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February 14, 2011

Policy/Legislation Committee - February 14, 2011
Local Homeless Coordinating Board
Policy Committee
Meeting Minutes
February 14, 2011

I. Introduction
Meeting was started at 10:10am by Policy Committee co-chair, Christine Ma.

II. Housing Access
A) Review of last meeting
The first part of the meeting reviewed what happened the last time the committee met. The focus of that initial meeting was to gather information about the current housing access system. Non-profit housing providers, city departments, and community members were in attendance.

B) Needs and Gaps analysis
This second meeting was called to have a targeted discussion about the gaps, challenges, and areas where improvement is needed in the housing access system. During the meeting those in attendance listed the areas they thought needed improvement and also spoke about challenges they faced personally and while doing their work.

A list of the needs and gaps stated is attached to these minutes.

C) Next steps
The top gaps and challenges will be identified and categorized. At the next meeting solutions will be proposed and discussed as a way to meet those challenges and fill the gaps.

III. General Public Comment

IV. Adjournment

RE-CAP of February 14th Policy Committee: Housing Access Mtg. #2

Gaps and Needs: (notes format)

o If someone does not have a case manager in shelters, on CAAP, or SSIU, then what is the access point for that person?

o The SF Housing Authority waitlist is closed to new applicants and the current list is old and outdated.

o Housing make up of families on Housing Authority waitlist is no longer accurate. List needs to be cleaned up.

o For families on the connecting point waitlist for shelter, they are not getting housing placement assistance while they are waiting for shelter.

o Resources for housing should be made available earlier for people so they can divert shelter.

o Each agency has their own process and own application for housing, sometimes even one agency has different applications for different buildings they have.

o No consistent point of contact for the Housing Authority and people lose contact and therefore lose their place on the waitlist.

o Challenging to know how to advocate the system for housing for people who are homeless vs. low income housing.

o Housing lists that are currently made available are not helpful and do not provide the essential pieces of information.

o Need more non smoking buildings and people need the opportunity to be able to apply to non smoking buildings.

o People do not have the opportunity to visit locations before they agree to move in; chances for choice are not always presented.

o There are too many City departments involved in accessing housing. This results in different costs, different eligibility, and different standards.

o There has been success in the past with the Housing Authority, however the challenge has been keeping them engaged and the success sustainable. The Housing Authority needs technical assistance.

o The information is not central. And the paperwork that is needed is very challenging.

o There is a gap in the quality of SROs available.

o There needs to be more accommodations for people who are disabled, homeless, and looking for housing.

o There is a weak partnership with the Housing Authority. The Housing Authority needs to be educated on what type of housing is needed to fit the needs of families and so proper referrals are made.

o Case managers assist in the success of people accessing housing, however there is a gap in having enough case managers available and people knowing how to access a case manager.

o There is duplication.

o There is a gap in the screening that is done by referral agencies when completing a referral for a client to get into housing. This leads to inappropriate referrals and frustration for those applying for the housing.

o Potential residents should be able to look at units before deciding if they will take the housing option.

o If a shelter resident turns down housing it is held against them and they are not granted shelter stay extensions.

o There needs to be better housing options for seniors and more housing for veterans.

o Not enough affordable housing units that can be for those ready to leave permanent supportive housing (don’t need the services anymore).

o Need for more money management and payee services.

o Need for housing locations outside of the Tenderloin.

o People are offered/showed one unit and then given a different one.

o Need for more scattered site vouchers.

o There has been a drop off of employment and education services. These services are key to assisting folks maintain housing and eventually move out to become self sufficient.

o Need for better services in housing.

o Need to judge retention rates using a standard longer than just 12 months.

o There is no (affordable) next step after permanent supportive housing which keeps people there longer than they have to be which doesn’t allow for new folks to get units.

o Need for more options and services for those who are seriously mentally ill and PSH is not appropriate for them. There is a gap in higher level of care, such as long term care facilities and psychiatric facilities.
o (independent vs. dependent housing)

o There is not enough housing to meet the need.

o Need for more advocates to help people who are homeless access housing and navigate the system.

o There are vacant units in the City not being used.

o More coordination needed within the larger Bay Are because families area using rental subsidies outside of San Francisco.

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