VA – Supportive Services for Veterans Families

APPLICATIONS DUE: March 17, 2015, 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Description: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is announcing the availability of funds for supportive services grants under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program. This NOFA contains information concerning the SSVF Program, initial supportive services grant application processes, and the amount of funding available. Awards made for supportive services grants will fund operations beginning October 1, 2015.

The SSVF Program’s purpose is to provide supportive services grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives, who will coordinate or provide supportive services to very low income Veteran families who: (i) Are residing in permanent housing; (ii) are homeless and scheduled to become residents of permanent housing within a specified time period; or (iii) after exiting permanent housing within a specified time period, are seeking other housing that is responsive to such very low-income Veteran family’s needs and preferences.

VA is not accepting applications for new programs. This funding round is only for existing grantees to request a renewal to their existing program. VA does not anticipate releasing another NOFA for new programs this year.

Funding Title:    Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF)

Agency Name:    Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Funding Instrument Type:     Grant

Express Language for Legal Aid:    Yes, legal services are specifically listed as a supportive service under 38 CFR 62.33(g):

Legal services to assist a participant with issues that interfere with the participant’s ability to obtain or retain permanent housing or supportive services.”

Note also this languge in the NOFA’s Supplementary Information under I G. Guidance for the Use of Supportive Services Grants Funds:

“4. Grantees are encouraged to provide, or assist participants in obtaining, legal services relevant to issues that interfere with the participants’ ability to obtain or retain permanent housing. (NOTE: Information regarding legal services provided may be protected from being released to the grantee or VA under attorney-client privilege.) Support for legal services can include paying for court filing fees to assist a participant with issues that interfere with the participant’s ability to obtain or retain permanent housing or supportive services, including issues that affect the participant’s employability and financial security. Grantees (in addition to employees and members of grantees) may represent participants before VA with respect to a claim for VA benefits, but only if they are recognized for that purpose pursuant to 38 U.S.C. Chapter 59. Further, the individual providing such representation must be accredited pursuant to 38 U.S.C. Chapter 59.”

Target Population:  Very low-income Veteran families who: (i) Are residing in permanent housing, (ii) are homeless and scheduled to become residents of permanent housing within a specified time period, or (iii) after exiting permanent housing within a specified time period, are seeking other housing that is responsive to such very low-income Veteran family’s needs.

Expected Number of Awards:

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: None

How to Apply:    Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications electronically following instructions found at www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp. Alternatively applicants can mail in applications. If mailed, applicants must submit two completed, collated, hard copies of the application and two compact discs (CD) containing electronic versions of the entire application are required. Each application copy must (i) be fastened with a binder clip, and (ii) contain tabs listing the major sections of and exhibits to the application. Each CD must be labeled with the applicant’s name and must contain an electronic copy of the entire application. A budget template must be attached in Excel format on the CD, but all other application materials may be attached in a PDF or other format. The application copies and CDs must be submitted to the following address: Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program Office National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans, 4100 Chester Avenue, Suite 201, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Applicants must submit two hard copies and two CDs. Applications may not be sent by facsimile (FAX). Applications must be received in the SSVF Program Office by 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the application deadline date. Applications must arrive as a complete package.Materials arriving separately will not be included in the application package for consideration and may result in the application being rejected. See Section II.C. of this NOFA for maximum allowable grant amounts.

Technical Assistance: Information regarding how to obtain technical assistance with the preparation of an initial supportive services grant application is available on the SSVF Program Web site at: http://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/SSVF.asp.

Current Closing Date for Appplications: March 17, 2015, 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time

Estimated Total Program Funding:    $300,000,000 

Award Ceiling:

  • Potentially, grants could be renewed at the same level, a decreased level, or an increased level of funding.
  • Renewal grant requests can seek increase of up to 2% without justifying increase (COLA). This is not to be request in budget submission. VA will apply, if funding available.
  • Expansion funding is available if expanding into adjacent areas of existing grant not currently served by a SSVF grantee. Requested expansion cannot exceed 20% of current award and must be justified. Applicant will ask to submit narrative and separate “expansion” budget.

Award Floor:

Eligible Applicants:   This funding round is only for existing grantees to request a renewal to their existing program.

Priority Considerations: VA will provide approximately $300 million for existing grantees seeking to renew their grants.

Policy and Regulations on Use of Funds:

NOFA Workshop for Existing Grantees Only – February 2015

NOFA FAQs

SSVF Program Guide – Updated March 31, 2014

38 CFR 62 (Final Rule)

SSVF Proposed Rule – Published May 9, 2014

Current/Past Funding Recipients:  

2014

2013

2012

Samples of Successful Applications:

Sample of Successful MOUs between Legal Aid Organizations and SSVF Grantees:

Sample SSVF MOU for Pine Tree Legal Assistance 

LSNY and NY-SSVF executed subcontract for 10-1-13 to 9-30-14 

Link to Full Announcement: 

http://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/ssvf/docs/SSVF_NOFA_Feb3.pdf

Contact Information: Mr. John Kuhn, Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program Office, National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans, 4100 Chester Avenue, Suite 201, Philadelphia, PA 19104; (877) 737–0111 (this is a toll-free number); SSVF@va.gov.

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Categories: Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA), Express Language for Legal Aid, Homeless, Housing, Non-profit Organizations, Veterans

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