Homeless Initiatives

The agency administers the following permanent supportive housing programs to end homelessness: Shelter Plus Care, Project-Based Voucher, Tenant Based Supportive Housing and HUD-VASH. These programs are aimed at supporting over 8600 households. 

HACLA is a key partner in the Home for Good effort, a 5-year plan to end chronic and veteran homelessness in Los Angeles County. The Authority's dedication to decreasing chronic homelessness was recognized in 2012 by the United Way of the Greater Los Angeles.

The HACLA has taken a multi-faceted, collaborative approach to ending homelessness in Los Angeles, working with many public and private non-profit partners locally, within our jurisdiction, but also working with other organizations to support a regional effort to end homelessness. We have constructed effective partnerships that leverage public and private funding sources and coordinate these resources to serve the many different sub-populations of homeless individuals and families in LA. We offer a "continuum" portfolio approach by providing housing resources that serve homeless individuals with widely varied supportive housing needs. 

In general for all homeless initiatives, HACLA assembled a regional working group, consisting of housing advocates, legal aid, homeless service organizations, supportive housing providers, Los Angeles County health services agencies, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (the local CoC agency), HUD and other regional public housing agencies, and led a series of meetings to address various barriers to access to housing resources by the homeless. As a result, HACLA revised its Section 8 Administrative Plan to reduce criminal background denial criteria and other administrative barriers, and created a framework to address those barriers in place by other PHAs and regional providers. These partnerships have resulted in the successful housing of clients in these various supportive housing programs. 

HACLA reduced procedural barriers to provide housing assistance to eligible homeless individuals, including applicants to the Project Based Voucher and Shelter Plus Care programs; targeted permanent supportive housing development to chronically homeless individuals; utilized excess grant funding to provide 459 new Shelter Plus Care units for the chronically homeless; implemented a policy allowing the transfer of hundreds of Shelter Plus Care residents who no longer required the intensive supportive services of that program into the voucher program, thereby freeing those units to serve new chronically homeless individuals. 

Permanent Supportive Housing Program (PSHP). HACLA's project-based assistance program consists of vouchers set aside for project-based units. HACLA has set aside more than 2200 units to serve target populations that need permanent housing along with supportive services. The targeted populations include homeless and chronically homeless transition aged youth, families, seniors, and the disabled. Applicants are generated by referral from various community based organizations or public agencies which are under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or a contract with the HACLA to provide supportive services in accordance with program regulations.

HACLA collaborated with City and County public agencies to create and refine the Permanent Supportive Housing Program, implementing an innovative single electronic NOFA process that offers housing developers one place to apply for funding for capital, operating subsidies and supportive services. These projects were developed in collaboration with the Mayor's Office as a way of consolidating the efforts of various City departments to assist in the provision of supportive housing for the homeless population of the City of Los Angeles. As of 2012, HACLA has committed project based vouchers to 2,327 permanent supportive housing units in 37 new developments across the city. 

Shelter Plus Care to Housing Choice Voucher (SPC to HCV) Program. Under Shelter Plus Care, an eligible person is a homeless person with disabilities (primarily persons who are seriously mentally ill; have chronic problems with alcohol, drugs, or both; or have AIDS and related diseases) and, if also homeless, the family of such a person. Only very low income families are eligible for assistance. Upon the written recommendation of the Shelter Plus Care Contractor, eligible families with no or very low supportive service needs are referred to the HACLA to receive Section 8 housing assistance. 

A policy was implemented in 2011 allowing the transfer of SPC participants who no longer required the intensive supportive services of SPC into the voucher program, thereby freeing those units to serve new chronically homeless individuals who need the high level of supportive services. As of today, more than 200 families have been transferred from SPC to HCV.  
Homeless Program Set Aside. Since 1991, HACLA has administered the Section 8 Homeless Program. HACLA increased the total of tenant-based vouchers set aside for the Homeless Program in 2008 by 1,000 to more than 4,000 vouchers to serve homeless individuals and families. HACLA contracts with various community based organizations to refer applicants to us and to provide them with supportive services for at least one year. The combination of Section 8 rental assistance and supportive services makes the program a highly effective means of helping program participants locate permanent housing and move toward self-sufficiency. 
The success rate of families receiving housing assistance is one of the highest within HACLA's portfolio. The set aside of 4011 vouchers is fully utilized.
Tenant Based Supportive Housing Program. Launched in mid 2012, this program is designed to support local homeless assistance strategies by providing tenant based Section 8 assistance to chronically homeless individuals who require extensive supportive services to live independently. Services are provided for the length of time that the family remains on the program and are provided by various Los Angeles County departments as well as Community Based Organizations selected through a competitive process. The 600 vouchers that HACLA has committed to the program are augmented by a pool of private, non-profit funding for move-in costs and supportive services awarded in conjunction with the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce/United Way Home for Good Funders Collaborative. 
Your local Department of Public and Social Services (DPSS) has many different programs which may be able to help you. Click here to download the document listing their programs. If you think you qualify for  them, want to apply for assistance, or would like more information, please contact your local DPSS office.

To learn more about organizations assisting the homeless, click on these links:

National Alliance to End Homelessness

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

National Coalition for the Homeless

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty   

Last Updated: May 21, 2013