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 A
Affordable Housing
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), housing is affordable when a household spends no more than thirty percent of its gross income on housing-related costs.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.  “Affordable Housing,” http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/affordablehousing/

American Community Survey (ACS)
The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey is a nationally-representative survey that provides annual demographic, social, economic, and housing data.  The ACS is used to administer federal funds to localities.  As of 2009, ACS publishes single-year data for localities with population of over 65,000 persons and three-year estimates for areas with population exceeding 20,000 persons.
Source: United States Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, and the United States Census Bureau.  “Design and Methodology: American Community Survey.”

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009
On February 13, 2009, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in response to the economic crisis.  This legislation aims to create jobs, increase economic activity, invest in long-term economic growth, and demonstrate accountability and transparency in government spending.  To achieve these goals, ARRA appropriates fund for tax cuts; increased federal funds for entitlement programs, education, and health care; and federal contracts, grants and loans.  The act also includes $1.5 billion for homeless persons through the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP).
Source:Recovery.gov.  “The Act,” http://www.recovery.gov/About/Pages/The_Act.aspx

Annual Action Plan
Localities that receive Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG), and/or HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) funds submit an annual action plan to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), detailing proposed activities funded with the grants.  The action plan also summarizes the goals outlined in the jurisdiction’s Consolidated Plan and reviews program performance in the last year.
Source: “Notice of Allocations, Application Procedures, Regulatory Waivers Granted to and Alternative Requirements for Emergency Assistance for Redevelopment of Abandoned and Foreclosed Homes Grantees Under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, 2008.”  Federal Register 73:194 (October 6, 2008) p. 58330

Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR)
The Annual Homeless Assessment Report is a yearly report to Congress about homelessness in the United States.  The report describes year-to-year trends in homelessness as observed from Point-in-Time Count and Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data.  The AHAR includes information on demographics, available services, subgroup censuses, duration of homelessness, and housing situation prior to homelessness.  The 2008 AHAR includes HMIS data covering October 2007-September from 222 nationally-representative localities, covering approximately 40 percent of the US population.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.

Area Median Income
Area Median Income is the median income for a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), adjusted for household size.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Housing, Federal Housing Commissioner.  “Use Agreement.”

Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)
Assertive Community Treatment is street outreach targeted towards homeless individuals with severe mental illness.  With ACT, outreach staff connects homeless individuals with supportive services.
Source: David Levinson, Encyclopedia of Homelessness (Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, Inc., 2004)

At-Risk for Homelessness
(See Homeless: At-risk)

Average Daily Utilization Rate
The average daily utilization rate is the average percent of year-round equivalent beds occupied on a given night during a reporting period.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.

 B
Balance of State
The Balance of State is the areas within a state that are not covered by a regional or local Continuum of Care (CoC).  The state receives federal homeless assistance funding on behalf of these communities.

Bed Coverage Rate
The bed coverage rate is the total number of year-round beds in HMIS-participating programs divided by the total number of year-round beds in the Continuum of Care (CoC), excluding domestic violence beds.
Source:
United States Department of Housing and Urban Development,  "Questions and Answers for the Housing Inventory (eHIC)."

Bed Inventory
  As part of the CoC application, communities submit a bed inventory to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The bed inventory is an enumeration year-round, seasonal, and overflow beds, including emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing residential programs.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.

Bed Utilization Rate
The Bed Utilization Rate is the frequency of bed use in emergency shelters and transitional housing programs.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.

 C
Case Management
Case management is a supportive service offered by community organizations and shelter providers.  The main functions of case management include: identifying and enrolling a client for service; assessing a client’s strengths, weaknesses, and needs; developing an individualized service plan; referring the client to community resources; monitoring the client’s progress and unmet needs; and advocating to ensure the client receives appropriate services and support.  Case management services vary by location in scope, duration, and intensity.
Source: David Levinson, Encyclopedia of Homelessness (Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, Inc., 2004)

Community Action Agency (CAA)
Community Action Agencies are non-profit organizations established by the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to provide services and direct assistance to low-income households.  The majority of CAA programming serves participants with income less than 75 percent of the federal poverty level.  CAA programs include community resource coordination, food pantries, homeless shelters, energy assistance, education for children and adults, and financial literacy.
Source: Community Action Partnership, “About CAAs,” http://www.communityactionpartnership.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=21&Itemid=50

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
The CDBG a formula-grant appropriated to jurisdictions to eliminate blight and provide affordable housing, job creation programs, business expansion and retention, and other services for low and moderate-income populations, including homeless families.  Principle cities of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), metropolitan cities with populations of at least 50,000, and urban counties with populations of at least 200,000 are entitlement communities and receive funds directly from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Localities with smaller populations may receive state-administered CDBG funds through the Small Cities CDBG.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, “Community Development Block Grant Program-CDBG,” http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/programs/

Community Development Corporation (CDC)
A community development corporation is a neighborhood-based organization that encourages community development, including affordable housing development and business investment.
Source: Kevin Lang, Poverty and Discrimination (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2007).

Community Development Housing Organization (CDHO)
A Community Development Housing Organization is a private non-profit (501(c) (3) or (4)) organization that develops and provides affordable housing within a community.  CDHOs are eligible to receive HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funding.
Source: “HOME Investment Partnerships Program.” Federal Register 24:1 (April 1, 2004) pp.576-581.

Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)
The Community Services Block Grant is a formula grant to states, American Indian tribal organizations, Community Action Agencies, and state-designated organizations to finance poverty-alleviation activities.  Eligible CSBG-funded services include employment, education, housing, nutrition, emergency assistance, health, and income management programs.  The Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families administers CSBG funds.
Source: United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.  “Community Service Block Grant Program,” http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/csbg/

Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) (Performance and Evaluation Report—PER))
The Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report is an annual report issued to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by localities to describe yearly progress on the Consolidated Plan.  The CAPER includes an overview of recent initiatives, summary of funds received, assessment of long-term and yearly housing and community development goals, and how funds were utilized to meet the area’s development goals.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Community Planning and Development.  “Guidelines for Preparing Consolidated Plan and Performance and Evaluation Report Submissions for Local Jurisdictions."

Consolidated Plan
A Consolidated Plan is a local jurisdiction or state-issued report to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) required for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG), HOME Investment Partnership (HOME), and Housing Opportunities for Persons with Aids (HOPWA) funds.  Each Consolidated Plan develops a coordinates goals and strategies for an area’s housing and community development activities over five years.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Community Planning and Development.  “Guidelines for Preparing Consolidated Plan and Performance and Evaluation Report Submissions for Local Jurisdictions."

Continuum Model
The continuum model of housing utilizes an array of housing options, designed to move homeless persons from emergency shelter to transitional housing to permanent supportive housing.  Appropriate supportive services are provided at all stages to help clients transition to self-sufficiency.

Continuum of Care (CoC)
A CoC is a coordinated, comprehensive, and strategic organizational structure mandated by HUD to receive homeless assistance funding. Within the CoC, community service providers, public housing authorities, non-profit organizations, and local and state governments form a consortium to address local homelessness and housing issues. The CoC submits an application for McKinney-Vento funds, including Supportive Housing Program (SHP) and Shelter Plus Care (S+C) grants. The CoC primary decision making group manages planning efforts, including organizing meetings, developing project priorities, and providing final approval for the CoC application. The CoC lead organization oversees the continuum's daily operations, submits the CoC application, and may administer HUD funds to local agencies.  CoCs are organized at the regional or local level, with the remaining jurisdictions within a state belonging to the Balance of State CoC.

Co-occurring Disorder
Co-occurring disorders are substance use disorders and one or more psychiatric disorders present at the same time. (See also: Dually-Diagnosed)
Source: United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  “Co-occurring,” http://pathprogram.samhsa.gov/Organization/Co-Occurring-130.aspx

 D
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is a federal agency that aims to increase homeownership, expand community development, and ensure access to affordable housing.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.  “About HUD,” http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/about

Disabling Condition (HUD definition)
A disabling condition includes substance use disorder, severe mental illness, developmental disability, and/or chronic physical disability or illness.  A disabling condition may limit a person’s ability to work or perform a daily activity.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.  “Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program, Annual Progress Report (APR): Measuring Performance Outcomes."

Doubled-Up
A doubled-up household is living in the dwelling unit of friends or relatives due to economic circumstances and lack of available affordable housing options.
Source: National Alliance to End Homelessness, Homelessness Research Institute.  “Data Snapshot: Doubled Up in the United States."

Dually-Diagnosed
Dually-diagnosed persons have been diagnosed with a mental health condition and substance use disorder. (See also: Co-occurring disorder)

 E
Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY)
Education for Homeless Children and Youth ensures homeless students have access to free and appropriate public education.  Under Title VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, each state provides activities and services for homeless children including tutoring, summer enrichment programs, and funding for school supplies to increase enrollment, attendance, and achievement in school. In addition, a state educational agency (SEA) coordinates education, raises the consciousness of school personnel about the problems that homeless children face, and provides grants to local educational agencies (LEAs).
Source: United States Department of Education. http://www.ed.gov/programs/homeless/index.html

Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP)
The Emergency Food and Shelter Program is a formula grant allocated to local agencies to provide emergency food and shelter to low-income populations.  The award amount is determined by an area's unemployment statistics and poverty rate. Recipient organizations may use EFSP funds for mass shelter and feeding, food distribution, temporary rental assistance, and mortgage and utility payments to prevent evictions.  A National Board, led by the United Way, and comprised of the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, United Jewish Communities, the National Council of the Churches of Christ, and the Salvation Army, administers EFSP to community organizations.
Source: Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program. http://www.efsp.unitedway.org/efsp/pages/about.htm

Emergency Shelter
Emergency shelter programs are temporary residential programs where clients stay for a short duration in order to avoid unsheltered homelessness.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.

Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG)
The Emergency Shelter Grant is a formula-based federal grant program allocated to metropolitan cities, urban counties, and states.  Grant recipients use funds to provide homeless persons with shelter and supportive services. ESG can go to the operational cost of a shelter facility, the remodeling or rehabilitation of a building used as a shelter or services that address the issues that underlie homelessness.  Grantees must match ESG dollars with local revenue.
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, "Homeless Assistance Programs." http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/homeless/programs/index.cfm

Episodically Homeless
Episodically homeless persons utilize shelter services on repeated occasions, and may cycle in and out of homelessness.

 F
Fair Market Rent (FMR)
Fair Market Rent standards are used to determine rent payments for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program.  FMR is the fortieth percentile rent, the amount below which 40 percent of market-rent, standard-quality rental units cost.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research.  “Fair Market Rents for the Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program."

Family
A family is two or more persons related by birth, marriage, or adoption, and residing in the same dwelling unit.  HMIS-based data defines family as a household with at least one adult and one child.
Sources: United States Census Bureau, “Current Population Survey (CPS)-Definitions and Explanations,” http://www.census.gov/population/www/cps/cpsdef.html; United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.

Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS)
FSS is a voluntary program that provides job training, education, and other services to help Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program participants gain employment and financial independence.  FSS services may include childcare, transportation, education, job training, substance abuse treatment, and/or homeownership counseling.  Additionally, the housing authority establishes an interest-bearing escrow account for each participating household.  During the FSS contract, a credit, based on the family’s earned income, is credited to the account.  Upon FSS completion, if no household member receives cash welfare, the family receives the amount in the escrow account.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.  “Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Family Self-Sufficiency,”  http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/programs/hcv/fss.cfm

Family Unification Program (FUP)
Family unification vouchers are available to families for whom the lack of adequate housing is a primary factor in their separation, threat of imminent severance, or prevention of reunification. The vouchers enable clients to obtain housing in the private market.  Recipient families must be eligible for a housing choice voucher and obtain certification from the public child welfare agency that lack of housing is a primary factor in the family’s separation.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, “Family Unification Vouchers,”  http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/programs/hcv/family.cfm

Family Unit
A family unit is a residential unit that includes several beds and serves homeless families.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.

Federal Poverty Level (Federal Poverty Guidelines)
The federal poverty guidelines are a simple measure of the federal poverty threshold used for administrative purposes. The poverty line (level) was originally calculated by multiplying the United States Department of Agriculture’s economic food plan by a factor of three. The poverty line is now calculated according to the 1963 food plan, adjusted for inflation with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The guidelines are updated annually by the Department of Health and Human Services, and are adjusted for household size.
Source: United States Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, “The 2009 HHS Poverty Guidelines,” http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/09poverty.shtml

 H
Health Care for the Homeless
With Health Care for the Homeless, shelters and soup kitchens house clinics. At these sites, health and social workers provide comprehensive medical care to homeless persons and link participants to services related to safe shelter, permanent housing, jobs, family relationships, and substance abuse.  HCH grantees include non-profit organizations, community health centers, local health departments, homeless shelters, and homeless coalitions.
Sources: United States Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, "The Health Care Center: Special Populations," http://bphc.hrsa.gov/about/specialpopulations.htm; National Health Care for the Homeless Council, "About the Council," http://www.nhchc.org/council.html

HOME Investment Partnerships Program
HOME is a formula grant to states and localities that expands the supply of affordable housing for low-income households.  Grantees can use funds to rehabilitate, construct, or acquire affordable housing for low-income households, or to provide tenant-based rental assistance to low-income households.  Recipient localities must match federal funds with at least 25 cents of local revenue. At least 90 percent of families assisted with HOME funds for rental housing and rental assistance must have income not exceeding 60 percent of area median income and at least 20 percent of funds that finance rental housing must serve households with income not exceeding 50 percent of area median income.
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: HOME Investment Partnership Program. http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/affordablehousing/programs/home/

Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS)
Homeless Management Information Systems are electronic data systems that store longitudinal client-level data on individuals and families who access homeless services.  HMIS reports data on client needs and services accessed.  HMIS produces an unduplicated count of homeless persons, measures program performance, and coordinates community services.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.

Homeless Policy Academy
The Homeless Policy Academy initiative worked to help state and local governments address homelessness by facilitating local interagency cooperation, educating policymakers about the needs of homeless subpopulations and available mainstream resources, and encouraging development of plans to end homelessness.  Every state, territory, and the District of Columbia participated in a Policy Academy between October 2001 and April 2007.
Sources: United States Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration.  "Homeless Policy Academies," http://www.hrsa.gov/homeless/; United States Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. "Overview of the Homeless Policy Academy Initiative."

Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP)
As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) funds programming that provides short and medium-term financial assistance and housing stabilization to individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Designed to serve individuals and families who would be homeless without this assistance, eligible recipients may receive assistance for up to 18 months and must earn 50% of area median income or less.  Sixty percent of the federal allocation must be used within two years of disbursement.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.  "HUD-VASH and HUD’s Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program."

Homeless: At-Risk
Households that are at-risk for homelessness include low-income households that face imminent homelessness as a result of a precarious housing situation, utility shut-off, and/or eviction due to non-payment, and have no subsequent independent housing options.

Homeless: Chronically Homeless
Chronically Homeless persons are unaccompanied individuals with a disabling condition who have been homeless for one or more years, or who have had three or more episodes of homelessness in the past four years.  During these episodes, a chronically homeless person must have resided in emergency shelter or a place not meant for human habitation; transitional housing and permanent supportive housing clients are not considered chronically homeless.  By definition, families are not chronically homeless, regardless of the duration of their homelessness.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, "Standards and Methods for Point-in-Time Counts of Homeless Persons and Annual Housing Inventory Updates."

Homeless: HUD Definition
As defined in Title 42, Chapter 119, Subchapter I of the United States Code, homeless includes persons who: lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; or has a primary nighttime residence that is a shelter designed to provide temporary living conditions (including emergency shelter and transitional housing programs), an institution that provides a temporary residence for persons prior to institutionalization, or a public or private place not designed for use as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
Source:  "General Definition of Homeless Individual, " Title 42 U.S. Code, Pts. 119

Homeless: McKinney-Vento Definition
Subtitle B of Title VII of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act defines "homeless" as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including persons who are sharing housing of other persons due to loss of housing or economic hardship; living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of adequate alternative accommodations; residing in emergency or transitional shelters; abandoned in hospitals; awaiting foster care placement; and residing in a residence that is a public or private place not designed for or used as a regular sleeping accommodation.  The National Survey uses the McKinney-Vento definition of homelessness.
Source: National Center for Homeless Education, "McKinney-Vento Definition of 'Homeless'," http://www.serve.org/NCHE/definition.php

Homeless: Sheltered
A sheltered homeless persons is residing in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.

Homeless: Unsheltered
An unsheltered homeless person is residing in a place not meant for human habitation, including an abandoned building, vehicle, train station, or on the streets.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.

Household
A household consists of all related and unrelated persons occupying a dwelling unit.
Source: United States Census Bureau, "Current Population Survey (CPS)-Definitions and Explanations," http://www.census.gov/population/www/cps/cpsdef.html

Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA)
The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 was enacted in response to the financial crisis in 2008.  HERA establishes the Federal Housing Finance Agency to regulate Fannie Mae, Freddie Max, and the Federal Home Loan Banks.  The act also includes a tax credit for first-time homebuyers, fixed rate refinance loans, and funds to localities for housing restoration and development in order to prevent declining housing values and blighted conditions.
Source: “Housing and Economic Recovery Act 2008.”  United States Congress, H.R. 3221

Housing First
The Housing First strategy provides homeless persons with immediate, permanent housing, followed by supportive services in order to end homelessness.  Housing first methods are also known as "Rapid Re-Housing."
Source: United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, "Housing First," http://pathprogram.samhsa.gov/Organization/Housing-First-132.aspx

Housing Insecure
A household is considered housing insecure when it spends more than 30 percent of gross income on housing costs.  (See also: Rent Burdened)

Housing Inventory Chart
Housing Inventory Charts are annual counts of emergency, transitional, permanent supportive housing, seasonal, and overflow beds for homeless persons.  Each Continuum of Care (CoC) reports these numbers to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) annually.  The inventory includes program-level data, information about the target population, and the extent of HMIS coverage.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.  "Standards and Methods for Point-in-Time Counts of Homeless Persons and Annual Housing Inventory Updates."

Housing Trust Fund
Housing trust funds are state and local revenue bases used to develop, construct, and/or rehabilitate affordable housing for low to moderate-income households.  Localities finance trust funds through a variety of methods, including real estate taxes, taxes on select goods, interest on escrow accounts, and income tax write-offs.

 I
Income: Extremely Low-Income
As defined by the Section 8 Income Limits, extremely low-income households have income below 30 percent of area median income (AMI).
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. “FY 2009 Section 8 Income Limits Documentation System,” http://www.huduser.org/datasets/il/index_il2009.html

Income: Low-Income
As defined by the Section 8 Income Limits, low-income households have income below 80 percent of area median income (AMI).
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. “FY 2009 Section 8 Income Limits Documentation System,” http://www.huduser.org/datasets/il/index_il2009.html

Income: Very Low-Income
As defined by the Section 8 Income Limits, very low-income households have income below 50 percent of area median income (AMI).
Source:
United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. “FY 2009 Section 8 Income Limits Documentation System,” http://www.huduser.org/datasets/il/index_il2009.html

Interagency Council on Homelessness
An interagency council, often established by executive order or legislation, is a body consisting of representatives from government departments that provide services assisting homeless persons.  These departments often include those charged with providing cash welfare, health care, behavioral health services, veterans affairs, education, and corrections.  Councils may also include representatives from community groups and local stakeholders.
Source: United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, “State and Local Initiatives,” http://www.ich.gov/slocal/index.html

 L
Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)
LIHTC is a state-administered tax credit to local housing and community development agencies for affordable housing development serving low-income households.  Housing developers sell their tax credit to investors for capital and equity, thereby reducing project costs. By lowering developers’ costs, LIHTC helps lower rents of affordable housing units.  LIHTC projects must be residential rental properties and implement rent restrictions on low-income units.  At least 20 percent of the units must serve households with income below 50 percent of area median income, or at least 40 percent of the units must serve households with income below 60 percent of area median income.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. “LIHTC Basics,” http://www.nhl.gov/offices/cpd/affordablehousing/training/web/lihtc/basics/

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
LIHEAP is a block grant to states, territories, and tribal organizations to provide one-time, financial assistance to low-income households that pay a high proportion of income to home energy needs. A recipient’s benefit is determined based on income, household size, fuel type, and geographic location. To be eligible for the program, the household income must not exceed 150 percent of the poverty level or 60 percent of the state median income. The program prioritizes households with the highest energy costs in relation to income.
Source: United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.  “Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program,” http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/liheap/

 M
Mainstream Resource
A mainstream resource is a government assistance program that may assist homeless persons, but does not exclusively serve this population.  Eligibility for mainstream resources is determined by disability and/or income status.  Common mainstream resources include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, and veteran’s benefits.
Source: Firststep.  “What are Mainstream Resources?” United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and United States Department of Health and Human Services, http://www.cms.hhs.gov/apps/firststep/content/howtouse.html#Q2

McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act was signed into law on July 22, 1987.  The act established fifteen programs assisting homeless persons, including the Supportive Housing Program (SHP), Shelter Plus Care (S+C), Single Room Occupancy program (SRO), Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY), and Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG).  The act also defines homelessness, creates the federal Interagency Council on Homelessness within the executive branch, and alters the food stamp program (now Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) to be more accessible to homeless persons.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, “McKinney-Vento Act,” http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/homeless/lawsandregs/mckv.cfm

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
A metropolitan statistical area is a geographic entity used in federal statistical reporting.  A MSA includes at least one county containing a core urban area with a population of at least 50,000 persons, and any neighboring counties that are highly integrated with the urban core.
Source: United States Census Bureau.  “Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas,” http://www.census.gov/population/www/metroareas/aboutmetro.html

 N
Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP)
Under Title III of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), the Neighborhood Stabilization Program provides funds to localities to purchase and redevelop or rehabilitate foreclosed or abandoned properties to prevent declining home values in the community and blighted conditions.  At least 25 percent of the funds must go to housing low-income individuals or families making less than 50 percent of area median income.  Each state received funds and localities could apply for NSP funds based on factors such as foreclosure rate, frequency of subprime mortgages, and number of abandoned homes.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.  "Neighborhood Stabilization Plan Data," http://www.huduser.org/datasets/nsp.html

 O
Overflow Bed
An overflow bed is available only occasionally in an emergency (such as a natural disaster or inclement weather) when demand for shelter exceeds the year-round bed capacity, and is not available throughout the year.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.

 P
Participating Jurisdiction (PJ)
Participating jurisdictions are states and units of local government that receive federal grants, such as Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG), and HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME).
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.  “HOME Investment Partnerships Program,” http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/affordablehousing/programs/home/

Permanent Supportive Housing
Permanent Supportive Housing is long-term, subsidized housing coupled with supportive services for formerly homeless persons with disabilities.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.

Point-in-Time Count
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires each Continuum of Care (CoC) conduct a biennial census of sheltered and unsheltered adults, children, and youth to be reported in the CoC application. Point-In-Time Counts present a “snapshot” of a CoC’s homeless population at a given time. This count must be administered one night during the last seven days of January, collect information on chronic homelessness and other subpopulations, and use statistically acceptable methods.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.  “Standards and Methods for Point-in-Time Counts of Homeless Persons and Annual Housing Inventory Updates.”

Principal City
A Principal City is the largest city in a metropolitan or micropolitan statistical area.  Principal Cities are Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) entitlement cities.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.

Project for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH)
Created under Title VI of the McKinney-Vento Act, PATH is a formula-grant program that funds supportive service delivery for individuals with serious mental illnesses, as well as homeless or at-risk individuals with concurrent substance use disorders. PATH services include outreach, case management, mental health care, and substance abuse treatment.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides technical assistance to states and local providers funded by the PATH program.
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, "About PATH,"  http://pathprogram.samhsa.gov/Super/Path/About.aspx

Public Housing Authority (PHA)
Public housing authorities provide affordable housing for low-income households through the public housing and/or the Housing Choice Voucher programs.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, “PHA Contact Information,” http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/pha/contacts/

 R
Rapid Re-Housing
(See: Housing First)

Rent-Burdened
A household is rent-burdened when it pays more than 30 percent of its gross (after-tax) income on housing-related costs. (See also: Housing Insecure)
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, “Affordable Housing,” http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/affordablehousing/

 S
Safe Haven
A Safe Haven is a type of permanent supportive housing that serves formerly homeless individuals with severe mental illness who have not participated in supportive services.  Clients may reside at a safe haven for an unspecified time period and occupancy is limited to no more than 25 residents. Since 2008, CoCs inventory safe haven beds separately on the CoC application.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.

Scattered-Site Housing
Scattered-site housing is a transitional or permanent supportive housing program with units located in multiple locations in a community.  Additionally, supportive services offered through scattered-site programs help residents obtain self-sufficiency.
Source: Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc.  “Section 6: Scattered-Site Housing."

Seasonal Bed
A seasonal bed is not available throughout the year.  Most seasonal beds are available only during high-demand seasons when there is adverse weather conditions.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV)
HCV is a federally-funded, tenant-based program that obtains existing apartments in the private market through direct rent subsidy payments to landlords. The program helps very low-income families, disabled persons, and the elderly afford safe and sanitary housing.  Public housing authorities (PHAs) administer HCV.  At least 75 percent of HCV vouchers must serve households whose income does not exceed 30 percent of area median income.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.  “About the Housing Choice Vouchers Program,” http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/programs/hcv/about/index.cfm

Section 8 Project-Based Vouchers
Project-based vouchers are rental subsidies that are attached to housing units.  The owner of the unit must rehabilitate or construct the units covered under the voucher.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.  "Project Based Vouchers," http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/programs/hcv/project.cfm

Shelter Plus Care (S+C)
S+C provides rental subsidies to homeless persons with disabilities (such as mental illness, alcohol and/or drug dependency, or AIDS) and their families, combined with supportive services funded outside the S+C program.  S+C-funded rental assistance includes tenant-based rental assistance, sponsor-based rental assistance, project-based rental assistance, and Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation for Single Room Occupancy (SRO) dwellings.
Sources: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.  "Shelter Plus Care Program," http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/homeless/programs/splusc/index.cfm; United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.  " Understanding Shelter Plus Care," http://hudhre.info/index.cfm?do=viewUnderstandingSpcPolicy

Supportive Housing Program (SHP)
As part of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Act, SHP is a grant allocated to states, local government, non-profit organizations, and governmental entities.  SHP funds develop housing and supportive services to help homeless persons maintain housing stability, increase skill levels and income, and live independently. Applicants can apply this grant to the acquisition, rehabilitation, construction, leasing, operating, implementation, or administrative costs of the following projects: Transitional Housing, Permanent Housing for Persons with Disabilities, Safe Havens, Homeless Management Information Systems, Innovative Supportive Housing, and Supportive Services Only (SSO).
Sources: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.  “ Supportive Housing Program,” http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/homeless/programs/shp/; United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.  “Eligible Activities,” http://hudhre.info/index.cfm?do=viewUnderstandingShpEligibleAct

Supportive Services
Supportive services are programs and assistance, other than housing, designed to help clients transition to self-sufficiency.  Forms of supportive services include case management, education programming, job training, employment counseling, financial literacy courses, and childcare.

 T
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
TANF provides time-limited cash assistance to low-income families with dependent children with the expectation that the parent or caretaker participates in an approved work activity. The goals of TANF include: assisting low-income families so children can be cared for in their own homes; reducing dependency of low-income parents by promoting job readiness, work, and marriage; preventing pregnancies among unwed mothers; and encouraging the formation and stability of two-parent families.  TANF is the United States’s cash welfare grant, and replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in 1996.
Source: United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, “About TANF,” http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/tanf/about.html#mission

Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA)
Tenant-based rental assistance provides a household with rental assistance.  TBRA is not tied to a unit; the household may change units without losing assistance.
Source: "HOME Investment Partnerships Program." Federal Register 24:1 (April 1, 2004) pp.576-581.

Ten-Year Plan
A ten-year plan is a community effort to end homelessness within ten years.  The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) encourages jurisdictions to adopt a housing-first approach based on the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) plan.  The tenets of the NAEH plan are: plan for outcomes, close the front door (homeless prevention), open the back door (shorten duration of homelessness), and build the infrastructure.  While many plans target chronically homeless individuals, some localities have elected to focus on homeless families or the general homeless population with their plans.
Source: United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.  "State and Local Initiatives," http://www.ich.gov/slocal/index.html

Title I Set-Aside
All schools, regardless of whether they provide Title I services, must reserve funds to provide education-related supportive services for homeless students.  The Title I set-aside can fund school uniforms, tutoring at homeless residential programs, and other programs to help homeless students obtain academic success.  Each local education agency (LEA) determines the amount available through the Title I set-aside, often based on an assessment of needs or a per-pupil cost evaluation.
Source: National Center for Homeless Education.  “McKinney-Vento 2001-Law Into Practice."

Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act)
Title I, Part A provides funds to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools that have high numbers of low-income students in order to ensure all children meet state academic standards.  Homeless students are included in Title I's target population.
Source: United States Department of Education.  "Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies (Title I, Part A)," http://www.ed.gov/programs/titleiparta/index.html

Transitional Housing
A transitional housing program helps residents transition to permanent housing by providing supportive services.  Transitional housing programs serve clients for up to two years.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.; “HOME Investment Partnerships Program.” Federal Register 24:1 (April 1, 2004) pp.576-581.

 U
Unaccompanied Youth
An unaccompanied youth is a student not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.  Unaccompanied youth include persons who have run away from home, been kicked out of their homes, or been abandoned by their parent or guardian.
Source: New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students.  “Unaccompanied Youth,” http://www.nysteachs.org/faqs/unaccompanied.html

Unduplicated Count
An unduplicated count counts each client once during a time period, even if the participant accessed services multiple times during this period.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.

Unemployment Rate
The unemployment rate is the percent of persons in the civilian, non-institutionalized labor force that do not have a job, have actively looked for work within the past for weeks, and are available for work.
Source: United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.  “Unemployment,” http://www.bls.gov/cps/lfcharacteristics.htm#unemp

 V
Vocational Education
Vocational education is training for a specific industry, agriculture, or trade occupation.
Source: WorldNet Search 3.0.  "Vocational Training," http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=vocational%20training

Voucher Bed
A voucher bed functions as an overflow bed, and is usually located in a hotel or motel.  In communities without residential facilities, such as rural localities, voucher beds often function as year-round beds.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.

 Y
Year-Round Bed
A year-round bed is available throughout the year and is part of a community’s stable inventory of beds for homeless persons.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.

Year-Round Equivalent Bed
A year-round equivalent bed is a year-round bed, or a seasonal bed that is pro-rated for the part of the year it is available.
Source: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2008 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.