38 CFR 61.80 - General operation requirements for supportive housing and service centers.
(a) Supportive housing and service centers for which assistance is provided under this part must comply with the requirements of the current edition of the Life Safety Code of the National Fire Protection Association and all applicable state and local housing codes, licensing requirements, fire and safety requirements, and any other requirements in the jurisdiction in which the project is located regarding the condition of the structure and the operation of the supportive housing or service centers. Note: All facilities are to be protected throughout by an approved automatic sprinkler system unless a facility is specifically exempted under the Life Safety Code.
(b) Except for such variations as are proposed by the recipient that would not affect compliance with paragraph (a) of this section and are approved by VA, supportive housing must meet the following requirements:
(1) The structures must be structurally sound so as not to pose any threat to the health and safety of the occupants and so as to protect the residents from the elements;
(2) Entry and exit locations to the structure must be capable of being utilized without unauthorized use of other private properties, and must provide alternate means of egress in case of fire;
(3) Buildings constructed or altered with Federal assistance must also be accessible to the disabled, as required by § 502 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, referred to as the Architectural Barriers Act;
(4) Each resident must be afforded appropriate space and security for themselves and their belongings, including an acceptable place to sleep that is in compliance with all applicable local, state, and federal requirements;
(5) Every room or space must be provided with natural or mechanical ventilation and the structures must be free of pollutants in the air at levels that threaten the health of residents;
(6) The water supply must be free from contamination;
(7) Residents must have access to sufficient sanitary facilities that are in proper operating condition, that may be used in privacy, and that are adequate for personal cleanliness and the disposal of human waste;
(8) The housing must have adequate heating and/or cooling facilities in proper operating condition;
(9) The housing must have adequate natural or artificial illumination to permit normal indoor activities and to support the health and safety of residents and sufficient electrical sources must be provided to permit use of essential electrical appliances while assuring safety from fire;
(10) All food preparation areas must contain suitable space and equipment to store, prepare, and serve food in a sanitary manner;
(11) The housing and any equipment must be maintained in a sanitary manner;
(12) The residents with disabilities must be provided meals or meal preparation facilities must be available;
(13) Residential supervision from a paid staff member, volunteer, or senior resident participant must be provided 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and for those times that a volunteer or senior resident participant is providing residential supervision a paid staff member must be on call for emergencies 24 hours a day 7 days a week (all supervision must be provided by individuals with sufficient knowledge for the position); and
(14) Residents must be provided a clean and sober environment that is free from illicit drug use or from alcohol use that: could threaten the health and/or safety of the residents or staff; hinders the peaceful enjoyment of the premises; or jeopardizes completion of the grantee's project goals and objectives. Those supportive housing or service centers that provide medical or social detox at the same site as the supportive housing or service must ensure that those residents in detox are clearly separated from the general residential population.
(c) Each recipient of assistance under this part must conduct an ongoing assessment of the supportive services needed by the residents of the project and the availability of such services, and make adjustments as appropriate. The recipient will provide evidence of this ongoing assessment to VA regarding the plan described in their grant application to include meeting their performance goals. This information will be incorporated into the annual inspection. Grantees must submit during the grant agreement period to VA, a quarterly technical performance report. A quarterly report must be filed once during each quarter and no later than January 30, April 30, July 30, and October 30. The report may be in any acceptable business format and must include the following information:
(1) A comparison of actual accomplishments to established goals for the reporting period and response to any findings related to monitoring efforts. This comparison will be on the same level of detail as specified in the program approved in the grant document. It will address quantifiable as well as non-quantifiable goals.
(2) If established goals have not been met, provide a detailed narrative explanation and an explanation of the corrective action(s) which will be taken, as well as a timetable for accomplishment of the corrective action(s).
(3) Other pertinent information, including a description of grant-related activities occurring during the report period. This may include personnel activity (hiring-training), community orientation/awareness activity, programmatic activity (job development). Also identify administrative and programmatic problems, which may affect performance and proposed solutions.
(4) The quarterly technical performance report will be submitted to the VA National GPD Program Liaison assigned to the project, with each quarterly report being a cumulative report for the entire calendar year. All pages of the reporting documents should have the appropriate grant number and signature, where appropriate. VA National GPD Program Liaisons will file the report and corrective actions in the administrative file for the grant.
(5) Between scheduled reporting dates, the recipient will also immediately inform the VA National GPD Program Liaison of any significant developments affecting the recipient's ability to accomplish the work. VA National GPD Program Liaisons will provide grantees with necessary technical assistance, when and where appropriate as problems arise.
(6) For each goal or objective listed in the grant application, grantees will be allowed a 15 percent deviation of each goal or objective. If the deviation is greater than 15 percent in any one goal or objective, a corrective action plan must be submitted to the VA National GPD Program Liaison. Failure to meet goals and objectives may result in withholding of placement, withholding of payment, suspension of payment and termination as outlined in this part or other applicable Federal statutes if the goal or objective would impact the program's ability to provide a successful outcome for veterans.
(7) Corrective Action(s): When necessary, the grantee will automatically initiate a Corrective Action Plan (CAP). A CAP will be required if, on a quarterly basis, actual grant accomplishments vary by a margin of ±15 percent or more from the planned goals and objectives. Please note that this is a general rule of thumb, and in some cases ±15 percent deviations are beneficial to the program such as more placements into employment or training than planned, less cost per placement than planned, higher average wage at placement than planned, etc.
(8) All ±15 percent deviations from the planned goals that have a negative impact on the grantee's ability to accomplish planned goals must be fully explained in the grantee's quarterly technical report and a CAP is to be initiated, developed, and submitted by the grantee to the VA Liaison for approval.
(9) The CAP must identify the activity or expenditure source which has the ±15 percent deviation, describe the reason(s) for the variance, provide specific proposed corrective action(s), and a timetable for accomplishment of the corrective action. The plan may include an intent to modify the grant when appropriate.
(10) The CAP will be submitted as an addendum to the quarterly technical report. After receipt of the CAP, the VA National GPD Program Liaison will send a letter to the grantee indicating that the CAP is approved or disapproved. If disapproved, VA Liaison will make beneficial suggestions to improve the proposed CAP and request resubmission until CAP is satisfactory to both parties.
(d) A homeless veteran may remain in supportive housing for which assistance is provided under this part for a period no longer than 24 months, except that a veteran may stay longer, if permanent housing for the veteran has not been located or if the veteran requires additional time to prepare for independent living. However, at any given time, no more than one-half of the veterans at such supportive housing facility may have resided at the facility for periods longer than 24 months.
(e) Each recipient of assistance under this part must provide for the consultation and participation of not less than one homeless veteran or formerly homeless veteran on the board of directors or an equivalent policymaking entity of the recipient, to the extent that such entity considers and makes policies and decisions regarding any project provided under this part. This requirement may be waived if an applicant, despite a good faith effort to comply, is unable to meet it and presents a plan, subject to VA approval, to otherwise consult with homeless or formerly homeless veterans in considering and making such policies and decisions.
(f) Each recipient of assistance under this part must, to the maximum extent practicable, involve homeless veterans and families, through employment, volunteer services, or otherwise, in constructing, rehabilitating, maintaining, and operating the project and in providing supportive services for the project.
(g) Each recipient of assistance under this part shall establish procedures for fiscal control and fund accounting to ensure proper disbursement and accounting of assistance received under this part.
(h) The recipient of assistance under this part that provides family violence prevention or treatment services must establish and implement procedures to ensure:
(1) The confidentiality of records pertaining to any individual provided services, and
(2) The confidentially of the address or location where the services are provided.
(j) VA may disapprove use of outpatient health services provided through the recipient if VA determines that such services are of unacceptable quality. Further, VA will not pay per diem where the Department concludes that services furnished by the recipient are unacceptable.
(k) A service center for homeless veterans shall provide services to homeless veterans for a minimum of 40 hours per week over a minimum of 5 days per week, as well as provide services on an as-needed, unscheduled basis. The calculation of average hours shall include travel time for mobile service centers. In addition:
(1) Space in a service center shall be made available as mutually agreeable for use by VA staff and other appropriate agencies and organizations to assist homeless veterans;
(2) A service center shall be equipped to provide, or assist in providing, health care, mental health services, hygiene facilities, benefits and employment counseling, meals, and transportation assistance;
(3) A service center shall provide other services as VA determines necessary based on the need for services otherwise not available in the geographic area; and
(4) A service center may be equipped and staffed to provide, or to assist in providing, job training and job placement services (including job readiness, job counseling, and literacy and skills training), as well as any outreach and case management services that may be necessary to meet the requirements of this paragraph.
(l) Fixed site service centers will prominently post at or near the entrance to the service center their hours of operation and contacts in case of emergencies. Mobile service centers must take some action reasonably calculated to provide in advance a tentative schedule of visits (e.g., newspapers, fliers, public service announcements on television or radio). The schedule should include but is not limited to:
(1) The region of operation;
(2) Times of operation;
(3) Expected services to be provided; and
(4) Contacts for specific information and changes.
(m) Each recipient that provides housing and services must have a written disaster plan that has been coordinated with the emergency management entity responsible for the locality in which the project exists. The plan must encompass natural and man-made disasters.
(n) The recipient will inform within 24 hours its VA liaison of any sentinel events occurring within the program (i.e., drug overdose, death, injury).
(o) The grantee, or sub-grantee, will provide appropriate orientation and training to staff to enable them to provide quality services that are appropriate to homeless veteran or homeless special need veteran population.
(p) The grantee will maintain systematic participant enrollment information and participant tracking records designed to facilitate the uniform compilation and analysis of programmatic data necessary for verification of veteran status and case management, reporting, monitoring, and evaluation purposes.
(q) The grantee will also document in each participant record at a minimum:
(1) Family status.
(3) Education, employment history, and marketable skills/licenses/credentials.
(i) An assessment of barriers, service needs, as well as strengths; and
(ii) Specific services and referrals planned and benefits to be achieved as a result of program participation.
(5) Duration and outcome of supportive service.
(r) The grantee will ensure that no more than 25 percent of the grant awarded beds are occupied by non- veterans, or VA may take actions as appropriate to decrease the beds, grant amounts, or terminate the grant and seek recapture in the case of capital funding. To calculate the occupancy rate, divide the actual number of bed days of care for veterans eligible to reside in the project, by the total number of possible bed days of care (the previous 180 days from the most current 6 month period).