The Rural Oregon Continuum of Care (aka “Balance of State” CoC) held its annual meeting in Salem this week, and the first item on the agenda was a session with HUD to discuss the process required to form a regional CoC, and how such a move would affect ROCC in 2020.
Leading the session were technical assistance advisors Nora Lally and Matt Olsson with HomeBase, Todd Adkins and Doug Carlson with HUD’s Community Planning and Development (CPD) Portland Field Office, Jessica Adams (CAPO staff assigned to ROCC), and Justina Fife (UCAN Community Action Partners and ROCC board chair).
In attendance were about 35 representatives from ROCC’s member agencies, almost all of which are CoC Program grantees, including the three from Marion and Polk counties that will receive CoC funding in 2019-2020: Shangri-La ($311,185), Salem Interfaith Hospitality Network (dba Family Promise) ($160,764) and Center for Hope and Safety ($188,561). Shangri-La’s Robin Winkle was the only grantee representative to ask questions.
TJ Putman and Tiffany Ottis with Family Promise were present, as was Jayne Downing with Center for Hope and Safety. Diane Merry and Scott Eastburn with the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency also were there. MWVCAA lost its Rapid Rehousing project in the most recent competition. Shelly Ehenger (Salem Urban Development Department) and Pamala Garrick (Salem Housing Authority) also attended.
Using a series of slides, Nora Lally explained that HUD’s process is “not really an approval process, more like [a process whereby HUD] acknowledg[es that] the necessary elements have been demonstrated.” A slide headed “Basic Timeline” listed the first element as a “transitional body” and its vote to support forming a new CoC. The next element was to “consult” with the wider membership and have them vote to approve moving forward. Lally said that such a vote would not need to be unanimous, but would need to be “more than 51%”, a “preponderance.” If that second element was satisfied, the next step was to notify the existing CoC. She added that the new CoC would, of course, have to have a governance charter.
Lally and others fielded questions such as, whether or not grantees serving areas in both CoCs would need to participate in both CoCs (Lally said participating in multiple CoCs “is not unheard of”) and how the restructuring might affect clients (Olsson said that HUD would want to make sure that clients are “not affected” and that “HUD will work to restructure projects”, but there could be an impact “on the administrative side”). Lally said any follow up questions could be directed to William Snow in CPD’s Office of Special Needs Assistance.