HMIS Standard Reporting Terminology Glossary
HUD recently published the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) Standard Reporting Terminology Glossary, an HMIS Glossary to provide HMIS vendors, HMIS Leads and System Administrators, and communities with tools to improve the efficiency of data collection and reporting. This document provides programmers with a foundation upon which they can efficiently and effectively program reports required by HUD and its federal partners. The HMIS Glossary provides standardized programming logic for certain terms (e.g., chronically homeless, household types) that are used by HUD, but that can be interpreted or programmed in different ways. These standardized building blocks can apply across different HMIS solutions. HUD developed the guide through discussions facilitated by national HMIS TA providers and with the assistance of HMIS vendors. A few things to note about the HMIS Glossary:
- HUD will maintain the Glossary – it is not a document specific to a certain vendor or software solution. HUD works with the vendors to update as necessary.
- The HMIS Glossary does not replace or update the HMIS Data Dictionary or HMIS Data Manual. The HMIS Glossary uses data elements found in the Data Standards but it does not introduce new elements.
- The HMIS Glossary is not a “required” document and there is no deadline for programming. The primary purpose of this document is standardization and efficiency. Programmers can choose how to implement the logic outlined in the HMIS Glossary based on the current system they are using.
- The HMIS Glossary includes programming language that would require Continuums of Care (CoCs) to report who is chronically homeless based on one specific interpretation of the definition of chronically homeless. Per HUD’s definition, a household qualifies as chronically homeless if the individual or head of household is coming from a place not meant for human habitation, a safe haven, or an emergency shelter; has a disability; and has a length of time homeless that totals either 12 months of continuous homelessness or at least 4 occasions in the last 3 years (see 24 CFR 578.3 for HUD’s current definition of chronically homeless). For programming purposes, HUD is requesting that vendors program systems to identify as chronically homeless individuals and heads of households that have either been homeless continuously for the last 12 months or who have experienced at least 4 occasions in the last 3 years where those occasions also cumulatively total at least 12 months. This is consistent with the first two orders of priorities outlined in the Notice CPD-14-012: Prioritizing Persons Experiencing Chronic Homelessness in PSH and Recordkeeping Requirements. HUD recognizes this will cause a change in some CoC’s chronic numbers; which is acceptable.
Other HMIS Updates
HUD is in the process of responding to the public comments received on the proposed definition of chronically homeless that was included in the Rural Housing Stability Assistance Proposed Rule. HUD anticipates a final rule on the definition of chronically homeless will be published later this year.
HUD also expects to publish the 2015 Housing Inventory Count (HIC) and Point-in-Time (PIT) Notice later this month.