The Board met by phone to discuss several issues related to the LA BOSCOC governance structure and to funding in 2019.
Voting Attendance [listed as Name, Organization (Seat) (Role, if any)]
Winona Connor, Louisiana Housing Corporation (Louisiana Housing Corporation) (Chair)
Michell Brown, Louisiana Department of Health (Louisiana Department of Health) (Vice Chair)
Eric Gammons, Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless (HMIS Lead)
Antiqua Hunter, Louisiana Department of Education (Louisiana Department of Education)
Addie Duval, Start Corporation (Baton Rouge Region)
Brooke Guidry, Start Corporation (Houma Region)
Tarek Polite, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury (Lake Charles Region)
Gail Gowland, St. Bernard Battered Women’s Program (Plaquemines/St. Bernard Region)
Non-Voting Attendance (listed as Name, Organization, (Role, if any)]
Gay Owens, Louisiana Housing Corporation (Recording Secretary)
Gordon Levine, Louisiana Housing Corporation (Continuum of Care Manager)
HUD recently released a Homeless Management System (HMIS) Capacity Building Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA): https://www.hudexchange.info/news/hmis-capacity-building-project-nofa/
This NOFA will provide one-time funding to CoCs to improve their HMIS capacity and/or to consolidate their HMIS operations with other CoCs. This funding is specifically targeted to CoCs that HUD identified as having HMIS systems in need of improvement (and at CoCs they intend to consolidate with).
The Louisiana Housing Corporation, as the Collaborative Applicant for the LA BOSCOC, intends to apply for funding under this NOFA to consolidate its HMIS operations with the Monroe and Alexandria CoCs, both of which HUD identified as target CoCs for this funding.
If funding is received, the Louisiana Housing Corporation will become the HMIS Lead for the Monroe and Alexandria CoCs as well as the LA BOSCOC, and the Monroe and Alexandria CoCs will begin HMIS operations under the LA BOSCOC’s existing structure. The Louisiana Housing Corporation also intends to use some funding provided under this grant to improve its existing structure, including via technical assistance and system work in ServicePoint.
As part of the submission process for this NOFA, the CoC General Membership will need to approve the consolidation. Look for that vote to be held via email in early January 2019.
Possible CoC Mergers
The LA BOSCOC continues to pursue mergers with other interested CoCs in Louisiana. While the LA BOSCOC has nothing to announce at this time, it is optimistic that it will merge with another CoC in 2019, much as it did with the Houma CoC in 2018, the Baton Rouge CoC in 2016, and the Southwest CoC (Lake Charles) in 2015.
If another CoC decides it would like to merge with the LA BOSCOC, the CoC General Membership will need to approve the merger. The LA BOSCOC expects that if a merger will occur in 2019, the vote will be held via email in the first quarter of 2019.
Coordinated Entry Funding Through the 2019 CoC Program NOFA
Under the Funding Year 2019 Continuum of Care Program Notice of Funding Availability (FY 2019 CoC Program NOFA), which the LA BOSCOC expects HUD to release in mid-2019, the LA BOSCOC anticipates receiving approximately $1.05 million in new funding.
As in 2018, the LA BOSCOC expects to prioritize this funding by Region based on their level of need (i.e. Point in Time Count data), with each Region receiving priority for, at minimum, $150,000. Priority funding will be available to each Region’s high-scoring new projects first. Any funding not claimed by high-scoring new projects will then be awarded to projects irrespective of their Region.
For the FY 2019 CoC Program NOFA, for those Regions that do not currently have a CoC Program-funded Coordinated Entry project, the LA BOSCOC will instead guarantee $150,000 to those Regions exclusively to fund a new Coordinated Entry Access Point in each Region. (This amount will replace the $150,000 that is competitively available.)
This applies to the following Regions: Houma, Natchitoches/Sabine, and Plaquemines/St. Bernard.
In early 2019, the Louisiana Housing Corporation will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to identify one organization in each Region that will receive these funds and operate the new Coordinated Entry Access Point. Selected organizations will be eligible to receive Coordinated Entry funds as sub-recipients of a new Coordinated Entry project that the Louisiana Housing Corporation will submit under the FY 2019 CoC Program NOFA.
The Board voted unanimously to proceed with this plan.
Additional Coordinated Entry Funding Discussions
Several members of the Board have created a working group to explore dedicating additional funding from the FY 2019 CoC Program NOFA to expanding Coordinated Entry operations across the LA BOSCOC, including a dedicated call-in number for Coordinated Entry.
CoC Board Officer Structure
Currently, the Board Chair is always the executive director of the Louisiana Housing Authority, and the Board Vice Chair is chosen by the Chair.
The Board discussed changing the above structure to a structure whereby the Board would elect its Chair and Vice Chair.
In a straw poll, the Board voted unanimously in favor of switching to an election-based structure.
As the Board officer structure is written into the LA BOSCOC Governance Charter, the CoC Manager will propose amending the Governance Charter to change the Board officer structure at the next meeting of the CoC General Membership.
Upcoming CoC General Membership Meeting
The LA BOSCOC will likely host its next CoC General Membership meeting on April 1, 2019, in Baton Rouge. Mark your calendars! More details as the date approaches.