •   The majority of SHP applicants serve fewer than 500 homeless clients
                                            annually. As figure 1.3 illustrates, about 26 percent of SHP applicants serve
                                            fewer than 100 homeless people annually, while about 5 percent serve
                                            5,000 or more homeless people annually.




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Figure 1.3: Number of Homeless
People SHP Applicants Serve Annually   50       Percentage of applicants

                                       45

                                       40

                                       35

                                       30

                                       25

                                       20

                                       15

                                       10

                                           5

                                           0
                                                                                   0
                                                    00



                                                              50



                                                                        00




                                                                                              0



                                                                                                          00
                                                                                  ,00



                                                                                              00



                                                                                                      5,0
                                                r1



                                                         0-2



                                                                   0-5




                                                                                          -5,
                                                                             0-1
                                                de



                                                         10



                                                                   25




                                                                                                     er
                                                                                         00
                                                                             50
                                               Un




                                                                                                   Ov
                                                                                        1,0




                                           Number of homeless people served



                                       Note: Percentages do not total 100 because of rounding.




Characteristics of Clients             SHP applicants serve a variety of clients. For example, more than
Served                                 80 percent of SHP applicants serve adults with dependent children, adults
                                       without children, and individuals with substance abuse problems; about
                                       67 percent serve veterans; and about 38 percent serve unaccompanied or
                                       emancipated children and/or adolescents.7 Table 1.2 shows the types of
                                       clients served by SHP applicants and the percentage of applicants that
                                       serve each type.




                                       7
                                        Emancipated children/adolescents are those who have dissociated themselves from their parents or
                                       guardians and for whom no adult is willing to take responsibility.



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Table 1.2: Types of Clients and the
Percentage of SHP Applicants That                                                           Percentage of SHP applicants that serve
Serve Them                            Type of clients                                                                 these clients
                                      Adults with dependent children                                                                        84
                                      Adults without children                                                                               83
                                      Individuals with substance abuse problems                                                             81
                                      Individuals with physical or mental
                                      disabilities                                                                                          75
                                      Battered women                                                                                        69
                                      Pregnant women                                                                                        69
                                      Mentally ill individuals                                                                              69
                                      Adults aged 60 and older                                                                              68
                                      Individuals with HIV/AIDS                                                                             67
                                      Individuals involved with the criminal justice
                                      system                                                                                                67
                                      Veterans                                                                                              67
                                      Unaccompanied or emancipated children
                                      and/or adolescents                                                                                    38

                                      With regard to veterans, from our analysis of applicants’ responses, we
                                      estimate that almost 30 percent of SHP applicants could not tell us how
                                      many veterans they serve.8 For SHP applicants that serve veterans, about
                                      1 percent serve veterans exclusively, while about 53 percent serve a
                                      homeless population in which the proportion of veterans is 25 percent or
                                      less, and about 11 percent indicated that none of the homeless they serve
                                      are veterans.

                                      Finally, SHP applicants generally believe that (1) most of the homeless
                                      people they serve need programs that provide supportive services in
                                      conjunction with housing and (2) a smaller number of homeless people
                                      need only housing with no supportive services. Figure 1.4 shows the types
                                      of housing and supportive service programs that SHP applicants believe
                                      homeless people most often need.




                                      8
                                       We did not ask applicants whether they verify the veteran status of the homeless people they serve.
                                      This kind of verification would require proof of discharge or confirmation through an official military
                                      service database.



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Figure 1.4: Types of Housing and
Supportive Services That SHP
Applicants Believe Homeless People
Need
                                                         •                   5%
                                                                             Housing only
                                                             14%
                                                               •




                                                81%
                                                  •




                                                                             Supportive services only

                                                                             Transitional housing with
                                                                             supportive services




                                     Although SHP applicants provide a variety of programs to serve homeless
Most SHP Funds                       people, the majority of them sought and received SHP funding for two types
Support Transitional                 of programs—those that provide transitional housing with supportive
Housing Programs                     services and those that provide supportive services only. Through their
                                     supportive service programs, SHP applicants offer several kinds of
and a Variety of                     assistance to homeless people, such as case management, life skills
Supportive Services                  instruction, and employment assistance.

Types of SHP Grants                  SHP grants can be used to fund three of the six types of programs that are
Requested and Awarded                most often offered to homeless people by the agencies that serve
                                     them—transitional housing with supportive services, permanent housing
                                     for people with disabilities, and supportive services only. (Table 1.3
                                     identifies the six types of programs.) Our survey results indicate that the
                                     majority of SHP applicants offer programs that provide transitional housing
                                     with supportive services and supportive services only. Consistent with
                                     these results, these were the two types of programs for which applicants
                                     most often requested SHP grants. On the basis of applicants’ responses, we
                                     estimate that about 59 percent of the SHP applications submitted in 1997
                                     were requests for funds for transitional housing programs with supportive



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                                       services and about 30 percent were requests for funds for programs that
                                       provide supportive services only.

Table 1.3: Types of Programs
Agencies Often Provide to Homeless                                                                     Percentage of SHP
People and the Percentage of SHP       Type of program offered to                                     applicants that offer
Applicants That Offer These Programs   homeless people                 Description of program                     program
                                       Transitional housing with             Temporary housing
                                       services                       assistance and supportive
                                                                        services. Generally, the
                                                                       maximum stay is 2 years.                         80
                                       Supportive services without     Services that address the
                                       housing                              special needs of the
                                                                       homeless (e.g., referrals,
                                                                        education, health care).                        70
                                       Emergency shelter               Short-term housing. Beds
                                                                     are not guaranteed and are
                                                                      provided only for a limited
                                                                                            time.                       50
                                       Permanent housing with                Long-term housing
                                       services                       assistance and supportive
                                                                                      services.                         38
                                       Food bank/food pantry          Uncooked food distributed
                                                                     in boxes or bags directly to
                                                                             low- income people,
                                                                         including the homeless.                        37
                                       Soup kitchen                    Food lines and programs
                                                                        that distribute prepared
                                                                         breakfasts, lunches, or
                                                                                         dinners.                       20

                                       Figure 1.5 shows the types of programs for which SHP applicants sought
                                       grants in 1997.




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Figure 1.5: Types of Programs for
Which SHP Applicants Sought Grants
in 1997

                                                            •                            3%
                                                                   •                     Innovative supportive housing




                                           59%                         30%
                                             •                           •




                                                                                         9%
                                                                                         Permanent housing for persons
                                                                                         with disabilities

                                                                                         Supportive services only

                                                                                         Transitional housing with
                                                                                         supportive services




                                     Note: The percentages do not total 100 because of rounding.




Types of Supportive                  SHP applicants generally offered a wide range of supportive services to
Services Offered to                  homeless people, directly or indirectly, through contractual arrangements.
Homeless People                      For example, about 93 percent of SHP applicants provided case
                                     management; 84 percent provided instruction in life skills such as
                                     parenting and budgeting; and about three-fourths offered outreach,
                                     employment assistance, and transportation to the homeless that they
                                     serve. In contrast, fewer than one-third of SHP applicants provided legal
                                     services and AIDS-related treatment. Table 1.4 shows the different types of




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                                     supportive services and the percentage of SHP applicants that offered each
                                     type.

Table 1.4: Types of Supportive
Services and the Percentage of SHP                                                          Percentage of applicants that provide
Applicants That Provide These        Types of supportive services                                                 these services
Services                             Case management (including referrals)                                                    93
                                     Instruction in life skills, including parenting
                                     classes                                                                                  84
                                     Employment assistance                                                                    77
                                     Outreach                                                                                 76
                                     Transportation                                                                           75
                                     Follow-up with transitional housing                                                      74
                                     Clothing                                                                                 70
                                     Case management for clients living in
                                     permanent housing                                                                        61
                                     Education                                                                                61
                                     Alcohol/drug abuse treatment                                                             57
                                     Financial assistance                                                                     53
                                     Mental health treatment                                                                  52
                                     Communication services (telephone, voice
                                     mail, e-mail, Internet access)                                                           46
                                     Child care                                                                               45
                                     Health care (medical, dental, vision, and
                                     pharmaceutical)                                                                          43
                                     Legal services                                                                           31
                                     AIDS-related treatments                                                                  31

                                     About 62 percent of SHP applicants provide supportive services directly to
                                     their homeless clients and did not contract for any services with other
                                     providers, while 4 percent contract with other agencies to provide these
                                     services and do not provide any services themselves. The remaining
                                     34 percent of SHP applicants provide a mix of direct and contracted
                                     services.


                                     SHP grants provide applicants with a significant and important portion of
SHP Is an Important                  the funding that supports their programs for homeless people. According
Source of Funding for                to our survey results, most applicants that did not receive an SHP grant
Programs That Serve                  could not obtain funding from other sources to replace the funds they did
                                     not receive from SHP, and they were unable to expand existing programs or
Homeless People                      implement new programs for their homeless populations. In addition,



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                                         according to our survey results, most applicants agree that SHP grants are
                                         an important and unique source of funding for their programs that serve
                                         homeless people.


Relationship of SHP Grants               Our survey results indicate that SHP grants represent about 45 percent of
to Other Sources of                      the total funds that applicants received from all sources to provide
Funding for Homeless                     services and programs for homeless people. Figure 1.6 illustrates the
                                         relationship of SHP grants to other federal and nonfederal sources of
Assistance Programs                      funding for applicants’ homeless assistance programs. (Nonfederal
                                         sources include state and local governments, private corporations, and
                                         nonprofit organizations and foundations.)


Figure 1.6: Relationship of SHP Grants
to Other Sources of Funding for
Applicants’ Homeless Assistance                                                  Nonfederal
Programs
                                                              •                  8%
                                                                                 Other federal




                                             • 47%

                                                                  45% •          SHP grants




                                         According to the information provided in responses to our survey, in 1997,
                                         applicants requested SHP grants ranging from about $7,000 to almost
                                         $7,500,000. The average amount requested by applicants that year was
                                         about $450,000, and the average award for projects was about $440,000.


Consequences of Not                      The importance of SHP funding for programs that serve homeless people is
Receiving an SHP Grant                   demonstrated by the negative consequences applicants faced when they



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                             did not receive a grant. On the basis of applicants’ responses, we estimate
                             that over 70 percent of the applicants that did not receive an SHP grant
                             were unable to expand existing programs or were unable to implement
                             new programs for homeless people because they did not receive these
                             funds. In addition, over 30 percent of these applicants identified other
                             negative consequences of not receiving SHP funds, including reductions in
                             programs and services provided to the homeless and reductions in the
                             number of homeless individuals served. In contrast, only about 4 percent
                             of SHP applicants indicated that no changes were made to their programs
                             or services when they did not receive a grant. We estimate that about
                             78 percent of the applicants that did not receive a grant were unable to
                             obtain funding from other sources to replace the SHP funds they did not
                             receive. Moreover, according to our survey results, almost all of the
                             applicants that were able to obtain funding from other sources received
                             less than they had requested from SHP.

                             Despite the importance they assign to SHP grants, about half of the
                             applicants that had previously applied for SHP grants did not apply for a
                             grant in 1998. The reason most often cited by the agencies that did not
                             apply for an SHP grant in 1998 was that they were currently implementing
                             prior SHP grant awards. Some applicants that did not apply for 1998 funds
                             also said (1) they believed they were unlikely to receive funding from HUD,
                             (2) they found the application process too difficult and/or time-consuming,
                             or (3) their staff did not have the time or technical expertise to fill out the
                             application.


Importance of SHP            Our survey asked applicants to agree or disagree with a series of
Funding to Applicants’       statements about the importance of SHP funding to their homeless
Homeless Assistance          assistance programs. We developed these statements through discussions
                             with some homeless assistance providers and advocates for the homeless.
Programs                     Our objective was to determine whether applicants nationwide held
                             similar opinions about the importance of SHP. Our survey results indicate
                             that the majority of SHP applicants agree with the following statements
                             about the importance of SHP funds:

                         •   About 43 percent of SHP applicants agree and another 26 percent strongly
                             agree with the statement that SHP grants provide legitimacy to their
                             programs, making it easier for them to obtain funds from other sources.
                         •   About 47 percent of SHP applicants agree and another 36 percent strongly
                             agree with the statement that SHP funding is unique because it explicitly
                             links housing and supportive services for the homeless.



                             Page 16                               GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
                               B-281481




                           •   About 26 percent of SHP applicants agree and another 59 percent strongly
                               agree with the statement that their agencies need to receive SHP funding to
                               provide services and programs for homeless people.


                               In addition to applying for SHP grants, most applicants tried to obtain funds
In Addition to SHP             from several nonfederal and other federal sources to support their
Grants, Applicants             homeless assistance programs. However, of these sources, SHP applicants
Relied Primarily on            relied more on nonfederal than on other federal sources. This greater
                               reliance on nonfederal sources is, in part, attributable to SHP applicants’
Nonfederal Funding             lack of knowledge about other federal programs that would fund programs
for Their Homeless             and services for homeless people.
Assistance Programs
Nonfederal Funding for         In addition to applying for SHP grants, about 74 percent of SHP applicants
SHP Applicants’ Homeless       applied for funds from a variety of nonfederal sources to finance their
Assistance Programs            programs and services specifically targeted to homeless people. These
                               sources included state and local governments, private corporations, and
                               nonprofit organizations and foundations. On the basis of applicants’
                               responses, we estimate that SHP applicants that applied to nonfederal
                               sources received, at a minimum, about $576 million in funding from them.
                               Specifically, they received a minimum of about $251 million from state
                               governments, $185 million from local governments, $69 million from
                               nonprofit organizations and foundations, $28 million from private
                               corporations, and over $43 million from other sources, such as donations
                               from individuals and other fundraising efforts. However, the amounts that
                               applicants reported receiving from state and local governments may
                               include some federal funds. This is because some federal programs, such
                               as HUD’s Emergency Shelter Grants and the Department of Health and
                               Human Services’ Projects for Assistance in Transition From
                               Homelessness, provide funds to state and local governments that these
                               governments then distribute as grants to public and private nonprofit
                               organizations. Organizations that receive funds from their state and local
                               governments generally do not know what portion of the total comes from
                               federal sources. Table 1.5 identifies the various nonfederal funding
                               sources from which SHP applicants requested and received funds, together
                               with our estimates of the percentage of applicants requesting funding from
                               these sources and the total amount of funding they may have requested
                               and received.




                               Page 17                              GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
                                     B-281481




Table 1.5: Estimates of Nonfederal
Funding Requested and Received by    Dollars in millions
SHP Applicants                                                            Percentage of
                                                                             applicants         Total amount of
                                     Type of nonfederal                      requesting                 funding   Total amount of
                                     funding                                    funding              requesteda funding receiveda
                                     State government                                   72          $253,286,344            $250,995,786
                                     Local government                                   62           196,533,580             185,485,302
                                     Private corporation                                37            38,761,357              27,560,125
                                     Nonprofit organization/
                                     foundation                                         62            90,357,740              69,080,561
                                     Total                                                          $578,939,021           $533,121,774b
                                     a
                                      The estimated totals in this table do not account for the applicants that failed to respond to our
                                     questionnaire. Additionally, we eliminated survey respondents that did not consistently answer the
                                     series of financial questions we asked them. We chose not to impute values for those eliminated
                                     from the analysis. For these reasons, the estimates should be viewed as minimum estimates of
                                     the totals.
                                     b
                                      In addition, about 18 percent of the applicants received over $43 million in funds from other
                                     sources, such as private donors.




Other Federal Sources of             Our survey results indicate that few applicants seek funding from federal
Funding for SHP                      sources other than SHP for their homeless assistance programs. On the
Applicants’ Homeless                 basis of applicants’ responses, we estimate that about 25 percent of the SHP
                                     applicants applied for, at a minimum, about $148 million in funding from
Assistance Programs                  other federal sources and received, at a minimum, about $100 million.
                                     Almost half of the funding that applicants received from other federal
                                     sources came from other HUD programs, including the Shelter Plus Care,
                                     Section 8 Single-Room Occupancy, and Housing Opportunities for Persons
                                     With AIDS programs.9 In addition, some SHP applicants requested funds
                                     from the departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Veterans
                                     Affairs. SHP applicants that did not seek federal funding from other sources
                                     most often reported that they did not do so because they were unfamiliar
                                     with other federal programs that would provide money for their homeless
                                     assistance programs. Table 1.6 estimates how much federal funding from
                                     non-SHP sources SHP applicants may have requested and received.




                                     9
                                     A detailed description of each of these programs is provided in our report entitled Homelessness:
                                     Coordination and Evaluation of Programs Are Essential (GAO/RCED-99-49, Feb. 26, 1999).



                                     Page 18                                          GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
                                  B-281481




Table 1.6: Estimates of Non-SHP
Federal Funding Requested and     Non-SHP federal funding               Total amount of funding           Total amount of funding
Received by SHP Applicants        source                                            requesteda                          receiveda
                                  HUD programs other than
                                  SHP                                                  $61,334,769                       $46,192,826
                                  Department of Health and
                                  Human Services                                         15,118,372                        12,463,781
                                  Department of Labor                                    27,271,041                         9,867,453
                                  Department of Veterans
                                  Affairs                                                 5,083,369                         2,562,422
                                  Other federal sourcesb                                 38,778,669                        28,771,772
                                  Total                                               $147,586,220                       $99,858,254
                                  a
                                   The estimated totals in this table do not account for the applicants that failed to respond to our
                                  questionnaire. Additionally, we eliminated survey respondents that did not consistently answer the
                                  series of financial questions we asked them. We chose not to impute values for those eliminated
                                  from the analysis. For these reasons, the estimates should be viewed as minimum estimates of
                                  the totals.
                                  b
                                  Other federal sources include the Department of Agriculture, the Federal Emergency
                                  Management Agency, and the Federal Home Loan Bank.




                                  We provided HUD with a draft of this report for review and comment. In its
Agency Comments                   comments, HUD stated that the Supportive Housing Program is an integral
                                  part of the Department’s Continuum of Care approach to addressing
                                  homelessness. According to HUD, the Supportive Housing Program is so
                                  popular because it enables housing and service providers to develop a
                                  package application that includes a request for funding for both housing
                                  assistance and supportive services. HUD also provided us with technical
                                  comments that have been incorporated throughout the report as
                                  appropriate. (App. III includes the full text of HUD’s comments and our
                                  detailed responses.)

                                  We also provided the Department of Veterans Affairs with a draft of this
                                  report for review and comment. The Associate Chief Consultant for
                                  Homeless Veterans told us that the Department had no comments or
                                  concerns about the information included in the report and stated that the
                                  report provided useful information on the types of programs and services
                                  provided to homeless people.


                                  We are sending copies of this report to the appropriate congressional
                                  committees; interested Members of Congress; the Honorable Andrew
                                  Cuomo, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; and other



                                  Page 19                                          GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
B-281481




interested parties. Copies will be made available to others on request. If
you have any questions about this report, please call Anu Mittal or me at
(202) 512-7631. Key contributors to this report include Lynn Musser,
Merrie Nichols-Dixon, Hattie Poole, and John Vocino.




Judy A. England-Joseph
Director, Housing and Community
  Development Issues




Page 20                              GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
B-281481




List of Requesters

The Honorable Phil Gramm
Chairman, Committee on Banking, Housing
  and Urban Affairs
United States Senate

The Honorable Pete V. Domenici
Chairman, Committee on Budget
United States Senate

The Honorable James M. Jeffords
Chairman, Committee on Health, Education,
  Labor and Pensions
United States Senate

The Honorable Arlen Specter
Chairman, Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
United States Senate

The Honorable Christopher S. Bond
Chairman, Subcommittee on VA, HUD
  and Independent Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate

The Honorable Wayne Allard
Chairman, Subcommittee on Housing
  and Transportation
Committee on Banking, Housing and
  Urban Affairs
United States Senate

The Honorable Bill Frist
Chairman, Subcommittee on
  Public Health
Committee on Health, Education,
  Labor and Pensions
United States Senate




Page 21                             GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
Contents



Letter                                                                                             1


Appendix I                                                                                        24
                        Questionnaire Development and Design                                      24
Objectives, Scope,      Sampling Methodology                                                      25
and Methodology         Sampling Errors and Confidence Intervals of Estimates                     26

Appendix II                                                                                       36

Geographical
Distribution of SHP
Applications for 1997
Appendix III                                                                                      38

Comments From the
Department of
Housing and Urban
Development
Tables                  Table 1.1: Number of Years SHP Applicants Have Been in                     7
                         Existence and Have Served Homeless People
                        Table 1.2: Types of Clients and the Percentage of SHP Applicants          10
                         That Serve Them
                        Table 1.3: Types of Programs Agencies Often Provide to                    12
                         Homeless People and the Percentage of SHP Applicants That
                         Offer These Programs
                        Table 1.4: Types of Supportive Services and the Percentage of             14
                         SHP Applicants That Provide These Services
                        Table 1.5: Estimates of Nonfederal Funding Requested and                  18
                         Received by SHP Applicants
                        Table 1.6: Estimates of Non-SHP Federal Funding Requested and             19
                         Received by SHP Applicants
                        Table I.1: Type of Application, Number of Applications Received           26
                         by HUD, and Number of Questionnaires Mailed and Returned for
                         the Sample Population
                        Table I.2: Sampling Errors of Estimates From Information in the           27
                         Project Questionnaire




                        Page 22                            GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
          Contents




Figures   Figure 1.1: SHP Applicants, by Organizational Type                        6
          Figure 1.2: Sources of Funding for an SHP Applicant’s Average             8
            Annual Budget, 1997
          Figure 1.3: Number of Homeless People SHP Applicants Serve                9
            Annually
          Figure 1.4: Types of Housing and Supportive Services That SHP            11
            Applicants Believe Homeless People Need
          Figure 1.5: Types of Programs for Which SHP Applicants Sought            13
            Grants in 1997
          Figure 1.6: Relationship of SHP Grants to Other Sources of               15
            Funding for Applicants’ Homeless Assistance Programs




          Abbreviations

          DOL        Department of Labor
          HHS        Department of Health and Human Services
          HUD        Department of Housing and Urban Development
          SHP        Supportive Housing Program
          VA         Department of Veterans Affairs


          Page 23                           GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
Appendix I

Objectives, Scope, and Methodology


                  We conducted a nationwide survey of 1,174 agencies that applied in 1997
                  for grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s
                  (HUD) Supportive Housing Program (SHP). Our survey was designed to
                  obtain information on the (1) characteristics of agencies that apply for SHP
                  grants, (2) types of programs and services for homeless people that SHP
                  grants support, (3) importance of SHP grants to agencies’ programs for the
                  homeless, and (4) various funding sources that applicants rely on in
                  addition to SHP funds for their programs and services for homeless people.
                  In addition to conducting the survey, we interviewed HUD officials and
                  homeless assistance providers in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of
                  Columbia, and we reviewed documents and legislation related to programs
                  that serve the homeless. We conducted our review from September 1998
                  through June 1999 in accordance with generally accepted government
                  auditing standards.


                  We developed a questionnaire for mailing to a sample of agencies
Questionnaire     nationwide that applied for one or more SHP grants in 1997. The
Development and   questionnaire asked for general information about each agency and
Design            specific information about the agency’s programs for the homeless. We
                  also asked for information about a specific grant application submitted by
                  each agency in 1997. For example, we asked applicants how much money
                  they received for the grant and how they would categorize the grant. Each
                  agency received only one questionnaire, no matter how many applications
                  it submitted to HUD.

                  To aid in designing our survey, we obtained input on the content of the
                  questionnaire from officials of the Interagency Council on the Homeless
                  and organizations that either represent or provide services to the
                  homeless, such as the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the
                  National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, and U.S. Catholic
                  Charities. We pretested the questionnaire with officials of 11 agencies in
                  New York, Texas, and Florida. Each pretest consisted of a visit by GAO
                  staff to an agency that had applied for an SHP grant in 1997. During these
                  visits, we simulated the actual survey experience by asking agency
                  officials to fill out the questionnaire. We also interviewed agency officials
                  after they had completed the questionnaire to ensure that (1) the questions
                  were readable and clear, (2) the terms used were precise, (3) completing
                  the questionnaire did not place an undue burden on agency officials, and
                  (4) the questionnaire was independent and unbiased.




                  Page 24                              GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
                  Appendix I
                  Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




                  To identify agencies that submitted SHP applications in 1997, we obtained a
Sampling          list from HUD of the total number of applications it received that year. This
Methodology       list contained 3,011 applications from various state, local, and nonprofit
                  agencies nationwide. We eliminated 351 applications that HUD did not
                  consider for funding because they were technically incomplete or
                  otherwise ineligible for consideration. We divided the remaining 2,660
                  applications into four categories: (1) applications for new projects that
                  were funded, (2) applications for new projects that were not funded,
                  (3) applications for existing (renewal) projects that were funded, and
                  (4) applications for renewal projects that were not funded. From these
                  four categories, we selected a sample of 1,174 applications using the
                  following process:

              •   We included all agencies that submitted a renewal application that was not
                  funded in our sample. We did this because we wanted to survey as many
                  agencies as we could with experience in requesting but not receiving SHP
                  grants for their projects. However, if an agency had more than one
                  nonfunded renewal application, we randomly selected one application so
                  that the agency would receive only one questionnaire. If an agency
                  submitted applications for both renewal and new projects, we randomly
                  selected one renewal application that was not funded for our sample and
                  deleted the other applications. We mailed questionnaires to 120 agencies
                  that submitted applications for renewal projects that were not funded.
              •   We also included all agencies that submitted a renewal application that
                  was funded unless the agencies had submitted a renewal application that
                  was not funded (these agencies were already part of our sample). For
                  agencies that submitted multiple renewal applications that were funded,
                  we randomly selected one application so that the agency received only one
                  questionnaire. If an agency (1) submitted applications for both renewal
                  and new projects and (2) had no nonfunded renewal applications, we
                  randomly selected one renewal application that was funded for our sample
                  and deleted the other applications. We sent questionnaires to 268 agencies
                  that submitted renewal applications that were funded.
              •   For agencies that submitted only new applications, we randomly selected
                  one application for each agency and deleted the others. This left 1,546
                  applications for new projects, of which 704 were funded and 842 were not
                  funded. We then randomly selected a sample of 400 applications from each
                  group. However, we identified additional duplicate agencies after drawing
                  the sample and therefore mailed questionnaires to only 391 agencies with
                  applications for new projects that were funded and 395 agencies with
                  applications for new projects that were not funded.




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                                         Appendix I
                                         Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




                                         This three-step process yielded a sample of 1,174 applicants. Of these, 953
                                         applicants returned completed, useable questionnaires, which yielded an
                                         applicant response rate of 81 percent. For each sampled application
                                         category, table I.1 shows the number of applications considered for
                                         funding by HUD, the number of questionnaires we mailed to applicants, and
                                         the number of completed, useable questionnaires returned to us.


Table I.1: Type of Application, Number
of Applications Received by HUD, and                                             Number of                                       Number of
Number of Questionnaires Mailed and                                            applications              Number of           questionnaires
Returned for the Sample Population                                           considered for          questionnaires          completed and
                                         Type of application                funding by HUD                   mailed                returned
                                         Nonfunded renewal                                 152                     120                     100
                                         Funded renewal                                    410                     268                     227
                                         Nonfunded new                                   1,095                     395                     292
                                         Funded new                                      1,003                     391                     334
                                         Total                                           2,660                   1,174                     953

                                         Note: Of the 3,011 applications that were received, 351 were “dropped” by HUD because they
                                         were incomplete, did not target the appropriate population, or were otherwise ineligible for funding.


                                         Our results are based on the information reported by the agencies. We did
                                         not verify the accuracy of the information that the surveyed agencies
                                         provided.


                                         Since we used a sample (called a probability sample) of 1,174 of the 2,660
Sampling Errors and                      SHP applications that were considered for funding in 1997 to develop our
Confidence Intervals                     estimates, each estimate has a measurable precision, or sampling error,
of Estimates                             which may be expressed as a plus/minus figure. A sampling error indicates
                                         how closely we can reproduce from a sample the results we would have
                                         obtained if we had sent a questionnaire to every SHP applicant and asked
                                         about each one of the grant applications. By adding the sampling error to
                                         and subtracting it from the estimate, we can develop upper and lower
                                         bounds for each estimate. This range is called the confidence interval.
                                         Sampling errors and confidence intervals are stated at a certain
                                         confidence level—in this case, 95 percent. For example, a confidence
                                         interval at the 95-percent confidence level means that in 95 out of 100
                                         instances, the sampling procedure we used would produce a confidence
                                         interval containing the value we are estimating. Table I.2 lists the sampling




                                         Page 26                                          GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
                                             Appendix I
                                             Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




                                             errors and confidence intervals for selected information from our survey
                                             of SHP applicants.


Table I.2: Sampling Errors of Estimates From Information in the Project Questionnaire
                                                                                             Confidence interval
Description                                  Estimate              Sampling error                From                       To
Background information about the agencies
Which of the following best describes your agency?
  Nonprofit agency                               79.32%                      1.76%               77.56%                  81.08%
  Nonprofit agency with
  religious affiliation                          11.14%                      1.39%                9.75%                  12.53%
  Local government agency                         6.14%                      1.04%                5.10%                    7.18%
  State government agency                         1.22%                      0.47%                0.75%                    1.69%
  Other                                           2.17%                      0.61%                1.56%                    2.78%
Approximately how long has your agency been in existence?
  Under 10 years                                 16.73%                      1.71%               15.02%                  18.44%
  10 to 20 years                                 32.05%                      2.04%               30.01%                  34.09%
  21 to 50 years                                 35.50%                      2.10%               33.40%                  37.60%
  51 to 100 years                                 9.63%                      1.29%                8.34%                  10.92%
  Over 100 years                                  6.10%                      1.02%                5.08%                    7.12%
What types of clients does your agency serve?
  Adults with dependent
  children                                       84.42%                      1.59%               82.83%                  86.01%
  Adults without children                        83.44%                      1.57%               81.87%                  85.01%
  Unaccompanied or
  emancipated children
  and/or adolescents                             37.57%                      2.12%               35.45%                  39.69%
  Battered women                                 69.06%                      2.02%               67.04%                  71.08%
  Pregnant women                                 69.09%                      2.02%               67.07%                  71.11%
  Adults aged 60 or older                        68.37%                      2.04%               66.33%                  70.41%
  Veterans                                       67.15%                      2.02%               65.13%                  69.17%
  Individuals with physical
  or mental disabilities                         75.05%                      1.86%               73.19%                  76.91%
  Mentally ill individuals                       68.84%                      2.04%               66.80%                  70.88%
  Individuals with HIV/AIDS                      66.74%                      2.06%               64.68%                  68.80%
  Individuals with
  substance abuse
  problems                                       80.97%                      1.69%               79.28%                  82.66%
  Individuals involved with
  the criminal justice system                    66.80%                      2.04%               64.76%                  68.84%
What is the total budget for your agency for calendar year 1998?
                                                                                                                    (continued)



                                             Page 27                                 GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
                                             Appendix I
                                             Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




                                                                                                 Confidence interval
Description                                  Estimate            Sampling error                      From                          To
  Nonprofit agency                         $5,795,423                  $644,356                 $5,151,067                 $6,439,779
  Local government agency                 $35,668,981                $9,427,275                $26,241,706               $45,096,256
  State government agency               $925,323,271               $609,067,913               $316,255,358             $1,534,391,184
Please indicate the approximate percentage of your agency’s annual budget that comes from each of the following sources:
  Local, state, and federal
  government funding                            61.82%                      1.35%                    60.47%                     63.17%
  Private funding                               21.07%                      1.12%                    19.95%                     22.19%
  Fees for service                                7.14%                     0.71%                     6.43%                      7.85%
  Self-generated income                           9.02%                     0.82%                     8.20%                      9.84%
  Other                                           0.89%                     0.22%                     0.67%                      1.11%
Programs and services for the homeless
Which of the following programs and services does your agency offer to the homeless?
  Emergency shelter                             50.12%                      2.18%                    47.94%                     52.30%
  Transitional housing with
  services                                      79.88%                      1.84%                    78.04%                     81.72%
  Permanent housing with
  services                                      37.68%                      2.10%                    35.58%                     39.78%
  Food bank/food pantry                         37.42%                      2.14%                    35.28%                     39.56%
  Soup kitchen                                  19.55%                      1.78%                    17.77%                     21.33%
  Supportive services
  without housing                               69.96%                      1.94%                    68.02%                     71.90%
Approximately how long has your agency had programs or services that are specifically targeted to serve the homeless?
  Under 10 years                                35.88%                      2.14%                    33.74%                     38.02%
  10 to 20 years                                47.62%                      2.20%                    45.42%                     49.82%
  21 to 50 years                                12.70%                      1.47%                    11.23%                     14.17%
  50 to 100 years                                 2.33%                     0.71%                     1.62%                      3.04%
  Over 100 years                                  1.47%                     0.53%                     0.94%                      2.00%
  Which of the following best describes your agency’s delivery of services to the homeless?
  Provides services directly
  to the homeless—does
  not contract for any
  services                                      62.09%                      2.12%                    59.97%                     64.21%
  Provides some services
  directly to the homeless
  and contracts (provides
  indirectly) for some
  services (excluding
  affiliation or linkage
  agreements)                                   33.42%                      2.08%                    31.34%                     35.50%
                                                                                                                           (continued)




                                             Page 28                                    GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
                                               Appendix I
                                               Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




                                                                                                     Confidence interval
Description                                   Estimate             Sampling error                        From                      To
  Does not provide any
  services directly—all
  services are contracted
  out to other agencies                            4.49%                       0.88%                      3.61%                  5.37%
Which of the following supportive services does your agency offer, directly or indirectly, to the homeless?
  Outreach                                        75.51%                       1.86%                     73.65%                 77.37%
  Case management
  (including referrals)                           93.03%                       1.20%                     91.83%                 94.24%
  Case management for
  clients who are living in
  permanent housing                               61.17%                       2.14%                     59.03%                 63.31%
  Education                                       61.29%                       2.14%                     59.15%                 63.43%
  Instruction in life skills,
  including parenting
  classes                                         83.80%                       1.71%                     82.09%                 85.51%
  Employment assistance                           77.25%                       1.84%                     75.41%                 79.09%
  Alcohol/drug abuse
  treatment                                       57.12%                       2.18%                     54.94%                 59.30%
  Mental health treatment                         52.37%                       2.20%                     50.17%                 54.57%
  AIDS-related treatment                          30.87%                       2.02%                     28.85%                 32.89%
  Health care                                     42.72%                       2.14%                     40.58%                 44.86%
  Follow-up with transitional
  housing                                          74.1%                       1.96%                     72.14%                 76.06%
  Child care                                      44.86%                       2.16%                     29.44%                 33.48%
  Legal services                                  31.46%                       2.02%                     29.44%                 33.48%
  Clothing                                        70.09%                       2.02%                     68.07%                 72.11%
  Transportation                                  74.75%                       1.92%                     72.83%                 76.67%
  Communication services                          46.14%                       2.18%                     43.96%                 48.32%
  Financial assistance                            53.34%                       2.20%                     51.14%                 55.54%
Approximately how many homeless individuals (nonduplicated) does your agency serve each year?
  100 percent                                     25.67%                       1.94%                     23.73%                 27.61%
  100-250                                         20.56%                       1.80%                     18.76%                 22.36%
  250-500                                         16.85%                       1.63%                     15.22%                 18.48%
  500-1,000                                       13.79%                       1.47%                     12.32%                 15.26%
  1,000-5,000                                     17.92%                       1.65%                     16.27%                 19.57%
  Over 5,000                                       5.21%                       0.92%                      4.29%                  6.13%
Approximately what percentage of the homeless whom you serve are veterans?
  100 percent                                      0.99%                       0.43%                      0.56%                  1.42%
  1 to 25 percent                                 52.93%                       1.96%                     50.97%                 54.89%
  26 to 99 percent                                 5.96%                       0.96%                      5.00%                  6.92%
                                                                                                                           (continued)



                                               Page 29                                     GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
                                             Appendix I
                                             Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




                                                                                                 Confidence interval
Description                                  Estimate           Sampling error                       From                      To
  None                                          10.81%                      1.14%                     9.67%                  11.95%
  Did not answer the
  question                                      29.31%                      1.82%                    27.49%                  31.13%
What percentage of the homeless whom you serve need housing plus supportive services, supportive services only, or housing only?
  Individuals who need
  housing plus supportive
  services                                      80.96%                      1.10%                    79.86%                  82.06%
  Individuals who need
  supportive services but
  no housing                                    13.64%                      0.96%                    12.68%                  14.60%
  Individuals who receive
  housing but no other
  supportive services                            5.40%                      0.57%                     4.83%                   5.97%
Supportive Housing Program (SHP) grant application identified on questionnaire cover
Please indicate the
category of your SHP grant
application:
  Transitional housing with
  supportive services                           58.91%                      2.20%                    56.71%                  61.11%
  Permanent housing for
  persons with disabilities                      8.78%                      1.27%                     7.51%                  10.05%
  Supportive services only                      29.72%                      2.08%                    27.64%                  31.80%
  Innovative supportive
  housing                                        2.59%                      0.71%                     1.88%                   3.30%
Consequences of not receiving the Supportive Housing Program (SHP) grant
Did you receive any funding from other source(s) to replace funds not received from the SHP grant?
  No                                            78.10%                      3.39%                    74.71%                  81.49%
  Yes                                           21.90%                      3.39%                    18.51%                  25.29%
How did the money you received from other sources compare with the amount you requested in your 1997 HUD SHP grant application?
  Money received was
  equal to amount
  requested from HUD                             3.55%                      2.59%                     0.96%                   6.14%
  Money received was less
  than amount requested
  from HUD                                      94.62%                      3.63%                    90.99%                  98.25%
  Money received was
  more than amount
  requested from HUD                             1.83%                      2.59%                    –0.76%a                  4.42%
How were your agency’s programs and services for the homeless affected by not receiving the 1997 SHP grant?
  Reduction in agency staff                     18.42%                      3.16%                    15.26%                  21.58%
  Reduction in programs
  and/or services provided
  to the homeless                               34.74%                      4.06%                    30.68%                  38.80%
                                                                                                                       (continued)



                                             Page 30                                    GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
                                            Appendix I
                                            Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




                                                                                                Confidence interval
Description                                 Estimate            Sampling error                      From                        To
  Reduction in the number
  of homeless individuals
  served                                        31.14%                     3.98%                    27.16%                   35.12%
  Unable to expand
  existing programs and/or
  services for the homeless                     69.62%                     3.94%                    65.68%                   73.56%
  Unable to implement new
  programs and/or services
  for the homeless                              73.16%                     3.74%                    69.42%                   76.90%
  Lost other funding that
  was contingent on
  receiving an SHP grant                        10.97%                     2.70%                     8.27%                   13.67%
  Implemented more
  fee-for-service programs                       4.72%                     1.90%                     2.82%                    6.62%
  Made no changes in
  programs or services                           4.47%                     1.72%                     2.75%                    6.19%
Other funding sources for programs and services for the homeless
During calendar year 1997, did you apply for nonfederal funding to support programs and services for the homeless?
  No                                            25.84%                     1.98%                    23.86%                   27.82%
  Yes                                           74.16%                     1.98%                    72.18%                   76.14%
Please indicate where your agency applied for money, the amount of money requested, and the amount of money received.
Where agencies applied
  State government
  (including federal
  pass-through money)                           71.79%                     2.29%                    69.50%                   74.08%
  Local government                              62.45%                     2.47%                    59.98%                   64.92%
  Private corporations                          37.06%                     2.43%                    34.63%                   39.49%
  Nonprofit organizations
  or foundations                                62.35%                     2.47%                    59.88%                   64.82%
  Other                                         18.36%                     1.92%                    16.44%                   20.28%
Amount of money requested
  State government
  (including federal
  pass-through money)                   $253,286,344               $42,843,578              $210,442,766              $296,129,922
  Local government                      $196,533,580               $31,167,717              $165,365,863              $227,701,297
  Private corporations                   $38,761,357                $9,641,024               $29,120,333               $48,402,381
  Nonprofit organizations
  or foundations                         $90,357,740               $15,624,576               $74,733,164              $105,982,316
  Other                                  $22,575,658                $8,411,269               $14,164,389               $30,986,927
Amount of money received
  State government
  (including federal
  pass-through money)                   $250,995,786               $42,439,585              $208,556,201              $293,435,371
                                                                                                                        (continued)


                                            Page 31                                    GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
                                              Appendix I
                                              Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




                                                                                                   Confidence interval
Description                                   Estimate            Sampling error                       From                           To
  Local government                       $185,485,302                $31,416,858               $154,068,444               $216,902,160
  Private corporations                    $27,560,125                  $3,181,138               $24,378,987                $30,741,263
  Nonprofit organizations
  or foundations                          $69,080,561                  $9,137,706               $59,942,855                $78,218,267
  Other                                   $43,194,626                $16,669,173                $26,525,453                $59,863,799
During calendar year 1997, did you apply directly for any federal funding (in addition to SHP) to support programs and services for the
homeless?
  No                                             74.69%                       1.90%                    72.79%                     76.59%
  Yes                                            25.31%                       1.90%                    23.41%                     27.21%
Which of the following were reasons why your agency did not apply for other federal funding to support programs and/or services for
the homeless?
  Other federal agencies
  are not likely to fund
  programs and services
  for the homeless                               21.54%                       2.33%                    19.21%                     23.87%
  Not familiar with other
  federal agencies that
  would provide money for
  homeless programs
  and/or services                                53.45%                       2.84%                    50.61%                     56.29%
  Other federal agencies’
  deadlines and time lines
  are difficult to meet                          10.00%                       1.69%                      8.31%                    11.69%
  Preparing grant
  applications for federal
  agencies is too
  time-consuming                                 23.06%                       2.45%                    20.61%                     25.51%
  Past experience with
  other federal agencies
  has not been successful                        12.24%                       1.92%                    10.32%                     14.16%
  Applying for money to
  support homeless
  programs and/or services
  had a lower priority than
  applying for money to
  support other agency
  programs                                       10.01%                       1.71%                      8.30%                    11.72%
  Had sufficient resources
  without additional federal
  funding                                        14.38%                       1.84%                    12.54%                     16.22%
Please indicate the federal agencies that you directly applied to for money in 1997 to support programs and/or services for the
homeless, the amount of money you requested, and the amount of money you received.
Amount of money requested from
  HUD                                     $61,334,769                $16,912,103                $44,422,666                $78,246,873
  HHS                                     $15,118,372                  $3,519,006               $11,599,365                $18,637,378
                                                                                                                            (continued)


                                              Page 32                                     GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
                                            Appendix I
                                            Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




                                                                                            Confidence interval
Description                                 Estimate           Sampling error                   From                       To
  DOL                                    $27,271,041                $5,167,706            $22,103,335             $32,438,747
  VA                                      $5,083,369                $2,923,098             $2,160,271              $8,006,467
  Other                                  $38,778,669               $10,598,063            $28,180,606             $49,376,731
Amount of money received from
  HUD                                    $46,192,826               $15,580,137            $30,612,689             $61,772,963
  HHS                                    $12,463,781                $3,098,956             $9,364,825             $15,562,737
  DOL                                     $9,867,453                $3,024,533             $6,842,920             $12,891,986
  VA                                      $2,562,422                $1,329,282             $1,233,140              $3,891,704
  Other                                  $28,771,772                $8,334,955            $20,436,817             $37,106,727
Did your agency submit any new or renewal SHP grant applications to HUD in 1998?
  No                                           48.94%                      2.18%                46.76%                  51.12%
  Yes                                          51.06%                      2.18%                48.88%                  53.24%
Please indicate why your agency chose not to submit any SHP applications in 1998.
  Agency is not part of a
  Continuum of Care                              2.32%                     1.16%                 1.16%                    3.48%
  Did not receive
  information about the
  1998 Super NOFAb                               7.58%                     2.02%                 5.56%                    9.60%
  Application process is
  too difficult and/or
  time-consuming                               11.53%                      2.29%                 9.24%                  13.82%
  Staff did not have time
  and/or technical
  expertise to prepare grant                   12.27%                      2.39%                 9.88%                  14.66%
  Time frames and/or
  deadlines for grant
  application are difficult to
  meet                                           8.79%                     2.08%                 6.71%                  10.87%
  Technical submission
  process is too difficult
  and/or time-consuming                          6.81%                     1.80%                 5.01%                    8.61%
  Agency currently is
  implementing SHP grants
  from prior year(s)                           57.06%                      3.21%                53.85%                  60.27%
  Agency has adequate
  funding from other
  sources                                        3.97%                     1.31%                 2.66%                    5.28%
  Believe receiving funding
  from HUD is not likely                       16.69%                      2.70%                13.99%                  19.39%
Continuum of Care
How involved was your agency in the development of the local Continuum of Care?
Not at all involved                              3.45%                     0.78%                 2.67%                    4.23%
                                                                                                                   (continued)



                                            Page 33                                 GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
                                             Appendix I
                                             Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




                                                                                                 Confidence interval
Description                                  Estimate            Sampling error                        From                            To
Somewhat involved                                25.58%                      1.90%                     23.68%                      27.48%
  Highly involved                                69.48%                      2.02%                     67.46%                      71.50%
  Agency is not part of a
  Continuum of Care                               1.49%                      0.53%                     0.96%                         2.02%
Importance of Supportive Housing Program (SHP) grants for your agency’s programs and services for the homeless
Receiving an SHP grant provides “legitimacy” to your agency’s programs, which makes it easier to obtain funds from other sources.
  Strongly disagree                               3.18%                      0.80%                     2.38%                         3.98%
  Disagree                                        3.66%                      0.82%                     2.84%                         4.48%
  Neither agree nor
  disagree                                       24.56%                      1.94%                     22.62%                      26.50%
  Agree                                          42.68%                      2.16%                     40.52%                      44.84%
  Strongly agree                                 25.92%                      1.88%                     24.04%                      27.80%
SHP funding is unique because of its explicit link between housing and services.
  Strongly disagree                               2.33%                      0.69%                     1.64%                         3.02%
  Disagree                                        3.75%                      0.80%                     2.95%                         4.55%
  Neither agree nor
  disagree                                       10.11%                      1.29%                     8.82%                       11.40%
  Agree                                          47.47%                      2.20%                     45.27%                      49.67%
  Strongly agree                                 36.34%                      2.10%                     34.24%                      38.44%
SHP funding is necessary in order for your agency to provide programs and services for the homeless.
  Strongly disagree                               1.39%                      0.55%                     0.84%                         1.94%
  Disagree                                        4.80%                      1.06%                     3.74%                         5.86%
  Neither agree nor
  disagree                                        9.44%                      1.41%                     8.03%                       10.85%
  Agree                                          25.72%                      1.92%                     23.80%                      27.64%
  Strongly agree                                 58.65%                      2.16%                     56.49%                      60.81%
GAO’s analysis of SHP funds in relationship to federal and nonfederal homeless assistance funding
SHP grants as a
percentage of agencies’
total funding for homeless
assistance programs                              44.60%                      3.14%                     41.46%                      47.74%
Nonfederal funds as a
percentage of agencies’
total funding for homeless
assistance programs                              47.30%                      3.27%                     43.58%                      51.02%
Other federal funds as a
percentage of agencies’
total funding for homeless
assistance programs                               8.10%                      1.57%                     6.53%                         9.67%

                                                                                                                (Table notes on next page)




                                             Page 34                                   GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
Appendix I
Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




a
 Because the lower bound of this estimate falls below zero, the sampling error and upper and
lower bounds should not be considered reliable.
b
 If an agency did not receive the 1998 Super NOFA (Notice of Funding Availability), it might not
know that funds were available for SHP grants in 1998.




Page 35                                          GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
Appendix II

Geographical Distribution of SHP
Applications for 1997


                                                                                       Percentage
                         Number of     Number of        Number of       Number of               of
                       applications   applications     applications   applications    applications                 Total
                       submitted to     funded by       not funded     dropped by       funded by               funding
State                          HUD            HUD           by HUD           HUDa             HUD             requested
Alabama                         25                8             16              1              32           $11,022,714
Alaska                          13                6              7              0              46             5,555,398
Arizona                         43               20             23              0              47            31,063,833
Arkansas                        17                4             12              1              24             9,085,140
California                     403               198           165             40              49           210,495,436
Colorado                        47               16             22              9              34            17,164,987
Connecticut                     29               11             18              0              38            23,825,517
Delaware                         8                0              7              1                0            6,053,963
District of Columbia            34               23             10              1              68            16,735,904
Florida                        143               50             74             19              35            91,882,161
Georgia                         75               17             45             13              23            33,973,334
Hawaii                          16                9              4              3              56             6,925,884
Idaho                            9                3              6              0              33             3,538,052
Illinois                       147               59             73             15              40            79,301,078
Indiana                         82               39             30             13              48            23,257,715
Iowa                            19               12              7              0              63             9,200,757
Kansas                          11                2              6              3              18             4,391,774
Kentucky                        37               20             12              5              54            17,178,572
Louisiana                       66               33             26              7              50            17,497,781
Maine                           20               16              4              0              80             3,788,651
Maryland                        91               51             35              5              56            25,702,752
Massachusetts                  133               68             49             16              51            54,776,938
Michigan                       102               56             34             12              55            49,227,046
Minnesota                       71               42             19             10              59            21,479,555
Mississippi                      5                0              4              1                0            1,329,499
Missouri                        34               16             14              4              47            18,822,093
Montana                          7                2              5              0              29             1,689,821
Nebraska                        22               13              8              1              59             5,916,252
Nevada                           9                2              7              0              22             6,319,999
New Hampshire                   18                5             13              0              28            10,653,238
New Jersey                      90               27             52             11              30            43,240,143
New Mexico                      16                8              5              3              50             6,213,593
New York                       207               110            64             33              53            91,717,766
North Carolina                  51               22             28              1              43            11,533,082
North Dakota                     5                1              2              2              20             1,441,469
                                                                                                             (continued)


                                       Page 36                                GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
                                 Appendix II
                                 Geographical Distribution of SHP
                                 Applications for 1997




                                                                                           Percentage
                   Number of     Number of          Number of           Number of                   of
                 applications   applications       applications       applications        applications                     Total
                 submitted to     funded by         not funded         dropped by           funded by                   funding
State                    HUD            HUD             by HUD               HUDa                 HUD                 requested
Ohio                     132               97                 19                  16                 74               36,249,787
Oklahoma                  40               10                 18                  12                 25               12,474,264
Oregon                    40               15                 22                   3                 38               14,260,473
Pennsylvania             151               65                 60                  26                 43               86,092,129
Rhode Island              24               20                   0                  4                 83                7,373,583
South Carolina            17                8                   8                  1                 47                6,693,075
South Dakota               9                0                   5                  4                   0               1,023,405
Tennessee                 45               19                 22                   4                 42               21,739,147
Texas                    150               67                 64                  19                 45               82,885,582
Utah                      14                1                 12                   1                   7               4,406,576
Vermont                   20                4                   5                 11                 20                5,451,528
Virginia                  58               34                 15                   9                 59               22,228,344
Washington               128               73                 52                   3                 57               23,269,906
West Virginia             10                1                   9                  0                 10                8,147,289
Wisconsin                 57               28                 21                   8                 49               26,333,386
Wyoming                   11                2                   9                  0                 18                3,032,115
Total                  3,011a          1,413               1,247                 351                 47          $1,333,662,486

                                 a
                                  Of the 3,011 applications that it received, HUD dropped 351 because they were incomplete, did
                                 not target the appropriate population, or were otherwise ineligible for funding.




                                 Page 37                                        GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
Appendix III

Comments From the Department of Housing
and Urban Development

Note: GAO comments
supplementing those in the
report text appear at the
end of this appendix.




                             Page 38   GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
                 Appendix III
                 Comments From the Department of Housing
                 and Urban Development




See comment 1.




See comment 1.




See comment 2.




                 Page 39                                   GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
                 Appendix III
                 Comments From the Department of Housing
                 and Urban Development




See comment 3.




See comment 4.




See comment 1.




See comment 5.




                 Page 40                                   GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
                        Appendix III
                        Comments From the Department of Housing
                        and Urban Development




See comment 6.




Now on pp. 18 and 24.
See comment 7.




                        Page 41                                   GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
                 Appendix III
                 Comments From the Department of Housing
                 and Urban Development




                 The following are GAO’s comments on the Department of Housing and
                 Urban Development’s letter dated July 22, 1999.


                 1. We revised the report to include the language suggested by HUD.
GAO’s Comments
                 2. We revised the report to clarify that most SHP applicants are nonprofit
                 organizations.

                 3. In response to HUD’s comment, we reviewed our data on the percentage
                 of SHP applicants that did not provide us with information on the number
                 of homeless veterans they serve. We found that the draft report sent to HUD
                 misstated this percentage. In fact, according to our data, almost 30 percent
                 of SHP applicants could not provide us with this information. We revised
                 the final report accordingly.

                 4. The objectives of our report were to provide information on (1) the
                 characteristics of Supportive Housing Program applicants, (2) the types of
                 programs and services for homeless people that this program supports,
                 (3) the importance of Supportive Housing Program grants to applicants’
                 programs for the homeless, and (4) the various funding sources, in
                 addition to Supportive Housing Program grants, that applicants rely on for
                 their programs and services for homeless people. Consequently, no
                 changes were made in response to this comment.

                 5. We modified the report to better distinguish between the most
                 frequently cited reason and the other reasons cited by SHP applicants for
                 not applying for 1998 grants.

                 6. We made no change to the report in response to this comment because
                 we believe the report adequately acknowledges that funds provided by
                 state and local governments may include federal pass-through dollars.
                 While we agree with HUD that it would be interesting to know how many
                 federal dollars other than pass-through funds are available to SHP grantees,
                 this information would be difficult to determine because, as we noted in
                 the report, organizations generally do not know what portion of their state
                 and local government funding originally comes from federal sources.

                 7. We revised the report, as appropriate, to incorporate the changes
                 suggested by HUD.




(385756)         Page 42                                   GAO/RCED-99-239 Supportive Housing Program
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