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HUD Guidance on HMIS Governance Requirements

The purpose of this message is to clarify HUD’s current expectations around the CoC Program interim rule and the HMIS Requirements Proposed Rule.

It is HUD’s intent that Continuums of Care (CoCs) and HMIS Leads understand what HUD expects of CoCs while HUD works to finalize these rules.

Of first importance is the fact that the CoC Program interim rule is in effect for projects funded under the FY 2012 CoC Program Competition, though HUD has not finalized CoC Program interim rule. HUD is expecting that CoCs will be working to ensure that they meet the requirements described in the CoC Program interim rule.

In contrast, the HMIS Requirements Proposed Rule is not yet final, nor is it in effect. HUD published this proposed rule with the specific intent to solicit public comment on the proposed HMIS requirements. Because this rule is not in effect, HUD has no expectation that communities implement changes to systems based on the HMIS Requirements Proposed Rule.

Secondly, HUD will publish, first for public comment and then in final form, HMIS Notices on HMIS Governance, Privacy and Security, and Software Functionality and Data Quality. These Notices will further define what communities will be required to do to become compliant with the HMIS Requirements Final Rule when it becomes effective.

While HUD appreciates its recipients’ desires to move forward to ensure compliance with the new requirements under the McKinney-Vento Act, as amended by the HEARTH Act, it should be noted that the proposed rules could change subject to the public comments HUD received on the HMIS Requirements Proposed Rule. HUD recognizes that working within the context of interim and draft rules can necessitate that communities strike a balance between what they can and should do now versus what they should put on hold until final guidance is published.

What communities should be doing now:

Since the CoC Program interim rule is in effect, CoCs and HMIS leads are encouraged to focus on the requirements outlined in Section 578.7 of the interim rule.

To meet these requirements, HUD encourages CoCs to discuss the following issues with their HMIS Leads, as each is covered in the HMIS requirements and in the CoC Program interim rule:

CoCs

  1. Is there a formal governance charter that includes a process for decision making around the HMIS? HMIS governance may be part of the larger CoC Governance Charter or it may be separate charter. If a CoC decides to have a separate charter for its HMIS, the CoC must reference the HMIS Charter in the CoC Governance Charter.
  2. Is there a formal agreement between the CoC and HMIS Lead that clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of each?
  3. Has the CoC formally approved/adopted these documents?

HMIS Leads

  1. Are there written policies and procedures?
  2. Are there executed participation agreements with agencies participating in your HMIS?
  3. Does the CoC monitor participating agencies for compliance?
  4. Are there data quality benchmarks set for the HMIS?
  5. Do the written policies and procedures clearly identify the entity responsible for monitoring data quality for the CoC?

What communities should discuss now, but delay action on until final HMIS Rule and Notices are published:

In addition to governance, the HMIS Requirements Proposed Rule includes information on technical and security standards. Much of the Proposed Rule is general and it is appropriate to discuss now. However, HUD is strongly recommending communities to wait until it issues further guidance before making changes to their system, including:

  1. Hiring security officers
  2. Finalizing security plans
  3. Finalizing implementation plans for security and technical standards
  4. Finalizing a data quality plan–while HUD advises communities to discuss data quality and setting data quality benchmarks, HUD advises against finalizing a plan until the final Data Quality and Software Functionality Notice is published

In summary, before a CoC asks its HMIS Lead to make drastic changes or additions to their system (i.e., hiring a security officer or purchasing new equipment to meet DRAFT technical standards), HUD strongly encourages CoCs to examine the basis for such proposed changes to determine the cost and degree of difficulty involved to reverse changes implemented should HUD-issued final rules require such reversals. CoCs may contact their assigned TA provider, which can help CoCs assess what to focus on now.

CoCs can also consult resources posted at OneCPD Resource Exchange, including:

Please submit any questions concerning this listserv to OneCPD Ask A Question.


 
            
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