HUD and Federal Partner Setup and Workflows

HMIS Glossary Of Terms


AFFORDABLE HOUSING: housing costs (including utility costs) that make up no more than 30%-50% of a household’s income which reduce incidences of homelessness among the working poor. 

ANNUAL HOMELESS ASSESSMENT REPORT (AHAR): (as defined by HUD) uses collective Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data from communities across the country, as well as the CoC applications to produce an annual report to U.S. Congress on the extent and nature of homelessness. It provides nationwide estimates of homelessness, including information about the demographic characteristics of homeless persons, and the capacity to house homeless persons.

ANNUAL PERFORMANCE REPORT (APR): (as defined by HUD) Report that tracks program progress and accomplishments in HUD’s competitive homeless assistance programs. The APR provides the grantee and HUD with information necessary to assess each grantee’s performance.

APPLICANT: an entity that applies for funds. If selected the applicant becomes the grantee and is responsible for the overall management of the grant, including drawing grant funds and distributing them to project sponsors. The applicant is also responsible for supervision of project sponsor compliance with grant requirements. The applicant may also be the project sponsor.

APPLICANT CERTIFICATION: the form required by law, in which an applicant certifies that it will adhere to certain statutory requirements, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which requires certain documentation in hiring practices), the Fair Housing Act (which governs certain protocols concerning access to housing), the Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act (which requires certain testing and mitigation plans), Executive Order 13166 (improving the accessibility of services to eligible persons with Limited English Proficiency), Section 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which require certain protocols in procuring goods and services, drug-free workplace guidelines, etc. and 2 CFR 215.51 governing the determination of cost allowability, among others.

AUDIT TRAIL: a record showing who has accessed a computer system and what operations he or she has performed during a given period of time. Most database management systems include an audit trail component.

BASIC NEEDS: physiological needs such as hunger, thirst, bodily comforts, etc. associated with the lowest level of human need on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

BED UTILIZATION: an indicator of whether shelter beds are occupied on a particular night or over a period of time.

BIOMETRICS: refers to the identification of a person by computerized images of a physical feature, usually a person’s fingerprint.

BRIDGE HOUSING: a hybrid of emergency shelter and transitional housing to serve the population that requires short-term housing and supportive services to achieve self-sufficiency or to access available Permanent Supportive Housing.

CENTRALIZED OR COORDINATED ASSESSMENT SYSTEM: (as defined by HUD) means a centralized or coordinated process designed to coordinate program participant intake assessment and provision of referrals. A centralized or coordinated assessment system covers the geographic area, is easily accessed by individuals and families seeking housing or services, is well advertised, and includes a comprehensive and standardized assessment tool.

CHRONIC HOMELESSNESS: HUD defines a chronically homeless person as:

1. A ‘‘homeless individual with a disability,’’ as defined in section 401(9) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11360(9)), who: 

  • (i) Lives in a place not meant for human habitation, a safe haven, or in an emergency shelter; and 
  • (ii) Has been homeless and living as described in paragraph (1)(i) of this definition continuously for at least 12 months or on at least 4 separate occasions in the last 3 years, as long as the combined occasions equal at least 12 months and each break in homelessness separating the occasions included at least 7 consecutive nights of not living as described in paragraph (1)(i). Stays in institutional care facilities for fewer than 90 days will not constitute as a break in homelessness, but rather such stays are included in the 12-month total, as long as the individual was living or residing in a place not meant for human habitation, a safe haven, or an emergency shelter immediately before entering the institutional care facility; 

2. An individual who has been residing in an institutional care facility, including a jail, substance use disorder or mental health treatment facility, hospital, or other similar facility, for fewer than 90 days and met all of the criteria in paragraph (1) of this definition, before entering that facility; or 

3. A family with an adult head of household (or if there is no adult in the family, a minor head of household) who meets all of the criteria in paragraph (1) or (2) of this definition, including a family whose composition has fluctuated while the head of household has been homeless.

CLARITY HUMAN SERVICES: a software application that is developed for human services client management. It is a web-based program that allows provider agencies to manage and secure client information.

CLIENT INTAKE: the process of collecting client information upon entrance into a program.

COLLABORATIVE APPLICANT: (as defined by HUD) means the eligible applicant that has been designated by the Continuum of Care to apply for a grant for Continuum of Care funds on behalf of the Continuum.

COMMUNITY ACTION PLAN: the plan developed by the HUD-funded Technical Assistance provider, Homebase, to prepare the Clark County CoC for HEARTH Act implementation.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG): a flexible program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs. Beginning in 1974, the CDBG program is one of the longest continuously run programs at HUD. The CDBG program provides annual grants on a formula basis to 1,180 general units of local and state governments.

COMMUNITY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT: (as defined by HUD) the Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) seeks to develop viable communities by promoting integrated approaches that provide decent housing, a suitable living environment, and expand economic opportunities for low and moderate income persons. 

CONSOLIDATED PLAN (Con Plan): the long-term housing and community development plan developed by state and local governments and approved by HUD. The Consolidated Plan contains information on homeless populations and should coordinate with the CoC Plan. It can be a source of information for the Unmet Needs sections of the Housing Activities Chart. The plan contains narratives and maps, the latter developed by localities using software provided by HUD.

CONSOLIDATED PLAN CERTIFICATION: the form required by law in which a state or local official certifies that the proposed activities or projects are consistent with the jurisdiction’s Consolidated Plan. If the applicant is a state or unit of local government, the certification notes that the jurisdiction is following its Consolidated Plan. The CoC Coordinator secures the appropriate Consolidated Plan Certification before submitting the consolidated CoC application.

CONSUMER: an individual or family who has or is currently experiencing homelessness.

CONTINUUM OF CARE (CoC) : a community with a unified plan to organize and deliver housing and services to meet the specific needs of people who are homeless as they move to stable housing and maximize self-sufficiency. HUD funds many homeless programs and HMIS implementations through Continuums of Care grants.

CO-OCCURRING DISORDERS: (or “co-morbidity”) the presence of any two or more illnesses in the same person. These illnesses can be medical or psychiatric conditions, as well as drug use disorders, including alcoholism. Co-morbid illnesses may occur simultaneously or sequentially. The fact that two illnesses are co-morbid, however, does not necessarily mean that one is the cause of the other, even if one occurs first.

COVERAGE: a term commonly used by CoCs or homeless providers to refer to the number of beds represented in an HMIS divided by the total number of beds available.

COVERED HOMELESS ORGANIZATIONS (CHO) – Any organization (including its employees, volunteers, affiliates, contractors, and associates) that records, uses, or processes data on homeless clients for an HMIS. The requirements of the HMIS Final Notice apply to all Covered Homeless Organizations.

CURRENT INVENTORY: a complete listing of the community’s existing beds and supportive services, reflecting a certain point in time.

DATA QUALITY: the accuracy and completeness of all information collected and reported to the HMIS.

DE-IDENTIFICATION: the process of removing or altering data in a client record that could be used to identify the person. This technique allows research, training, or other non-clinical applications to use real data without violating client privacy.

DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY: (as defined by HUD) as defined in section 102 of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 15002):

  1. A severe, chronic disability of an individual that—
    1. Is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments;
    2. Is manifested before the individual attains age 22;
    3. Is likely to continue indefinitely;
    4. Results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity:
      1. Self-care;
      2. Receptive and expressive language;
      3. Learning;
      4. Mobility;
      5. Self-direction;
      6. Capacity for independent living;
      7. Economic self-sufficiency.
    5. Reflects the individual’s need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic services, individualized supports, or other forms of assistance that are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.
  2. An individual from birth to age 9, inclusive, who has a substantial developmental delay or specific congenital or acquired condition, may be considered to have a developmental disability without meeting three or more of the criteria described in paragraphs (1)(i) through (v) of the definition of “developmental disability” in this section if the individual, without services and supports, has a high probability of meeting these criteria later in life.

DISABLING CONDITION: a disabling condition in reference to chronic homelessness is defined by HUD as a diagnosable substance use disorder, serious mental illness, developmental disability, or chronic physical illness or disability, including the co-occurrence of two or more of these conditions. A disabling condition limits an individual’s ability to work or perform one or more activities of daily living.

DISCHARGE PLANNING / PLACEMENT PLANNING: the case plan which identifies client needs when transitioning from one type of setting or service to another and connects the client to appropriate community resources to ensure stability once discharged or placed.

DIVERSION: is a strategy that prevents homelessness for people seeking shelter by helping them identify immediate alternate housing arrangements and, if necessary, connecting them with services and financial assistance to help them return to permanent housing.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (DV): occurs when a family member, partner or ex-partner attempts to physically or psychologically dominate another. Includes physical violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, intimidation, economic deprivation, and threats of violence. Violence can be criminal and includes physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.), sexual abuse (unwanted or forced sexual activity), and stalking. Although emotional abuse, psychological abuse, and financial abuse are not criminal behaviors, they are forms of abuse and can lead to criminal violence. There are a number of dimensions of DV, including the following: mode – physical, psychological, sexual and/or social; frequency – on/off, occasional, chronic; and severity – in terms of both psychological or physical harm and the need for treatment, including transitory or permanent injury, mild, moderate, and severe up to homicide.

ELECTRONIC SPECIAL NEEDS PROGRAM (e-snaps): the electronic update from HUD’s Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) in the Office of Community Planning and Development, offers policy and program highlights, resource links, and community spotlights. The e-snaps update is issued bi-monthly to members of HUD’s Homeless Assistance Program listserv.

ELIGIBLE APPLICANT: (as defined by HUD) a private nonprofit organization, State, local government, or instrumentality of State and local government.

EMERGENCY HOUSING: immediate nighttime shelter with the additional option of short-term extended stay.

EMERGENCY SHELTER (ES): any facility whose primary purpose is to provide temporary shelter for the homeless in general or for specific populations of the homeless.

EMERGENCY SOLUTIONS GRANT (ESG): (as defined by HUD) is a federal grant program designed to help improve the quality of existing emergency shelters for the homeless, to make available additional shelters, to meet the costs of operating shelters, to provide essential social services to homeless individuals, and to help prevent homelessness.

ENCRYPTION: conversion of plain text into unreadable data by scrambling it using a code that masks the meaning of the data to any unauthorized viewer. Computers encrypt data by using algorithms or formulas. Encrypted data are not readable unless they are converted back into plain text via decryption.

ENHANCED PROPERTY MANAGEMENT: base operating expenses (typical property management related activities such as repairs, maintenance, rent payment collection, lease issues), plus the costs of “enhanced” or “enriched” management that may include, for example, 24-hour front desk coverage, security, and/or resident services coordination.

e-snaps: see Electronic Special Needs Assistance Program.

EXPANSION GRANT: additional funds to an existing grant by proposing a new expansion project within the implementation.

EXTENSIBLE MARKUP LANGUAGE (XML): general-purpose specification for creating custom markup languages. It is classified as an extensible language because it allows its users to define their own elements. Its primary purpose is to facilitate the sharing of structured data across different information systems, particularly via the Internet, and it is used both to encode documents and to serialize data.

FAIR MARKET RENT (FMR): (as defined by HUD) is the gross rent estimate set by U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to determine the eligibility of rental housing units for Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment Program. Section 8 Rental Certificate program participants cannot rent units whose rents exceed the FMRs. HUD sets FMRs to assure that a sufficient supply of rental housing is available to program participants.

FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATION: (as defined by the Federal Office of Faith Based Initiatives)

  • A religious congregation (church, mosque, synagogue, or temple)
  • An organization, program, or project sponsored/hosted by a religious congregation (may be incorporated or not incorporated)
  • A nonprofit organization founded by a religious congregation or religiously-motivated incorporators and board members that clearly states in its name, incorporation, or mission statement that it is a religiously-motivated institution • a collaboration of organizations that clearly and explicitly includes organizations from the previously described categories.

GOALS OF THE MCKINNEY VENTO ACT: three primary goals of all HUD-funded homeless projects; namely, to support programs and services that help homeless persons (1) achieve residential stability, (2) increase their skill levels and/or income, and (3) obtain greater self-determination.

GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATION: an organization that is headquartered in the local community in which it provides services; and:

  • Has social service budget of $300,000 or less which does not include salaries and expenses not directly expended in the provision of social services, or
  • Have six or fewer full-time equivalent employees. Local affiliates of national organizations are not considered “grassroots.” 

GREATER SELF-DETERMINATION: increases in a participant’s ability to make decisions that affect their lives. Those increases may result from such actions as involvement in the development of his/her individual housing and supportive services plan (including developing personal goals), participating in resident advisory council meetings or other involvement in the development of program rules and procedures, involvement in program implementation through such activities as employment and volunteer services, and choice in selecting services providers.

HASHING: the process of producing hashed values for accessing data or for security. A hashed value is a number or series of numbers generated from input data. The hash is generated by a formula in such a way that it is extremely unlikely that some other text will produce the same hash value or that data can be converted back to the original text. Hashing is often used to check whether two texts are identical. For the purposes of Homeless Management Information Systems, it can be used to compare whether client records contain the same information without identifying the clients.

HEALTH INSURANCE PORTABILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 1996 (HIPAA): U.S. law designed to provide privacy standards to protect patients’ medical records and other health information provided to health plans, doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers. Developed by the Department of Health and Human Services, these standards provide patients access to their medical records and give them more control over how their personal health information is used and disclosed.

HIGH-PERFORMING COMMUNITY (HPC): (as defined by HUD) is a Continuum of Care that meets the standards in Subpart E of this part and has been designated as a high-performing community by HUD. HMIS.

DATA QUALITY STANDARD: the number (or %) of client records created in HMIS that are complete and accurate. The Data Quality Standard for Fiscal Year 2008/2009 is set at 75% accuracy or better. All HUD-supported projects and all projects receiving Clark County Outside Agency Grant (OAG) funds are expected to correctly and completely input data on 75% of its client records. This means that no more than 25% of the client files created by an agency in the HMIS system can have inadequate, inaccurate, or incomplete data entered for the client. To achieve a higher data quality rating, agencies must complete all data fields on all clients entered into the HMIS system. All data fields for each data record must be accurate and complete, which is tested each month by the HMIS Coordinator and reported to the Regional Homeless Coordinator and participating agencies.

HMIS LEAD ORGANIZATION: the central organizations that will house those individuals who will be directly involved in implementing and providing operational, training, technical assistance, and technical support to participating agencies.

HOMEBASE: is a Technical Assistance provider that is based in San Francisco Regional HUD office for Community Development and Technical Assistance (CDTA). Homebase works with communities to develop effective and humane responses to homelessness. They work with local governments, housing and service providers, community- and faith-based organizations, and homeless people to implement integrated and sustainable strategies that help people leave the streets and regain housing, independence, and dignity.

HOMELESS: a person sleeping in a place not meant for human habitation (e.g. living on the streets) or in an emergency shelter; or a person in transitional housing for homeless persons who originally came from the street or an emergency shelter. Also, a person may be considered homeless if, without assistance from a service provider, they would be living on the streets. This includes persons being evicted within a week from a private dwelling with no subsequent residence identified and lacks the resources and support networks needed to obtain housing, or being evicted within a week from an institution in which the person has been a resident for more than 30 consecutive days with no subsequent residence identified and he/she lacks the resources and support networks needed to obtain housing.

HOMELESS EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE AND RAPID TRANSITION TO HOUSING ACT (HEARTH Act): (as defined by HUD) On May 20, 2009, President Obama signed into law a bill to reauthorize HUD’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance programs. It consolidates three of the separate homeless assistance programs administered by HUD under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act into a single grant program, and revises the Emergency Shelter Grants program and renames it the Emergency Solutions Grants program. The HEARTH Act also codifies in law the Continuum of Care planning process, a longstanding part of HUD’s application process to assist homeless persons by providing greater coordination in responding to their needs. The HEARTH Act also directs HUD to promulgate regulations for these new programs and processes.

HOMELESS MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS (HMIS): a computerized data collection application designed to capture client-level information over time on the characteristics and service needs of men, women, and children experiencing homelessness, while also protecting client confidentiality. It is designed to aggregate client-level data to generate an unduplicated count of clients served within a community’s system of homeless services.

HOMELESS MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM (HMIS) WORKING GROUP: coordinates the proper use of the computerized data collection software to accurately store unduplicated data concerning the characteristics and service needs of homeless persons both at local and national levels. This group serves to maximize the effectiveness if the HMIS in order to illustrate the scope of homelessness upon evaluation of the data that was collected in a structured manner.

HOMELESS PULSE PROJECT (PULSE): (as defined by HUD) Provides point-in-time shelter counts of homeless persons that are served on a specified quarterly date and also a count of “newly” homeless persons served in the reporting quarter. It is intended to help the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gain a better understanding of the impact of the current economic crisis on homelessness.

HOMELESSNESS RESOURCE EXCHANGE (HRE): (as defined by HUD) is the online database the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development uses as its primary communication tool for outreach to grantees. It also serves as a one-stop-shop for resources and information for homelessness assistance providers and stakeholders. HOUSING FIRST: best practices model approach to housing and services for the homeless which rests on two premises: 1) The central goal is direct placement into permanent housing for those who are currently homeless, and 2) provision of appropriate individualized services (may include mental health and/or substance use disorder treatment) are offered via follow-along services after housing placement to ensure long-term housing stability.

HOUSING INVENTORY CHART (HIC): consists of three housing inventory charts for emergency shelter, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing.

HOUSING INVENTORY COUNT (HIC): (as defined by HUD) collects information about all of the beds and units in each Continuum of Care homeless system, categorized by Emergency Shelter, Transitional Housing, HPRP Homeless Assistance, Safe Haven, and Permanent Supportive Housing.

HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES FOR PERSONS WITH AIDS (HOPWA): Established by HUD to address the specific needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families. HOPWA makes grants to local communities, States, and nonprofit organizations for projects that benefit low-income persons medically diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and their families.

HOUSING QUALITY STANDARDS (HQS): (as defined by HUD) Define “standard housing” and establish the minimum criteria for the health and safety of program participants. HQS includes requirements for all housing types, including single and multi-family dwelling units, as well as specific requirements for special housing types such as manufactured homes, congregate housing, single room occupancy, shared housing, and group residences.

HOUSING SERVICES: agency or organization providing housing-related services which may include: recruitment of housing units for homeless clients and site monitoring, mediation between landlord and tenant, tenant rights and responsibility education, and inform caseworker of any major issues i.e. eviction notices, criminal activity, etc. This may include positions such as Housing Recruiter, Housing Harvester, Housing Specialist, etc.…where individual persons are responsible for part or all of the functions mentioned above.

THE HUB: a common connection point for services to effectively and seamlessly serve the homeless population. The HUB serves as the Coordinated Assessment and Intake site.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING: the illegal trade of human beings through abduction, the use of threat or force, deception, fraud, or sale for the purpose of forced labor and/or commercial sex. As defined under U.S. federal law, victims of human trafficking include children involved in the sex trade, adults age 18 or over who are coerced or deceived into commercial sex acts, and anyone forced into different forms of “labor or services,” such as domestic workers held in a home, or farmworkers forced to labor against their will.

INDICATORS: the measurable elements of the service that tell whether an outcome is occurring. An indicator can be a direct or indirect measure (proxy) and often a set of indicators is used to measure an outcome. A key characteristic of an Indicator is that it is measurable, or countable, and can be compared to indicators measured or counted earlier or later in a process.

INFERRED CONSENT: once clients receive an oral explanation of HMIS, consent is assumed for data entry into HMIS. The client must be a person of age and in possession of all his/her faculties (for example, not mentally ill).

INFORMATION AND REFERRAL (I&R): a process for obtaining information about programs and services available and linking individuals to these services. These services can include emergency food pantries, rental assistance, public health clinics, childcare resources, support groups, legal aid, and a variety of nonprofit and governmental agencies. An HMIS usually includes features to facilitate information and referral.

INFORMED CONSENT: a client is informed of options of participating in an HMIS system and then specifically asked to consent. The individual needs to be of age and in possession of all of his faculties (for example, not mentally ill), and his/her judgment not impaired at the time of consenting (by sleep, illness, intoxication, alcohol, drugs, or other health problems, etc.).

INTEGRATED DISBURSEMENT AND INFORMATION SYSTEM (IDIS): (as defined by HUD) is a nationwide database that provides HUD with current information regarding the program activities underway across the Nation, including funding data. The system allows grantees to request their grant funding from HUD and report on what is accomplished with these funds.

INTENSIVE CASE MANAGEMENT: a more comprehensive application of the activities and skills of case management, which include:

  • Outreach and client identification: to attempt to enroll clients not using normal regular or mainstream services
  • Assessment: to determine a person’s current and potential strengths, weaknesses, and needs
  • Planning: to develop a specific, comprehensive, individualized treatment and service plan
  • Linkage: to transfer clients to necessary services and treatments provided in the community
  • Monitoring: to conduct ongoing evaluation of client progress and needs
  • Client Advocacy: to intercede on behalf of a specific client or a class of clients to ensure equity and appropriate services
  • Direct Service: provision of clinical services or financial assistance to overcome barriers
  • Crisis Intervention: assisting clients in crisis to stabilize through direct interventions and mobilizing needed supports and services
  • System Advocacy: intervening with organizations or larger systems of care in order to promote more effective, equitable, and accountable services to a target client or group
  • Resource Development: attempting to create additional services or resources to address the needs of clients
  • Discharge Planning: implementing many of the above functions again to help client plan to transition from one type of setting or service program to another. Intensive case management requires a higher level of commitment of an agency’s and case worker’s resources and time, and the majority of activities typically occur with the client in the field.

LEVERAGING: a written commitment documented on letterhead stationery, signed and dated by an authorized representative, which must contain the following elements:

  • The type of contribution (e.g. cash, child care, case management, etc.)
  • The value of the contribution
  • The name of the project and its sponsor organization to which the contribution will be given
  • The date the contribution will be available.

MAINSTREAM SERVICES: government-funded programs that provide services, housing, and income supports to poor persons, whether homeless or not. They include programs providing welfare, health care, mental health care, substance use disorder treatment, veteran’ assistance, housing subsidies, and employment services.

MATCH (Cost Sharing): for HUD Homeless Assistance Funds (CoC), matching funds are required from local, state, federal or private resources. Documentation of the match requirement must be maintained in the grantee’s financial records on a grant-specific basis. The amount of match required varies depending on the program type.

MOBILE CRISIS INTERVENTION: work done in the field, providing needed intervention, assessment, treatment referrals, and other related services to address the immediate crisis facing those in need. Mobile outreach teams will respond quickly to emergency actions by local municipalities and provide coordinated outreach efforts to homeless individuals in response to interventions and clean-up efforts. These teams may also respond to requests for assessment and make recommendations regarding interventions at homeless encampments.

NOTICE OF FUNDING AVAILABILITY (NOFA): (as defined by HUD) published in the Federal Register to announce available funds and application requirements. It is the way HUD notifies the public of and distributes funding available through its competitive grant programs. It is the consolidation of all of HUD’s homeless grants programs into one notice of funding availability. The NOFA funds the Continuum of Care (CoC) Competition.

OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (OMB): (as defined by HUD) Assists the President in overseeing the preparation of the federal budget and supervises its administration in Executive Branch agencies. OMB evaluates the effectiveness of agency programs, policies, and procedures, assesses competing funding demands among agencies, and sets funding priorities.

OPERATING COSTS: the costs associated with the day-to-day operation of the shelter or supportive housing facility and includes payment for shelter management (including salaries), maintenance, operation, supplies, rent, repairs, security, fuel, equipment, insurance, utilities, food, and furnishings.

OUTCOMES: showing how a project benefits the community or people it serves; or, stated another way, how is the person or community changed as a result of the activity of the project? One chooses an outcome based on the purpose for the activity; it may help to answer the question “Why would the CoH fund this activity?” The outcome is designed to capture the nature of the change or expected result of the objective that the project seeks to achieve. It is possible that a particular project activity could be categorized in different ways, depending upon the intent.

OUTSIDE AGENCY GRANT (OAG): is funded by County tax revenue to support programs and services that provide a substantial benefit to the residents of Clark County. Clark County specifically looks for programs and services to complement services provided by the County in the areas of Juvenile Justice, Family Services, Social Services, and Homeless Services.

Performance Assessment Rating Tool (PART): developed to assess and improve program performance so that the Federal government can achieve better results. A PART review helps identify a program’s strengths and weaknesses to inform funding and management decisions aimed at making the program more effective. The PART, therefore, looks at all factors that affect and reflect program performance including program purpose and design; performance measurement, evaluations, and strategic planning; program management; and program results. Because the PART includes a consistent series of analytical questions, it allows programs to show improvements over time and allows comparisons between similar programs.

PERMANENT HOUSING: (as defined by HUD) is the community-based housing without a designated length of stay, and includes both permanent supportive housing and rapid rehousing. To be permanent housing, the program participant must be the tenant on a lease for a term of at least one year, which is renewable for terms that are a minimum of one month long, and is terminable only for cause.

PERMANENT HOUSING BONUS (PHB): bonus funding from HUD for projects serving homeless disabled individuals and families or chronically homeless individuals. HUD strongly encourages CoCs to use at least a portion of available bonus funds to create a project that will serve disabled veterans. The bonus amount will be 15 percent of a CoCs Preliminary Pro Rata Need (PPRN) or $6 million, whichever is less.

PERFORMANCE MEASURES: a process that systematically evaluates whether your program’s efforts are making an impact on the clients you are serving.

PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING: long-term, community-based housing that has supportive services for homeless persons with disabilities. This type of supportive housing enables special needs populations to live as independently as possible in a permanent setting. The supportive services may be provided by the organization managing the housing or coordinated by the applicant and provided by other public or private service agencies. Permanent housing can be provided in one structure or several structures at one site or in multiple structures at scattered sites. There is no definite length of stay.

PERSONAL PROTECTED INFORMATION (PPI): information that can be used to uniquely identify, contact or locate a single person, or may enable disclosure of personal information.

POINT IN TIME (PIT): (as defined by HUD) is a snapshot of the homeless population taken on a given day. It provides a count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons from either the last biennial count or a more recent annual count. This count includes a street count in addition to a count of all clients in emergency and transitional beds.

PREVENTION: financial assistance and other services that directly result in the maintenance of housing and/or prevention of eviction. Consumers are not homeless prior to coming into the program. This includes housing provided to those discharged from an institution (i.e. hospital, jail, mental health facility).

  • One time financial assistance: utilities, rent, mortgage assistance
  • Short term housing subsidy: up to 6 months of mortgage, rental, or utility assistance
  • Payee services: program that manages a consumer’s entitlement benefits (i.e. SSI, SSA, VA, TANF) to ensure their needs for housing are met consistently
  • Legal services: non-financial legal advisement or representation that assists consumers with eviction prevention or fair housing advocacy
  • Crisis intervention: non-financial mediation and negotiation between landlords and/or client which facilitates the maintenance of housing.

PRIVATE NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION: (as defined by HUD) means an organization:

  1. No part of the net earnings of which inure to the benefit of any member, founder, contributor, or individual;
  2. That has a voluntary board;
  3. That has a functioning accounting system that is operated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or has designated a fiscal agent that will maintain a functioning accounting system for the organization in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles; and
  4. That practices nondiscrimination in the provision of assistance. A private nonprofit organization does not include governmental organizations, such as public housing agencies.

PRIVATE NONPROFIT STATUS: status that is documented by a copy of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ruling proving tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code; and

  1. no part of the net earnings of which may inure to the benefit of any member, founder, contributor, or individual;
  2. that has a voluntary board of not less than five (5) unrelated persons;
  3. that has a functioning accounting system that is operated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or has designated an entity that will maintain a functioning accounting system for the organization in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles;
  4. that practices nondiscrimination in the provision of assistance; AND
  5. has all required licenses and certifications to do business in the State.

PROGRAM PARTICIPANT: (as defined by HUD) is an individual (including an unaccompanied youth) or family who is assisted with Continuum of Care program funds.

PROJECT: (as defined by HUD) Is a group of eligible activities, such as HMIS costs, identified as a project in an application to HUD for Continuum of Care funds and includes a structure (or structures) that is (are) acquired, rehabilitated, constructed, or leased with assistance provided under this part or with respect to which HUD provides rental assistance or annual payments for operating costs, or supportive services under this subtitle.

PROJECT BASED RENTAL ASSISTANCE (PBRA): (as defined by HUD) Is a Section 8 Program that provides rental subsidies for eligible tenant families (including single persons) residing in newly constructed, rehabilitated, and existing rental and cooperative apartment projects. Through PBRA funding, HUD renewals Section 8 Project-Based assistance contracts with owners of multifamily rental housing. HUD makes up the difference between what a household can afford and the approved rent for an adequate housing unit in a multifamily development.

PROJECT SPONSOR: the organization that is responsible for carrying out the proposed project activities. In relation to HUD funding, a project sponsor does not submit an SF-424, unless it is also the applicant. To be eligible to be a project sponsor, you must meet the same program eligibility standards as applicants except in the Sponsor-based rental assistance (SRA) component of the S+C Program. Eligible sponsors for the SRA component are statutorily precluded from applying for S+C funding.

PRO RATA NEED: the amount HUD has designated that a particular area or county may be eligible to receive in the CoC competitive process based on population size, homeless count info, and other criteria.

PUBLIC KEYS: public keys are included in digital certificates and contain information that a sender can use to encrypt information such that only a particular key can read. The recipient also can verify the identity of the sender through the sender's public key.

PUBLIC KEY INFRASTRUCTURE (PKI): an arrangement that binds public keys with respective user identities by means of a certificate authority (CA). The user identity must be unique for each CA. The binding is established through the registration and issuance process, which, depending on the level of assurance the binding has, may be carried out by software at a CA or under human supervision. The PKI role that assures this binding is called the Registration Authority (RA). For each user, the user identity, the public key, their binding, validity conditions, and other attributes are made unforgeable in public key certificates issued by the CA.

PUBLIC NONPROFIT STATUS: a letter or other document from an authorized official stating that the organization is a public nonprofit organization.

QUALITY: a degree of excellence or superiority in kind. The degree to which services and supports for individuals and populations increase the likelihood for desired housing and quality of life outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge.

RACE: identification within five racial categories: American Indian, Alaska Native, or Indigenous; Asian or Asian American; Black, African American, or African; Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander; and White.

RECIPIENT: (as defined by HUD) is an applicant that signs a grant agreement with HUD.


  • Conversion: a change in the use of a building to a shelter for the homeless, where the cost of conversion and any rehabilitation costs exceed 75 % of the value of the building before conversion. If such costs do not exceed 75 % of the value of the building before conversion, they are to be considered rehabilitation. The conversion of any building to shelter the homeless must meet local government safety and sanitation standards. For projects of 15 or more units where rehabilitation costs are 75 % or more of the replacement cost of the building, that project must meet the requirements of 24 CFR 8.23(a) concerning accessibility requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
  • Major Rehabilitation: rehabilitation that involves costs in excess of 75% of the value of the building before rehabilitation. Major rehabilitation must meet local government safety and sanitation standards. In addition, for projects of 15 or more units where rehabilitation costs are 75% or more of the replacement cost of the building, that project must meet the requirements of 24 CFR 8.23(a) concerning accessibility requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
  • Rehabilitation: labor, materials, tools, and other costs of improving buildings, including repair directed toward an accumulation of deferred maintenance; replacement of principal fixtures and components of existing buildings; installation of security devices; and improvement through alterations or incidental additions to, or enhancement of, existing buildings, including improvements to increase the efficient use of energy in buildings, and structural changes necessary to make the structure accessible for persons with physical handicaps. Rehabilitation also includes the conversion of a building to shelter for the homeless, where the cost of conversion and any rehabilitation costs do not exceed 75% of the value of the building before conversion. Rehabilitation must meet local government safety and sanitation standards. In addition, for projects of 15 or more units where rehabilitation costs are 75 % or more of the replacement cost of the building, that project must meet the accessibility requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1991, or where rehabilitation costs are less than 75% of the replacement cost of the building, that project must meet the requirements of 24 CFR 8.23(b) concerning accessibility requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1991.
  • Renovation: rehabilitation that involves costs of 75% or less of the value of the building before rehabilitation. Renovations must meet local government safety and sanitary standards. In addition, for projects of 15 or more units where rehabilitation costs are less than 75% of the replacement cost of the building, that project must meet the requirements of 24 CFR 8.23(b) concerning accessibility requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
  • Value of the Building: the monetary value assigned to a building by an independent real estate appraiser, or as otherwise reasonably established by the grantee.

RESIDENT SERVICES COORDINATION: refers to apartment complexes or property owners who arrange for provision of basic services to help connect residents to needed assistance to support stable tenancy. Staff can be an employee of the landlord/property owner or the employee of a non-profit agency through a partnership agreement.

RESIDENTIAL STABILITY: access to, and length of stay in, stable affordable housing. Achieving residential stability involves not only the availability of affordable, permanent housing but also the success of the program in addressing the problems that led to the person or household becoming homeless. Those problems may involve mental illness, substance use disorder, physical disabilities, unemployment, or other factors.

RUNAWAY AND HOMELESS YOUTH MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM (RHYMIS): (as defined by HUD) is a national reporting system for programs receiving Federal runaway and homeless youth funds. Programs funded under the Runaway and Homeless Act (as amended) are required to record information about the youth and families they serve, including demographics, critical issues, and services received.

RURAL HOUSING STABILITY PROGRAM: (as defined by HUD) provides re-housing or improves the housing situations of individuals and families who are homeless or in the worst housing situations in the geographic area; stabilizes the housing of individuals and families who are in imminent danger of losing housing; and improves the ability of the lowest-income residents of the community to afford stable housing. Awarded grants are for rent, mortgage, or utility assistance, security deposits, relocation assistance, short-term emergency lodging, construction of new housing units to provide transitional or permanent housing, acquisition or rehabilitation of a structure to provide non-emergency transitional or permanent housing, property leasing, rental assistance, and payment of operating costs for assisted housing units.

SAFE HAVEN: (as defined by HUD) means, for the purpose of defining chronically homeless, supportive housing that meets the following:

  1. Serves hard to reach homeless persons with severe mental illness who came from the streets and have been unwilling or unable to participate in supportive services;
  2. Provides 24-hour residence for eligible persons for an unspecified period;
  3. Has an overnight capacity limited to 25 or fewer persons; and
  4. Provides low-demand services and referrals for the residents.

SAMARITAN BONUS: bonus funding from HUD for projects serving exclusively chronically homeless persons and ranked by the local CoC as the number one priority project. It provides an extra 15% of the preliminary pro-rata need amount in addition to the CoC’s preliminary pro-rata need amount. Applicants may use no more than 20% of this bonus for case management to enable program participants to remain successfully housed.

SELF-SUFFICIENCY: a self-sufficient individual or family that ultimately lives with minimal, if any, public or private assistance.

SF 424: the cover sheet that must be submitted by applicants requesting HUD Federal Assistance.

SHELTER: any type of agency-sponsored housing activity whereby the agency provides temporary housing accommodations for clients. Shelter activities may include:

  • Emergency Shelter where placement is based on the client’s emergent need and duration is typically less than 90- 120 days 
  • Program Shelter where placement is based on a client’s emergent need and duration is contingent upon participation in a program (sobriety, work, or other)
  • Transitional Shelter where placement is based on client’s eligibility and appropriateness for the program and duration does not exceed 24 months.

The term shelter encompasses buildings, facilities, and accommodations paid for by the agency, thus including any apartment living arrangements paid by the tenant-based rental assistance vouchers provided by an agency or participation in an agency’s program.

SHELTER PLUS CARE (S+C): a federal HUD rental subsidy provided through the CoC Homeless Funding, intended for homeless persons with chronic disabilities. S+C rental assistance is modeled after the federal Section 8 program, with tenants paying 30% of their adjusted income for rent and the rental subsidy paying the difference between the tenant’s share and the base rent. The S+C programs differs from Section 8, as the subsidy is provided with a requirement that social or medical services are provided (at a dollar per dollar matched value) via a partnering health or social service agency.

SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME (SSI): a monthly stipend provided to aged (legally deemed to be 65 or older), blind, or disabled persons based on need, paid by the U.S. Government.

SUPPORTIVE SERVICES: services that may assist homeless participants in the transition from the streets or shelters into permanent or permanent supportive housing, and that assist persons with living successfully in housing.

SUPPORTIVE SERVICES ONLY (SSO): projects that address the service needs of homeless persons. Projects are classified as this component only if the project sponsor is not also providing housing to the same persons receiving the services. SSO projects may be in a structure or operated independently of a structure, such as street outreach or mobile vans for health care.

ROOM OCCUPANCY (SRO): the SRO Program provides rental assistance for homeless persons in connection with the moderate rehabilitation of SRO dwellings. SRO housing contains units for occupancy by one person. These units may contain food preparation or sanitary facilities, or both. For SRO projects funded from the federal HUD CoC Homeless Funding, rental assistance for SRO units is provided for a period of 10 years. Owners are compensated for the cost of some of the rehabilitation (as well as the other costs of owning and maintaining the property) through the rental assistance payments. To be eligible for assistance, a unit must receive a minimum of $3,000 of rehabilitation, including its prorated share of work to be accomplished on common areas or systems, to meet housing quality standards (HQS).

SPONSOR-BASED RENTAL ASSISTANCE: (as defined by HUD) is one of the four components of Shelter Plus Care Program that provides housing and supportive services for homeless persons with disabilities and their families. SponsorBased Rental Assistance provides assistance through contracts between the grant recipient and a private nonprofit sponsor or community mental health agency established as a public nonprofit entity that owns or leases dwelling units in which participants reside. The term for grants is 5 years.

SSI/SSDI OUTREACH, ACCESS AND RECOVERY (SOAR): a federal program to help states and communities increase access to Social Security disability benefits for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and who have mental illnesses or other co-occurring disorders.

SUBRECIPIENT: (as defined by HUD) is a private nonprofit organization, State, local government, or instrumentality of State or local government that receives a subgrant from the recipient to carry out a project.

SUPPORTIVE HOUSING PROGRAM (SHP): a federal HUD grant designed to support the development of supportive housing and services to assist homeless persons in the transition from homelessness and to enable them to live as independently as possible. Funds can be used to buy, construct, rehabilitate or lease permanent or transitional housing, operating costs and/or to provide some supportive services, such as job training, child care vouchers, health, mental health, and addictive illness treatment.

SUPPORTIVE SERVICES: (also known as essential services) address the service needs of homeless persons, such as employment, health, drug abuse treatment, or education, to help homeless persons meet three overall goals: (1) achieve residential stability; (2) increase their skill levels and/or incomes and (3) obtain greater self-determination. Staff costs associated with case management or provision of supportive services is considered a supportive service. Supportive Services may include, but are not limited to:

  • Assistance in obtaining permanent housing
  • Assistance in obtaining other Federal, State, or local assistance, including but not limited to;
    • Public assistance such as food stamps, TANF, medical cards, child support enforcement, child care subsidies, home energy assistance, etc.
    • Employment training and placement programs provided through the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation or the Workforce Investment Act.
  • Medical counseling and supervision
  • Mental Health and psychological counseling and supervision
  • Employment counseling
  • Substance use disorder treatment and counseling
  • Other services such as child care payments, transportation assistance, job placement or job training. HUD funds cannot be used to supplant mainstream or other funding for these essential services.
  • HUD is significantly reducing the supportive services they will be funding this year and in future years.


  • Outreach: services and information about the availability of community resources delivered to people wherever they may reside. Common examples include Street Outreach, Mobile Unit, or Law Enforcement responses.
  • Employment Services: education related to job skill development, on-the-job-training, referral, job placement, sheltered workshop, job coaching/shadowing, employment testing, and employment evaluation, as well as support and coaching provided after employment placement, to assist client in adjusting and maintaining a job
  • Case Management: assessment, crisis intervention, linkage to services, monitoring client progress, system advocacy, and discharge/placement planning. Case plan in chart required
  • Substance Use Disorder Care: assessment, diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, aftercare. Requires licensed personnel CADAC, LADC, LCSW, Psychologist, MFT, MD
  • Mental Health Care: assessment, crisis intervention, therapy, medication, diagnosis. Requires licensed personnel LCSW, Psychologist, MFT, MD. Medical Care: assessment, diagnosis, treatment, referral, medication. Requires licensed personnel APN, MD, RN
  • Housing Search/Placement: determining eligibility for specific housing programs and providing the means to access housing, assistance in completing housing applications.
  • Life Skills: education and training on hygiene, time management, parenting, financial literacy, health and wellness, job readiness, transportation, communication, cooking, and nutrition.
  • Childcare: subsidy or program that cares for minor children or children with a disability.
  • Education: formal education that leads towards a high school diploma, GED, college diploma, or professional/continuing education. Also include stipends and scholarships.
  • Transportation: bus/van services, taxi vouchers, gas vouchers, bus tickets/passes, financial assistance to repair a vehicle, car registration fees Deposit Assistance: financial assistance to pay for an apartment/home deposit.

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE (TA): the facilitating of skills and knowledge in planning, developing, and administering activities under a grant program for entities that may need, but do not possess, such skills and knowledge.

TENANT BASED RENTAL ASSISTANCE (TBRA): (as defined by HUD) TBRA is a rental subsidy that can provide help to individual households afford housing costs such as rent, utility costs, security deposits, and/or utility deposits. TBRA provides rental assistance to homeless persons who choose the housing in which they reside. Residents retain the assistance if they move, and the term for grants is 5 years.

TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES (TANF): provides cash assistance to indigent American families with dependent children through the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

TRANSITIONAL HOUSING: housing coupled with supportive services that are provided for a maximum of 2 years. The primary purpose is to provide temporary housing (lasting at least three months, but not to exceed 24 months) with supportive services used to facilitate the movement of homeless individuals and/or families to permanent housing. The supportive services may be provided by the organization managing the housing, or coordinated by them and provided by other public or private agencies. The program rules, in turn, are designed to enhance the residents’ self-sufficiency. Case management services are provided, as are other direct services designed to remove the obstacles individuals or families face when attempting to return to self-sufficiency.

TRANSPORTATION: the method of arriving at a desired destination. For the most part, homeless individuals and families rely on the Citizens Area Transit public transportation system, but many still own cars. Homeless clients need a variety of assistance with transportation, including financial assistance (with bus passes or gas vouchers), repairs, or sometimes accompaniment.

UNDUPLICATED COUNT: the number of people who are homeless within a specified location and time period. An unduplicated count ensures that individuals are counted only once regardless of the number of times they entered or exited the homeless system or the number of programs in which they participated. Congress directed HUD to develop a strategy for data collection on homelessness so that an unduplicated count of the homeless at the local level could be produced.

UNIFIED FUNDING AGENCY (UFA): (as defined by HUD) is an eligible applicant selected by the Continuum of Care to apply for a grant for the entire Continuum, which has the capacity to carry out the duties in § 578.11(b), which is approved by HUD and to which HUD awards a grant.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD): HUD’s mission is to increase homeownership, support community development, and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination. To fulfill this mission, HUD will embrace high standards of ethics, management, and accountability and forge new partnerships–particularly with faith-based and community organizations–that leverage resources and improve HUD’s ability to be effective on the community level.

VICTIM SERVICE PROVIDER: a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization including rape crisis centers, battered women’s shelters, domestic violence transitional housing programs, and other programs whose primary mission is to provide services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

WRITTEN CONSENT – written consent embodies the element of informed consent in a written form. A client completes and signs a document consenting to an understanding of the options and risks of participating or sharing data in an HMIS system. The signed document is then kept on file at the agency.

Updated: 11/29/2022