Inventory

Clarity Human Services: Inventory Frequently Asked Questions

Bitfocus is pleased to announce the introduction of Clarity Human Services: INVENTORY. Expanding on the base HUD HMIS data standards, inventory introduces the ability to manage your physical housing inventory directly from Clarity Human Services. 

Starting this Summer, communities can use Clarity to track local housing stock—including sites, buildings, units, and even potential unit configurations—leveraging inventory records to automate eligibility determinations, facilitate referrals, and monitor provider performance.

What does INVENTORY do?

With this new model, you’ll be able to track housing inventory in a more detailed manner. Rather than setting up housing inventory at the Program/Project level, with this update you’ll be able to set up Sites, Buildings, and Units, with the ability to assign Programs, Funding, and even Eligibility criteria. Reporting will also be built around this new model to maintain compliance with the HUD Data Standards and federal regulations.

When will INVENTORY become available?

Communities can begin adding and configuring physical inventory directly in their Clarity Human Services Instances as soon as June 2021. We’ll be releasing additional features that take advantage of this new way of capturing housing data - including a dynamic map-based user interface and a unit queue -  later this Fall. Stay tuned!

Will I be required to use this new model or can I keep my current model?

Inventory is completely opt-in, so you can choose to disregard it if your community is not interested. No need to worry if you haven’t decided yet - you can opt in whenever your community is ready. You can also choose to move some programs over to the new model and keep others the same as before. You will still be federally HMIS-compliant regardless of which model you choose.

What are the advantages and things to consider?

We understand that a new change like this can be overwhelming, so we’d like to offer some advantages and things to consider, to help you decide whether this is the right model for you.

Advantages

  • More flexible trackability of physical inventory (physical Sites, Buildings, and Units)
  • The ability to assign Funding Sources to Sites, Buildings, Unit Configuration Types, and Unit Levels
  • The ability to assign Eligibility to Sites, Buildings, Unit Configuration Types, and Unit Levels

Things to Consider

  • There may be more ongoing administration to ensure the Site/Building/Unit level inventory is kept accurate and up-to-date
  • Funding Source and Eligibility tied to the Site/Building/Unit Configuration Type/Unit levels may require more ongoing maintenance
  • New best practices policies will be needed for communities, to ensure consistent data collection under this new model

Will I still be able to run federal reports?

Yes! You will be compliant with the federal reporting and data standards requirements regardless of whether you choose to switch to the new model or continue using your current model. Bitfocus ensures compliance with the HUD HMIS Data Standards regardless of which model you choose.

When do I need to decide whether I’m going to use INVENTORY?

There is no deadline by which you need to decide. With the great amount of flexibility this new feature allows, you can decide what’s best for your community and implement when and how you feel ready.