Florida Senate - 2020                                      SB 68
       By Senator Book
       32-00059-20                                             202068__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to homelessness; amending s. 201.15,
    3         F.S.; requiring that certain taxes of a specified
    4         amount be transferred annually to the Grants and
    5         Donations Trust Fund within the Department of Children
    6         and Families for the purpose of funding challenge
    7         grants; amending s. 420.621, F.S.; revising, adding,
    8         and deleting defined terms; amending s. 420.622, F.S.;
    9         expanding the membership of the Council on
   10         Homelessness to include a representative of the
   11         Florida Housing Coalition and the Secretary of the
   12         Department of Elderly Affairs or his or her designee;
   13         providing that the Governor is encouraged to appoint
   14         council members who have certain experience; revising
   15         the duties of the State Office on Homelessness;
   16         revising requirements for the state’s homeless
   17         programs; requiring entities that receive state
   18         funding to provide summary aggregated data to assist
   19         the council in providing certain information; removing
   20         the requirement that the office have the concurrence
   21         of the council to accept and administer moneys
   22         appropriated to it to provide certain annual challenge
   23         grants to continuums of care lead agencies; clarifying
   24         the source of such appropriation; increasing the
   25         maximum amount of grant awards per continuum of care
   26         lead agency; conforming provisions to changes made by
   27         the act; revising requirements for the use of grant
   28         funds by continuum of care lead agencies; revising
   29         preference criteria for certain grants; increasing the
   30         maximum percentage of its funding which a continuum of
   31         care lead agency may spend on administrative costs;
   32         requiring such agencies to submit a final report to
   33         the Department of Children and Families documenting
   34         certain outcomes achieved by grant-funded programs;
   35         removing the requirement that the office have the
   36         concurrence of the council to administer moneys given
   37         to it to provide homeless housing assistance grants
   38         annually to certain continuum of care lead agencies to
   39         acquire, construct, or rehabilitate permanent housing
   40         units for homeless persons; conforming a provision to
   41         changes made by the act; requiring grant applicants to
   42         be ranked competitively based on criteria determined
   43         by the office; deleting preference requirements;
   44         increasing the minimum number of years for which
   45         projects must reserve certain units acquired,
   46         constructed, or rehabilitated; increasing the maximum
   47         percentage of funds the office and each applicant may
   48         spend on administrative costs; revising certain
   49         performance measure requirements; authorizing, instead
   50         of requiring, the Department of Children and Families,
   51         with input from the council, to adopt rules relating
   52         to certain grants and related issues; revising
   53         requirements for an annual report the council must
   54         submit to the Governor, Legislature, and Secretary of
   55         Children and Families; authorizing the office to
   56         administer moneys appropriated to it for distribution
   57         among certain designated continuum of care lead
   58         agencies and entities; creating s. 420.6225, F.S.;
   59         specifying the purposes of a continuum of care;
   60         requiring each continuum of care, pursuant to federal
   61         law, to designate a collaborative applicant that is
   62         responsible for submitting the continuum of care
   63         funding application for the designated catchment area
   64         to the United States Department of Housing and Urban
   65         Development; providing requirements for such
   66         designated collaborative applicants; authorizing the
   67         applicant to be referred to as the continuum of care
   68         lead agency; providing requirements for the office for
   69         the purpose of awarding certain federal funding for
   70         continuum of care programs; requiring that each
   71         continuum of care create a continuum of care plan for
   72         specified purposes; specifying requirements for such
   73         plans; requiring continuums of care to promote
   74         participation by all interested individuals and
   75         organizations, subject to certain requirements;
   76         creating s. 420.6227, F.S.; providing legislative
   77         findings and program purpose; establishing a grant-in
   78         aid program to help continuums of care prevent and end
   79         homelessness, which may include any aspect of the
   80         local continuum of care plan; requiring continuums of
   81         care to submit an application for grant-in-aid funds
   82         to the office for review; requiring the office to
   83         develop guidelines for the development, evaluation,
   84         and approval of spending plans; requiring grant-in-aid
   85         funds for continuums of care to be administered by the
   86         office and awarded on a competitive basis; requiring
   87         the office to distribute such funds to local agencies
   88         to fund programs that are required by the local
   89         continuum of care plan, based on certain
   90         recommendations; limiting the percentage of the total
   91         state funds awarded under a spending plan which may be
   92         used by the continuum of care lead agency for staffing
   93         and administrative expenditures; requiring entities
   94         that contract with local agencies to provide services
   95         and that receive certain financial assistance to
   96         provide a specified minimum percentage of the funding
   97         necessary for the support of project operations;
   98         authorizing in-kind contributions to be evaluated and
   99         counted as part or all of the required local funding,
  100         at the discretion of the office; repealing s. 420.623,
  101         F.S., relating to local coalitions for the homeless;
  102         repealing s. 420.624, F.S., relating to local homeless
  103         assistance continuums of care; repealing s. 420.625,
  104         F.S., relating to a grant-in-aid program; amending s.
  105         420.626, F.S.; revising procedures that certain
  106         facilities and institutions are encouraged to develop
  107         and implement to reduce the discharge of persons into
  108         homelessness when such persons are admitted to or
  109         housed for a specified period at such facilities or
  110         institutions; amending s. 420.6265, F.S.; revising
  111         legislative findings and intent for Rapid ReHousing;
  112         revising the Rapid ReHousing methodology; amending s.
  113         420.6275, F.S.; revising legislative findings relating
  114         to Housing First; revising the Housing First
  115         methodology to reflect current practice; amending s.
  116         420.507, F.S.; conforming cross-references; providing
  117         an effective date.
  119  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
  121         Section 1. Paragraph (c) of subsection (4) of section
  122  201.15, Florida Statutes, is amended, and subsection (5) of that
  123  section is republished, to read:
  124         201.15 Distribution of taxes collected.—All taxes collected
  125  under this chapter are hereby pledged and shall be first made
  126  available to make payments when due on bonds issued pursuant to
  127  s. 215.618 or s. 215.619, or any other bonds authorized to be
  128  issued on a parity basis with such bonds. Such pledge and
  129  availability for the payment of these bonds shall have priority
  130  over any requirement for the payment of service charges or costs
  131  of collection and enforcement under this section. All taxes
  132  collected under this chapter, except taxes distributed to the
  133  Land Acquisition Trust Fund pursuant to subsections (1) and (2),
  134  are subject to the service charge imposed in s. 215.20(1).
  135  Before distribution pursuant to this section, the Department of
  136  Revenue shall deduct amounts necessary to pay the costs of the
  137  collection and enforcement of the tax levied by this chapter.
  138  The costs and service charge may not be levied against any
  139  portion of taxes pledged to debt service on bonds to the extent
  140  that the costs and service charge are required to pay any
  141  amounts relating to the bonds. All of the costs of the
  142  collection and enforcement of the tax levied by this chapter and
  143  the service charge shall be available and transferred to the
  144  extent necessary to pay debt service and any other amounts
  145  payable with respect to bonds authorized before January 1, 2017,
  146  secured by revenues distributed pursuant to this section. All
  147  taxes remaining after deduction of costs shall be distributed as
  148  follows:
  149         (4) After the required distributions to the Land
  150  Acquisition Trust Fund pursuant to subsections (1) and (2) and
  151  deduction of the service charge imposed pursuant to s.
  152  215.20(1), the remainder shall be distributed as follows:
  153         (c) Eleven and twenty-four hundredths percent of the
  154  remainder in each fiscal year shall be paid into the State
  155  Treasury to the credit of the State Housing Trust Fund. Of such
  156  funds, the first $35 million shall be transferred annually,
  157  subject to any distribution required under subsection (5), to
  158  the State Economic Enhancement and Development Trust Fund within
  159  the Department of Economic Opportunity. The next $10 million
  160  shall be transferred annually, subject to any distribution
  161  required under subsection (5), to the Grants and Donations Trust
  162  Fund within the Department of Children and Families for the
  163  purpose of funding the challenge grants established in s.
  164  420.622(4). The remainder shall be used as follows:
  165         1. Half of that amount shall be used for the purposes for
  166  which the State Housing Trust Fund was created and exists by
  167  law.
  168         2. Half of that amount shall be paid into the State
  169  Treasury to the credit of the Local Government Housing Trust
  170  Fund and used for the purposes for which the Local Government
  171  Housing Trust Fund was created and exists by law.
  172         (5) Distributions to the State Housing Trust Fund pursuant
  173  to paragraphs (4)(c) and (d) must be sufficient to cover amounts
  174  required to be transferred to the Florida Affordable Housing
  175  Guarantee Program’s annual debt service reserve and guarantee
  176  fund pursuant to s. 420.5092(6)(a) and (b) up to the amount
  177  required to be transferred to such reserve and fund based on the
  178  percentage distribution of documentary stamp tax revenues to the
  179  State Housing Trust Fund which is in effect in the 2004-2005
  180  fiscal year.
  181         Section 2. Section 420.621, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  182  read:
  183         420.621 Definitions.—As used in ss. 420.621-420.628, the
  184  term:
  185         (1) “Continuum of care” means the group organized to carry
  186  out the responsibilities imposed under ss. 420.621-420.628 to
  187  coordinate, plan, and pursue ending homelessness in a designated
  188  catchment area. The group is composed of representatives from
  189  certain organizations, including, but not limited to, nonprofit
  190  homeless providers, victim service providers, faith-based
  191  organizations, governments, businesses, advocates, public
  192  housing agencies, school districts, social service providers,
  193  mental health agencies, hospitals, universities, affordable
  194  housing developers, law enforcement, organizations that serve
  195  homeless and formerly homeless veterans, and organizations that
  196  serve other homeless and formerly homeless persons, to the
  197  extent that these organizations are represented within the
  198  designated catchment area and are available to participate the
  199  community components needed to organize and deliver housing and
  200  services to meet the specific needs of people who are homeless
  201  as they move to stable housing and maximum self-sufficiency. It
  202  includes action steps to end homelessness and prevent a return
  203  to homelessness.
  204         (2) “Continuum of care lead agency” or “continuum of care
  205  collaborative applicant” means the organization designated by a
  206  continuum of care pursuant to s. 420.6225.
  207         (3)(2) “Council on Homelessness” means the council created
  208  in s. 420.622.
  209         (4)(3) “Department” means the Department of Children and
  210  Families.
  211         (4) “District” means a service district of the department,
  212  as set forth in s. 20.19.
  213         (5) “Homeless,means an individual who or a family that:
  214         (a) Lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime
  215  residence, as defined under “homeless” in 24 C.F.R. 578.3; or
  216         (b) Will imminently lose his, her, or its primary nighttime
  217  residence, as defined under “homeless” in 24 C.F.R. 578.3
  218  applied to an individual, or “individual experiencing
  219  homelessness” means an individual who lacks a fixed, regular,
  220  and adequate nighttime residence and includes an individual who:
  221         (a) Is sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of
  222  housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason;
  223         (b) Is living in a motel, hotel, travel trailer park, or
  224  camping ground due to a lack of alternative adequate
  225  accommodations;
  226         (c) Is living in an emergency or transitional shelter;
  227         (d) Has a primary nighttime residence that is a public or
  228  private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular
  229  sleeping accommodation for human beings;
  230         (e) Is living in a car, park, public space, abandoned
  231  building, bus or train station, or similar setting; or
  232         (f) Is a migratory individual who qualifies as homeless
  233  because he or she is living in circumstances described in
  234  paragraphs (a)-(e).
  236  The terms do not refer to an individual imprisoned pursuant to
  237  state or federal law or to individuals or families who are
  238  sharing housing due to cultural preferences, voluntary
  239  arrangements, or traditional networks of support. The terms
  240  include an individual who has been released from jail, prison,
  241  the juvenile justice system, the child welfare system, a mental
  242  health and developmental disability facility, a residential
  243  addiction treatment program, or a hospital, for whom no
  244  subsequent residence has been identified, and who lacks the
  245  resources and support network to obtain housing.
  246         (6) “Local coalition for the homeless” means a coalition
  247  established pursuant to s. 420.623.
  248         (7) “New and temporary homeless” means individuals or
  249  families who are homeless due to societal factors.
  250         (6)(8) “State Office on Homelessness” means the state
  251  office created in s. 420.622.
  252         Section 3. Section 420.622, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  253  read:
  254         420.622 State Office on Homelessness; Council on
  255  Homelessness.—
  256         (1) The State Office on Homelessness is created within the
  257  Department of Children and Families to provide interagency,
  258  council, and other related coordination on issues relating to
  259  homelessness.
  260         (2) The Council on Homelessness is created to consist of 19
  261  members 17 representatives of public and private agencies who
  262  shall develop policy and advise the State Office on
  263  Homelessness. The council is composed of the following members
  264  shall be: the Secretary of Children and Families, or his or her
  265  designee; the executive director of the Department of Economic
  266  Opportunity, or his or her designee, who shall advise the
  267  council on issues related to rural development; the State
  268  Surgeon General, or his or her designee; the Executive Director
  269  of Veterans’ Affairs, or his or her designee; the Secretary of
  270  Corrections, or his or her designee; the Secretary of Health
  271  Care Administration, or his or her designee; the Commissioner of
  272  Education, or his or her designee; the Director of CareerSource
  273  Florida, Inc., or his or her designee; the Executive Director of
  274  the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, or his or her designee;
  275  the Secretary of the Department of Elderly Affairs, or his or
  276  her designee; one representative of the Florida Association of
  277  Counties; one representative of the Florida League of Cities;
  278  one representative of the Florida Supportive Housing Coalition;
  279  one representative of the Florida Coalition for the Homeless;
  280  one representative of the Florida Housing Coalition the
  281  Executive Director of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation,
  282  or his or her designee; one representative of the Florida
  283  Coalition for the Homeless; and four members appointed by the
  284  Governor, who is encouraged to appoint members who have
  285  experience in the administration or the provision of resources
  286  or services that address, or of housing that addresses, the
  287  needs of persons experiencing homelessness. The council members
  288  shall be nonpaid volunteers and shall be reimbursed only for
  289  travel expenses. The appointed members of the council appointed
  290  by the Governor shall be appointed to staggered 2-year terms.,
  291  and The council shall meet at least four times per year. The
  292  importance of minority, gender, and geographic representation
  293  must shall be considered in appointing members to the council.
  294         (3) The State Office on Homelessness, pursuant to the
  295  policies set by the council and subject to the availability of
  296  funding, shall:
  297         (a) Coordinate among state, local, and private agencies and
  298  providers to produce a statewide consolidated inventory of for
  299  the state’s entire system of homeless programs, including local
  300  continuum of care plans which incorporates regionally developed
  301  plans. Such programs include, but are not limited to:
  302         1. Programs authorized under the McKinney-Vento Homeless
  303  Assistance Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act of 1987,
  304  as amended by the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid
  305  Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009, 42 U.S.C. ss. 11302
  306  ss. 11371 et seq., and carried out under funds awarded to this
  307  state; and
  308         2. Programs, components thereof, or activities that assist
  309  persons who are homeless or at risk for homelessness.
  310         (b) Collect, maintain, and make available information
  311  concerning persons who are homeless or at risk for homelessness,
  312  including summary demographic demographics information drawn
  313  from the local continuum of care Homeless Management Information
  314  System or the annual Point-in-Time Count and the local continuum
  315  of care Housing Inventory Chart required by the Department of
  316  Housing and Urban Development, current services and resources
  317  available, the cost and availability of services and programs,
  318  and the met and unmet needs of this population. To assist the
  319  council in providing this information, all entities that receive
  320  state funding must provide the council with summary aggregated
  321  access to all data they maintain in summary form, which may not
  322  include with no individual identifying information, to assist
  323  the council in providing this information. The State Office on
  324  Homelessness, in consultation with the designated lead agencies
  325  for a local homeless continuum of care and with the Council on
  326  Homelessness, shall develop a process by which summary data is
  327  collected the system and process of data collection from all
  328  lead agencies for the purpose of analyzing trends and assessing
  329  impacts in the statewide homeless delivery system for delivering
  330  services to the homeless. Any statewide homelessness survey and
  331  database system must comply with all state and federal statutory
  332  and regulatory confidentiality requirements.
  333         (c) Annually evaluate state and continuum of care programs
  334  local services and resources and develop a consolidated plan for
  335  addressing the needs of the homeless or those at risk for
  336  homelessness.
  337         (d) Explore, compile, and disseminate information regarding
  338  public and private funding sources for state and local programs
  339  serving the homeless and provide technical assistance in
  340  applying for such funding.
  341         (e) Monitor and provide recommendations for coordinating
  342  the activities and programs of continuums of care local
  343  coalitions for the homeless and promote the effectiveness of
  344  programs to prevent and end homelessness in the state addressing
  345  the needs of the homeless.
  346         (f) Provide technical assistance to facilitate efforts to
  347  support and strengthen establish, maintain, and expand local
  348  homeless assistance continuums of care.
  349         (g) Develop and assist in the coordination of policies and
  350  procedures relating to the discharge or transfer from the care
  351  or custody of state-supported or state-regulated entities
  352  persons who are homeless or at risk for homelessness.
  353         (h) Spearhead outreach efforts for maximizing access by
  354  people who are homeless or at risk for homelessness to state and
  355  federal programs and resources.
  356         (i) Promote a federal policy agenda that is responsive to
  357  the needs of those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
  358  the homeless population in this state.
  359         (j) Review reports on continuum of care performance
  360  measures and Develop outcome and accountability measures and
  361  promote and use such measures to evaluate program effectiveness
  362  and make recommendations for improving current practices to work
  363  toward ending homelessness in this state in order to best meet
  364  the needs of the homeless.
  365         (k) Formulate policies and legislative proposals aimed at
  366  preventing and ending homelessness in this state to address more
  367  effectively the needs of the homeless and coordinate the
  368  implementation of state and federal legislative policies.
  369         (l) Convene meetings and workshops of state and local
  370  agencies, continuums of care local coalitions and programs, and
  371  other stakeholders for the purpose of developing and reviewing
  372  policies, services, activities, coordination, and funding of
  373  efforts to end homelessness meet the needs of the homeless.
  374         (m) With the input of the continuums of care, conduct or
  375  promote research on the effectiveness of current programs and
  376  propose pilot projects aimed at ending homelessness improving
  377  services.
  378         (n) Serve as an advocate for issues relating to
  379  homelessness.
  380         (o) Investigate ways to improve access to participation in
  381  state funding and other programs for prevention and alleviation
  382  of homelessness to faith-based organizations and Collaborate and
  383  coordinate with faith-based organizations, investigate ways to
  384  improve such organizations’ access to state funding, and
  385  investigate ways to improve such organizations’ participation in
  386  other programs that are intended to prevent and reduce
  387  homelessness.
  388         (4) The State Office on Homelessness, with the concurrence
  389  of the Council on Homelessness, shall accept and administer
  390  moneys appropriated to it pursuant to s. 201.15(4)(c) to provide
  391  annual challenge grants to lead agencies of homeless
  392  assistance continuums of care designated by the State Office on
  393  Homelessness pursuant to s. 420.6225 s. 420.624. The department
  394  shall establish varying levels of grant awards up to $750,000
  395  $500,000 per continuum of care lead agency. The department, in
  396  consultation with the Council on Homelessness, shall specify a
  397  grant award level in the notice of the solicitation of grant
  398  applications.
  399         (a) To qualify for a the grant, a continuum of care lead
  400  agency must develop and implement a local homeless assistance
  401  continuum of care plan for its designated catchment area. The
  402  services and housing funded through the grant must be
  403  implemented through the continuum of care’s continuum of care
  404  plan must implement a coordinated assessment or central intake
  405  entry system as provided in s. 420.6225(4)(b) and must be
  406  designed to screen, assess, and refer persons seeking assistance
  407  to the appropriate housing intervention and service provider.
  408  The continuum of care lead agency shall also document the
  409  commitment of local government or private organizations to
  410  provide matching funds or in-kind support in an amount equal to
  411  25 percent of the grant requested. Expenditures of leveraged
  412  funds or resources, including third-party cash or in-kind
  413  contributions, may be made are authorized only for eligible
  414  activities carried out in connection with a committed on one
  415  project. Such funds or resources may which have not have been
  416  used as leverage or match for any other project or program. The
  417  expenditures and must be certified through a written commitment.
  418         (b) Preference must be given to continuum of care those
  419  lead agencies that have demonstrated the ability of their
  420  continuum of care to help households move out of homelessness
  421  provide quality services to homeless persons and the ability to
  422  leverage federal homeless-assistance funding under the Stewart
  423  B. McKinney Act with local government funding or private funding
  424  for the provision of services to homeless persons.
  425         (c) Preference must be given to lead agencies in catchment
  426  areas with the greatest need for the provision of housing and
  427  services to the homeless, relative to the population of the
  428  catchment area.
  429         (c)(d) The grant may be used to fund any of the housing,
  430  program, or service needs included in the local homeless
  431  assistance continuum of care plan. The continuum of care lead
  432  agency may allocate the grant to programs, services, or housing
  433  providers that implement the local homeless assistance continuum
  434  of care plan. The lead agency may provide subgrants to a local
  435  agency to implement programs or services or provide housing
  436  identified for funding in the lead agency’s application to the
  437  department. A lead agency may spend a maximum of 10 8 percent of
  438  its funding on administrative costs.
  439         (d)(e) The continuum of care lead agency shall submit a
  440  final report to the department documenting the outcomes achieved
  441  by the grant-funded programs grant in enabling persons who are
  442  homeless to return to permanent housing, thereby ending such
  443  person’s episode of homelessness.
  444         (5) The State Office on Homelessness, with the concurrence
  445  of the Council on Homelessness, may administer moneys given
  446  appropriated to it to provide homeless housing assistance grants
  447  annually to continuum of care lead agencies for local homeless
  448  assistance continuum of care, as recognized by the State Office
  449  on Homelessness, to acquire, construct, or rehabilitate
  450  transitional or permanent housing units for homeless persons.
  451  These moneys shall consist of any sums that the state may
  452  appropriate, as well as money received from donations, gifts,
  453  bequests, or otherwise from any public or private source, which
  454  are intended to acquire, construct, or rehabilitate transitional
  455  or permanent housing units for homeless persons.
  456         (a) Grant applicants shall be ranked competitively based on
  457  criteria determined by the State Office on Homelessness.
  458  Preference must be given to applicants who leverage additional
  459  private funds and public funds, particularly federal funds
  460  designated for the acquisition, construction, or rehabilitation
  461  of transitional or permanent housing for homeless persons; who
  462  acquire, build, or rehabilitate the greatest number of units; or
  463  who acquire, build, or rehabilitate in catchment areas having
  464  the greatest need for housing for the homeless relative to the
  465  population of the catchment area.
  466         (b) Funding for any particular project may not exceed
  467  $750,000.
  468         (c) Projects must reserve, for a minimum of 20 10 years,
  469  the number of units acquired, constructed, or rehabilitated
  470  through homeless housing assistance grant funding to serve
  471  persons who are homeless at the time they assume tenancy.
  472         (d) No more than two grants may be awarded annually in any
  473  given local homeless assistance continuum of care catchment
  474  area.
  475         (e) A project may not be funded which is not included in
  476  the local homeless assistance continuum of care plan, as
  477  recognized by the State Office on Homelessness, for the
  478  catchment area in which the project is located.
  479         (f) The maximum percentage of funds that the State Office
  480  on Homelessness and each applicant may spend on administrative
  481  costs is 10 5 percent.
  482         (6) The State Office on Homelessness, in conjunction with
  483  the Council on Homelessness, shall establish performance
  484  measures related to state funding provided through the State
  485  Office on Homelessness and shall utilize those grant-related
  486  measures to and specific objectives by which it may evaluate the
  487  performance and outcomes of continuum of care lead agencies that
  488  receive state grant funds. Challenge Grants made through the
  489  State Office on Homelessness shall be distributed to lead
  490  agencies based on their overall performance and their
  491  achievement of specified objectives. Each lead agency for which
  492  grants are made under this section shall provide the State
  493  Office on Homelessness a thorough evaluation of the
  494  effectiveness of the program in achieving its stated purpose. In
  495  evaluating the performance of the lead agencies, the State
  496  Office on Homelessness shall base its criteria upon the program
  497  objectives, goals, and priorities that were set forth by the
  498  lead agencies in their proposals for funding. Such criteria may
  499  include, but are not limited to, the number of persons or
  500  households that are no longer homeless, the rate of recidivism
  501  to homelessness, and the number of persons who obtain gainful
  502  employment.
  503         (7) The State Office on Homelessness shall must monitor the
  504  challenge grants and homeless housing assistance grants to
  505  ensure proper expenditure of funds and compliance with the
  506  conditions of the applicant’s contract.
  507         (8) The Department of Children and Families, with input
  508  from the Council on Homelessness, may must adopt rules relating
  509  to the challenge grants and the homeless housing assistance
  510  grants and related issues consistent with the purposes of this
  511  section.
  512         (9) The council shall, By June 30 of each year, the council
  513  shall provide to the Governor, the Legislature, and the
  514  Secretary of Children and Families a report summarizing the
  515  extent of homelessness in the state and the council’s
  516  recommendations for ending reducing homelessness in this state.
  517         (10) The State Office on Homelessness may administer moneys
  518  appropriated to it for distribution among the continuum of care
  519  lead agencies and entities funded in the 2020-2021 state fiscal
  520  year which are designated by the office as local coalitions for
  521  the homeless 28 local homeless continuums of care designated by
  522  the Department of Children and Families.
  523         Section 4. Section 420.6225, Florida Statutes, is created
  524  to read:
  525         420.6225 Continuum of care.—
  526         (1) The purposes of a continuum of care, as defined in s.
  527  420.621, are to coordinate community efforts to prevent and end
  528  homelessness in its catchment area designated as provided in
  529  subsection (3) and to fulfill the responsibilities set forth in
  530  this chapter.
  531         (2) Pursuant to the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid
  532  Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009, each continuum of
  533  care is required to designate a collaborative applicant that is
  534  responsible for submitting the continuum of care funding
  535  application for the designated catchment area to the United
  536  States Department of Housing and Urban Development. The
  537  continuum of care collaborative applicant shall serve as the
  538  continuum of care’s point of contact to the State Office on
  539  Homelessness, is accountable for representations made in the
  540  application, and, in carrying out its responsibilities under
  541  this chapter, may be referred to as the continuum of care lead
  542  agency.
  543         (3) For the purpose of awarding federal homeless assistance
  544  funding for continuum of care programs, the State Office on
  545  Homelessness shall do both of the following:
  546         (a) Designate and, as necessary, revise continuum of care
  547  catchment areas, which must be consistent with the continuum of
  548  care catchment areas recognized by the United States Department
  549  of Housing and Urban Development.
  550         (b) Recognize a single continuum of care lead agency for
  551  each such catchment area, which must be consistent with the
  552  continuum of care collaborative applicant designation recognized
  553  by the United States Department of Housing and Urban
  554  Development.
  555         (4) Each continuum of care shall create a continuum of care
  556  plan, the purpose of which is to implement an effective and
  557  efficient housing crisis response system to prevent and end
  558  homelessness in the continuum of care catchment area. A
  559  continuum of care plan must include all of the following
  560  components:
  561         (a) Outreach to unsheltered individuals and families to
  562  link them with appropriate housing interventions.
  563         (b) A coordinated entry system, compliant with the
  564  requirements of the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid
  565  Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009, which is designed to
  566  coordinate intake, utilize common assessment tools, prioritize
  567  households for housing interventions, and refer households to
  568  the appropriate housing intervention.
  569         (c) Emergency shelter, designed to provide safe temporary
  570  shelter while the household is in the process of obtaining
  571  permanent housing.
  572         (d) Supportive services, designed to maximize housing
  573  stability once the household is in permanent housing.
  574         (e) Permanent supportive housing, designed to provide long
  575  term affordable housing and support services to persons with
  576  disabilities who are moving out of homelessness.
  577         (f) Rapid ReHousing, as specified in s. 420.6265.
  578         (g) Permanent housing, including linkages to affordable
  579  housing, subsidized housing, long-term rent assistance, housing
  580  vouchers, and mainstream private sector housing.
  581         (h) An ongoing planning mechanism to end homelessness for
  582  all subpopulations of persons experiencing homelessness.
  583         (5) Continuums of care must promote participation by all
  584  interested individuals and organizations and may not exclude
  585  individuals and organizations on the basis of race, color,
  586  national origin, sex, handicap, familial status, or religion.
  587  Faith-based organizations, local governments, and persons who
  588  have experienced homelessness are encouraged to participate. To
  589  the extent possible, these individuals and organizations must be
  590  coordinated and integrated with other mainstream health, social
  591  services, and employment programs for which homeless populations
  592  may be eligible, including, but not limited to, Medicaid, the
  593  State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Temporary
  594  Assistance for Needy Families Program, the Food Assistance
  595  Program, and services funded through the Mental Health and
  596  Substance Abuse Block Grant, the Workforce Innovation and
  597  Opportunity Act, and the welfare-to-work grant program.
  598         Section 5. Section 420.6227, Florida Statutes, is created
  599  to read:
  600         420.6227 Grant-in-aid program.—
  601         (1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.—The Legislature hereby finds and
  602  declares that many services for households experiencing
  603  homelessness have been provided by local communities through
  604  voluntary private agencies and religious organizations and that
  605  these resources have not been sufficient to prevent and end
  606  homelessness in this state. The Legislature recognizes that the
  607  level of need and types of problems associated with homelessness
  608  may vary from community to community, due to the diversity and
  609  geographic distribution of the homeless population and the
  610  resulting differing needs of particular communities.
  611         (2) PURPOSE.—The principal purpose of the grant-in-aid
  612  program is to provide needed assistance to continuums of care to
  613  enable them to do all of the following:
  614         (a) Assist persons in their communities who have become, or
  615  may likely become, homeless.
  616         (b) Help homeless households move to permanent housing as
  617  quickly as possible.
  618         (3) ESTABLISHMENT.—There is hereby established a state
  619  grant-in-aid program to help continuums of care prevent and end
  620  homelessness, which may include any aspect of the local
  621  continuum of care plan, as described in s. 420.6225.
  622         (4) APPLICATION PROCEDURE.—Continuums of care that intend
  623  to apply for the grant-in-aid program must submit an application
  624  for grant-in-aid funds to the State Office on Homelessness for
  625  review.
  626         (5) SPENDING PLANS.—The State Office on Homelessness shall
  627  develop guidelines for the development, evaluation, and approval
  628  of spending plans that are created by local continuum of care
  629  lead agencies.
  630         (6) ALLOCATION OF GRANT FUNDS.—The State Office on
  631  Homelessness shall administer state grant-in-aid funds for
  632  continuums of care, which must be awarded on a competitive
  633  basis.
  634         (7) DISTRIBUTION TO LOCAL AGENCIES.—The State Office on
  635  Homelessness shall distribute funds awarded under subsection (6)
  636  to local agencies to fund programs that are required by the
  637  local continuum of care plan, as described in s. 420.6225 and
  638  that are authorized under subsection (3), based upon the
  639  recommendations of the local continuum of care lead agencies, in
  640  accordance with spending plans that are developed by the lead
  641  agencies and approved by the office. Not more than 10 percent of
  642  the total state funds awarded under a spending plan may be used
  643  by the continuum of care lead agency for staffing and
  644  administrative expenditures.
  645         (8) LOCAL MATCHING FUNDS.—If an entity contracts with local
  646  agencies to provide services and receives financial assistance
  647  under this section, the entity must provide a minimum of 25
  648  percent of the funding necessary for the support of project
  649  operations. In-kind contributions, including, but not limited
  650  to, materials, commodities, transportation, office space, other
  651  types of facilities, or personal services, may be evaluated and
  652  counted as part or all of the required local funding, at the
  653  discretion of the State Office on Homelessness.
  654         Section 6. Section 420.623, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  655         Section 7. Section 420.624, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  656         Section 8. Section 420.625, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  657         Section 9. Subsection (3) of section 420.626, Florida
  658  Statutes, is amended, and subsection (2) of that section is
  659  republished, to read:
  660         420.626 Homelessness; discharge guidelines.—
  661         (2) The following facilities and institutions are
  662  encouraged to develop and implement procedures designed to
  663  reduce the discharge of persons into homelessness when such
  664  persons are admitted or housed for more than 24 hours at such
  665  facilities or institutions: hospitals and inpatient medical
  666  facilities; crisis stabilization units; residential treatment
  667  facilities; assisted living facilities; and detoxification
  668  centers.
  669         (3) The procedures should include all of the following:
  670         (a) Development and implementation of a screening process
  671  or other mechanism for identifying persons to be discharged from
  672  the facility or institution who are at considerable risk for
  673  homelessness or face some imminent threat to health and safety
  674  upon discharge.;
  675         (b) Development and implementation of a discharge plan
  676  addressing how identified persons will secure housing and other
  677  needed care and support upon discharge.;
  678         (c) Communication with Assessment of the capabilities of
  679  the entities to whom identified persons may potentially be
  680  discharged to determine their capability to serve such persons
  681  and their acceptance of such discharge into their programs, and
  682  selection of the entity determined to be best equipped to
  683  provide or facilitate the provision of suitable care and
  684  support.;
  685         (d) Coordination of effort and sharing of information with
  686  entities that are expected to bear the responsibility for
  687  providing care or support to identified persons upon discharge.;
  688  and
  689         (e) Provision of sufficient medication, medical equipment
  690  and supplies, clothing, transportation, and other basic
  691  resources necessary to assure that the health and well-being of
  692  identified persons are not jeopardized upon their discharge.
  693         Section 10. Section 420.6265, Florida Statutes, is amended
  694  to read:
  695         420.6265 Rapid ReHousing.—
  697         (a) The Legislature finds that Rapid ReHousing is a
  698  strategy of using temporary financial assistance and case
  699  management to quickly move an individual or family out of
  700  homelessness and into permanent housing, and using housing
  701  stabilization support services to help them remain stably
  702  housed.
  703         (b) The Legislature also finds that public and private
  704  solutions to homelessness in the past have focused on providing
  705  individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness with
  706  emergency shelter, transitional housing, or a combination of
  707  both. While emergency shelter and transitional housing programs
  708  may provide critical access to services for individuals and
  709  families in crisis, the programs often fail to address permanent
  710  housing their long-term needs and may unnecessarily extend their
  711  episodes of homelessness.
  712         (c) The Legislature further finds that most households
  713  become homeless as a result of a financial crisis that prevents
  714  individuals and families from paying rent or a domestic conflict
  715  that results in one member being ejected or leaving without
  716  resources or a plan for housing.
  717         (d) The Legislature further finds that Rapid ReHousing is a
  718  cost-effective is an alternative approach to ending homelessness
  719  which reduces to the current system of emergency shelter or
  720  transitional housing which tends to reduce the length of time
  721  that a person is homeless and which is demonstrably more has
  722  proven to be cost effective than alternative approaches.
  723         (e) It is therefore the intent of the Legislature to
  724  encourage homeless continuums of care to adopt the Rapid
  725  ReHousing approach to ending preventing homelessness for
  726  individuals who and families that who do not require the
  727  intensive intense level of supports provided in the permanent
  728  supportive housing model.
  730         (a) The Rapid ReHousing response to homelessness differs
  731  from traditional approaches to addressing homelessness by
  732  focusing on each individual’s or family’s barriers to housing.
  733  By using this approach, communities can significantly reduce the
  734  amount of time that individuals and families are homeless and
  735  prevent further episodes of homelessness.
  736         (b) In Rapid ReHousing, when an individual or a family is
  737  identified as being homeless, the individual or family is
  738  assessed and prioritized for housing through the continuum of
  739  care’s coordinated entry system, temporary assistance is
  740  provided to allow the individual or family to obtain permanent
  741  housing as quickly as possible, and necessary, if needed,
  742  assistance is provided to allow the individual or family to
  743  retain housing.
  744         (c) The objective of Rapid ReHousing is to provide
  745  assistance for as short a term as possible so that the
  746  individual or family receiving assistance attains stability and
  747  integration into the community as quickly as possible does not
  748  develop a dependency on the assistance.
  749         Section 11. Section 420.6275, Florida Statutes, is amended
  750  to read:
  751         420.6275 Housing First.—
  753         (a) The Legislature finds that many communities plan to
  754  manage homelessness rather than plan to end it.
  755         (b) The Legislature also finds that for nearly most of the
  756  past two decades, public and private solutions to homelessness
  757  have focused on providing individuals and families who were are
  758  experiencing homelessness with emergency shelter, transitional
  759  housing, or a combination of both. This strategy failed to
  760  recognize that, while emergency shelter programs may provide
  761  critical access to services for individuals and families in
  762  crisis, they often fail to address their long-term needs.
  763         (c) The Legislature further finds that Housing First is a
  764  cost-effective an alternative approach to the current system of
  765  emergency shelter or transitional housing which tends to ending
  766  homelessness and reducing reduce the length of time of
  767  homelessness for many individuals and families and has proven to
  768  be cost-effective.
  769         (d) It is therefore the intent of the Legislature to
  770  encourage homeless continuums of care to adopt the Housing First
  771  approach to ending homelessness for individuals and families.
  773         (a) The Housing First approach to homelessness provides
  774  permanent differs from traditional approaches by providing
  775  housing assistance, followed by case management, and support
  776  services responsive to individual or family needs once after
  777  housing is obtained. By using this approach when appropriate,
  778  communities can significantly reduce the amount of time that
  779  individuals and families are homeless and prevent further
  780  episodes of homelessness. Housing First emphasizes that social
  781  services provided to enhance individual and family well-being
  782  can be more effective when people are in their own home, and:
  783         1. The housing is not time-limited.
  784         2. The housing is not contingent on compliance with
  785  services. Instead, participants must comply with a standard
  786  lease agreement.
  787         3. Individuals and families and are provided with
  788  individualized the services and support that are necessary to
  789  help them maintain stable housing do so successfully.
  790         3. A background check and any rehabilitation necessary to
  791  combat an addiction related to alcoholism or substance abuse has
  792  been completed by the individual for whom assistance or support
  793  services are provided.
  794         (b) The Housing First approach addresses the societal
  795  causes of homelessness and advocates for the immediate return of
  796  individuals and families into housing and communities. Housing
  797  First links affordable housing with community-based social
  798  service and health care organizations Housing First provides a
  799  critical link between the emergency and transitional housing
  800  system and community-based social service, educational, and
  801  health care organizations and consists of four components:
  802         1. Crisis intervention and short-term stabilization.
  803         2. Screening, intake, and needs assessment.
  804         3. Provision of housing resources.
  805         4. Provision of case management.
  806         Section 12. Paragraph (d) of subsection (22) of section
  807  420.507, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  808         420.507 Powers of the corporation.—The corporation shall
  809  have all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out and
  810  effectuate the purposes and provisions of this part, including
  811  the following powers which are in addition to all other powers
  812  granted by other provisions of this part:
  813         (22) To develop and administer the State Apartment
  814  Incentive Loan Program. In developing and administering that
  815  program, the corporation may:
  816         (d) In counties or rural areas of counties that do not have
  817  existing units set aside for homeless persons, forgive
  818  indebtedness for loans provided to create permanent rental
  819  housing units for persons who are homeless, as defined in s.
  820  420.621 s. 420.621(5), or for persons residing in time-limited
  821  transitional housing or institutions as a result of a lack of
  822  permanent, affordable housing. Such developments must be
  823  supported by a local homeless assistance continuum of care
  824  developed under s. 420.6225 s. 420.624, be developed by
  825  nonprofit applicants, be small properties as defined by
  826  corporation rule, and be a project in the local housing
  827  assistance continuum of care plan recognized by the State Office
  828  on Homelessness.
  829         Section 13. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.