Governor Phil Bredesen and Ted R. Fellman, executive director of the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, announced an allocation of $13,467,433 for the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP).
The program, formed under Title XII of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, is designed to provide financial assistance and services to either prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless or to help those who are experiencing homelessness to be quickly re-housed and stabilized.
The invitation for public comment, which will be taken until 4 p.m. on May 12, and a program description are posted at www.thda.org .
Under the draft program description, THDA proposes to distribute HPRP funds through a formula allocation modeled on the agency’s Emergency Shelter Grant program (ESG) formula of poverty and unemployment. This plan will ensure that identified target populations are served; the program is available on all 95 Tennessee counties; and that best practice programs are identified and supported when possible.
THDA plans to utilize a streamlined application process with entitlement cities, small cities, and Continuum of Care organizations. It further proposes to seek the recommendations of the four Community Foundations in the four entitlement cities to obtain information on local organizations currently serving homeless populations and those at-risk priority groups identified by the state (ex-offenders, victims of family violence, youth aging out of the foster care system, families with young children).
Preliminary contact has already been made with the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee which serves 40 middle Tennessee counties to identify eligible programs in underserved middle Tennessee counties. Following execution by the Department of Housing and Urban Development of the Grant Agreement, THDA will be issued a one-year renewable contract to be effective Aug. 1. All grant agreements will be signed by Sept. 30.
All recovery funds, including HPRP, are subject to oversight through the Governor’s office of Tennessee Recovery Act Management (TRAM) a team composed of representatives from the Governor’s office and the numerous state departments and agencies that receive ARRA funds. The TRAM will ensure that use of funds is open, transparent and accountable. It will provide regular, frequent communication among officials representing departments and agencies that serve low -income persons.