Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded funding to hire and maintain Service Coordinators who will assess the needs of residents of conventional Public Housing or Indian housing in addition to coordinating available resources in the community. Service Coordinators assist residents of Public and Indian Housing to make progress towards economic and housing goals by removing educational, professional, and health-related barriers.
The ROSS-SC awards will go to 111 Public Housing Agencies (PHAs), Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHEs), Resident Associations, and Nonprofit organizations supported by residents, PHAs, and/or tribes/TDHEs across the country to fund 135 Service Coordinator positions. Key changes to the 2022 program funding includes raising the maximum salary for Service Coordinators, adding Digital Inclusion to the list of areas of need, and making direct services an eligible expense when there are service provider gaps. These changes will result in better, more consistent services and increased engagement with the local partners to address the needs of both the residents and the community itself.
“Through addressing residents’ needs, we can increase stability in housing, health and personal finance. Service Coordinators encourage a holistic approach to providing for the needs of public housing residents,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “These Service Coordinators will play an important role in supporting residents, particularly the growing demographic of the disabled and elderly, as they gain greater independence within their communities.”
The ROSS-SC program endeavors to ensure progress along a continuum through training and the use of supportive services. For elderly or disabled public housing residents this can also include the ability to age in place or remain living independently for as long as possible.
Core functions of the ROSS-SC Program include:
- Resident Needs Assessment: ROSS applicants/grantees must assess the needs of residents in the project(s) to be served to determine the critical needs that residents identify as barriers to achieving self-sufficiency. The Needs Assessment must ensure all residents have meaningful access to participate including persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and persons with disabilities as required by Title VI and Section 504. The results of the needs assessment are a key component of your application.
- Coordination and Direct Service Delivery: The role of each ROSS-SC shall be designed to meet the needs of both individual residents and the local community they will serve. The ROSS-SC must build partnerships with local service providers, tribal departments, and/or other organizations to coordinate the delivery of services and to ensure that program participants are linked to the supportive services they need. The ROSS-SC must also assess any gaps in service delivery by existing partners/tribal departments/local service providers and may supplement these through subcontracts with other organizations possessing the expertise to fulfill the unmet needs of active ROSS participants. The ROSS-SC may also coordinate educational and/or community events that help residents achieve economic independence and stability.
- Case Management/Coaching: The ROSS-SC program must provide general case management to residents which includes intake, assessment, education, and referral to service providers in the local community and/or subcontractors.
- Resident Engagement: Grantees must find creative ways, including identifying local partners, to engage residents and Resident Associations in activities that help build organizational capacity and leadership; this can include supporting resident-led projects that address the needs of the community. This should include consulting the Resident Association(s) in the project(s) served by the ROSS-SC grant.
- Evaluation: Grantees must regularly monitor and evaluate the progress of participants, the quality of services delivered by partners and subcontractors, and the overall success of the program. Regular monitoring and evaluation will help grantees make any necessary changes to improve the implementation of their program during the course of the grant.
- Reporting: Grantees must submit an annual report to HUD. The annual report is due October 30th of each year. Final reports are due 90 days after the grant term ends.
A full list of program awardees can be found here.