Dear North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services stakeholder,

The Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) is working with NC DHHS on developing a Strategic Housing Plan for North Carolina. This Housing Plan will provide a strategic guide to focus DHHS’s policies and resource decision making in creating and maximizing community-based housing opportunities for people with disabilities who are experiencing homelessness, living in an institution or at risk of institutionalization over a five-year horizon.

Throughout the process, DHHS will offer multiple ways for stakeholders to engage, provide feedback, and influence the plan’s goals and strategies, to include engagement and participation in focus groups, individual housing surveys, and in person planning sessions. You have been identified as a key stakeholder in this work and NCDHHS & TAC would like to invite you to participate in a survey in order to gain your perspective and feedback on the affordable and supportive housing landscape and needs in the state. These survey answers are vital and will influence the development of the strategic supportive housing plan for North Carolina.

All answers will be kept anonymous.

Key terms and definitions:

Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH): Supportive housing links decent, safe, affordable, community-based housing with flexible, voluntary support services designed to help the individual or family stay housed and live a more productive life in the community. There is no time limitation, and tenants may live in their homes as long as they meet the basic obligations of tenancy. While participation in services is encouraged, it is not a condition of living in the housing. Housing affordability is ensured either through a rent subsidy or by setting rents at affordable levels.

Study after study has shown that supportive housing not only resolves homelessness and increases housing stability, but also improves health and lowers public costs by reducing the use of publicly-funded crisis services, including shelters, hospitals, psychiatric centers, jails, and prisons.

Supportive services: Supportive services in PSH are flexible (depending only the person’s needs at a given time), client-driven, and voluntary and assist the household to remain stable in housing. Services can include but are not limited to: case management, behavioral health services, physical health services, employment search assistance and workforce development services, elder care services, Home and Community Based Services, child care services, substance use counseling, assistance in applying for necessary benefits such as social security disability, rental assistance, food assistance, etc.

Continuum of Care (CoC): A Continuum of Care (CoC) is the group organized to carry out the responsibilities prescribed in the CoC Program Interim Rule for a defined geographic area. A CoC should be composed of representatives of organizations including: nonprofit homeless providers, victim service providers, faith-based organizations, governments, businesses, advocates, public housing agencies, school districts, social service providers, elder/aging service providers, mental health agencies, hospitals, universities, affordable housing developers, law enforcement, organizations that serve homeless and formerly homeless veterans, and homeless and formerly homeless persons.
Responsibilities of a CoC include operating the CoC, planning for the CoC (including coordinating the implementation of a housing and service system within its geographic area that meets the needs of the individuals and families who experience homelessness there), and designing and implementing the process associated with applying for CoC Program funds.

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