Florida Senate - 2020                               CS for SB 68
       By the Committee on Appropriations; and Senator Book
       576-04577-20                                            202068c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to homelessness; amending s. 420.621,
    3         F.S.; revising, adding, and deleting defined terms;
    4         amending s. 420.622, F.S.; expanding the membership of
    5         the Council on Homelessness to include a
    6         representative of the Florida Housing Coalition and
    7         the Secretary of the Department of Elderly Affairs or
    8         his or her designee; providing that the Governor is
    9         encouraged to appoint council members who have certain
   10         experience; revising the duties of the State Office on
   11         Homelessness; revising requirements for the state’s
   12         homeless programs; requiring entities that receive
   13         state funding to provide summary aggregated data to
   14         assist the council in providing certain information;
   15         removing the requirement that the office have the
   16         concurrence of the council to accept and administer
   17         moneys appropriated to it to provide certain annual
   18         challenge grants to continuums of care lead agencies;
   19         increasing the maximum amount of grant awards per
   20         continuum of care lead agency; conforming provisions
   21         to changes made by the act; revising requirements for
   22         the use of grant funds by continuum of care lead
   23         agencies; revising preference criteria for certain
   24         grants; increasing the maximum percentage of its
   25         funding which a continuum of care lead agency may
   26         spend on administrative costs; requiring such agencies
   27         to submit a final report to the Department of Children
   28         and Families documenting certain outcomes achieved by
   29         grant-funded programs; removing the requirement that
   30         the office have the concurrence of the council to
   31         administer moneys given to it to provide homeless
   32         housing assistance grants annually to certain
   33         continuum of care lead agencies to acquire, construct,
   34         or rehabilitate permanent housing units for homeless
   35         persons; conforming a provision to changes made by the
   36         act; requiring grant applicants to be ranked
   37         competitively based on criteria determined by the
   38         office; deleting preference requirements; increasing
   39         the minimum number of years for which projects must
   40         reserve certain units acquired, constructed, or
   41         rehabilitated; increasing the maximum percentage of
   42         funds the office and each applicant may spend on
   43         administrative costs; revising certain performance
   44         measure requirements; authorizing, instead of
   45         requiring, the Department of Children and Families,
   46         with input from the council, to adopt rules relating
   47         to certain grants and related issues; revising
   48         requirements for an annual report the council must
   49         submit to the Governor, Legislature, and Secretary of
   50         Children and Families; authorizing the office to
   51         administer moneys appropriated to it for distribution
   52         among certain designated continuum of care lead
   53         agencies and entities; creating s. 420.6225, F.S.;
   54         specifying the purposes of a continuum of care;
   55         requiring each continuum of care, pursuant to federal
   56         law, to designate a collaborative applicant that is
   57         responsible for submitting the continuum of care
   58         funding application for the designated catchment area
   59         to the United States Department of Housing and Urban
   60         Development; providing requirements for such
   61         designated collaborative applicants; authorizing the
   62         applicant to be referred to as the continuum of care
   63         lead agency; providing requirements for the office for
   64         the purpose of awarding certain federal funding for
   65         continuum of care programs; requiring that each
   66         continuum of care create a continuum of care plan for
   67         specified purposes; specifying requirements for such
   68         plans; requiring continuums of care to promote
   69         participation by all interested individuals and
   70         organizations, subject to certain requirements;
   71         creating s. 420.6227, F.S.; providing legislative
   72         findings and program purpose; establishing a grant-in
   73         aid program to help continuums of care prevent and end
   74         homelessness, which may include any aspect of the
   75         local continuum of care plan; requiring continuums of
   76         care to submit an application for grant-in-aid funds
   77         to the office for review; requiring the office to
   78         develop guidelines for the development, evaluation,
   79         and approval of spending plans; requiring grant-in-aid
   80         funds for continuums of care to be administered by the
   81         office and awarded on a competitive basis; requiring
   82         the office to distribute such funds to local agencies
   83         to fund programs that are required by the local
   84         continuum of care plan, based on certain
   85         recommendations; limiting the percentage of the total
   86         state funds awarded under a spending plan which may be
   87         used by the continuum of care lead agency for staffing
   88         and administrative expenditures; requiring entities
   89         that contract with local agencies to provide services
   90         and that receive certain financial assistance to
   91         provide a specified minimum percentage of the funding
   92         necessary for the support of project operations;
   93         authorizing in-kind contributions to be evaluated and
   94         counted as part or all of the required local funding,
   95         at the discretion of the office; repealing s. 420.623,
   96         F.S., relating to local coalitions for the homeless;
   97         repealing s. 420.624, F.S., relating to local homeless
   98         assistance continuums of care; repealing s. 420.625,
   99         F.S., relating to a grant-in-aid program; amending s.
  100         420.626, F.S.; revising procedures that certain
  101         facilities and institutions are encouraged to develop
  102         and implement to reduce the discharge of persons into
  103         homelessness when such persons are admitted to or
  104         housed for a specified period at such facilities or
  105         institutions; amending s. 420.6265, F.S.; revising
  106         legislative findings and intent for Rapid ReHousing;
  107         revising the Rapid ReHousing methodology; amending s.
  108         420.6275, F.S.; revising legislative findings relating
  109         to Housing First; revising the Housing First
  110         methodology to reflect current practice; amending s.
  111         420.507, F.S.; conforming cross-references; providing
  112         an effective date.
  114  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
  116         Section 1. Section 420.621, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  117  read:
  118         420.621 Definitions.—As used in ss. 420.621-420.628, the
  119  term:
  120         (1) “Continuum of care” means the group organized to carry
  121  out the responsibilities imposed under ss. 420.621-420.628 to
  122  coordinate, plan, and pursue ending homelessness in a designated
  123  catchment area. The group is composed of representatives from
  124  certain organizations, including, but not limited to, nonprofit
  125  homeless providers, victim service providers, faith-based
  126  organizations, governments, businesses, advocates, public
  127  housing agencies, school districts, social service providers,
  128  mental health agencies, hospitals, universities, affordable
  129  housing developers, law enforcement, organizations that serve
  130  homeless and formerly homeless veterans, and organizations that
  131  serve other homeless and formerly homeless persons, to the
  132  extent that these organizations are represented within the
  133  designated catchment area and are available to participate the
  134  community components needed to organize and deliver housing and
  135  services to meet the specific needs of people who are homeless
  136  as they move to stable housing and maximum self-sufficiency. It
  137  includes action steps to end homelessness and prevent a return
  138  to homelessness.
  139         (2) “Continuum of care lead agency” or “continuum of care
  140  collaborative applicant” means the organization designated by a
  141  continuum of care pursuant to s. 420.6225.
  142         (3)(2) “Council on Homelessness” means the council created
  143  in s. 420.622.
  144         (4)(3) “Department” means the Department of Children and
  145  Families.
  146         (4) “District” means a service district of the department,
  147  as set forth in s. 20.19.
  148         (5) “Homeless,means an individual who or a family that:
  149         (a) Lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime
  150  residence, as defined under “homeless” in 24 C.F.R. 578.3; or
  151         (b) Will imminently lose his, her, or its primary nighttime
  152  residence, as defined under “homeless” in 24 C.F.R. 578.3
  153  applied to an individual, or “individual experiencing
  154  homelessness” means an individual who lacks a fixed, regular,
  155  and adequate nighttime residence and includes an individual who:
  156         (a) Is sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of
  157  housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason;
  158         (b) Is living in a motel, hotel, travel trailer park, or
  159  camping ground due to a lack of alternative adequate
  160  accommodations;
  161         (c) Is living in an emergency or transitional shelter;
  162         (d) Has a primary nighttime residence that is a public or
  163  private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular
  164  sleeping accommodation for human beings;
  165         (e) Is living in a car, park, public space, abandoned
  166  building, bus or train station, or similar setting; or
  167         (f) Is a migratory individual who qualifies as homeless
  168  because he or she is living in circumstances described in
  169  paragraphs (a)-(e).
  171  The terms do not refer to an individual imprisoned pursuant to
  172  state or federal law or to individuals or families who are
  173  sharing housing due to cultural preferences, voluntary
  174  arrangements, or traditional networks of support. The terms
  175  include an individual who has been released from jail, prison,
  176  the juvenile justice system, the child welfare system, a mental
  177  health and developmental disability facility, a residential
  178  addiction treatment program, or a hospital, for whom no
  179  subsequent residence has been identified, and who lacks the
  180  resources and support network to obtain housing.
  181         (6) “Local coalition for the homeless” means a coalition
  182  established pursuant to s. 420.623.
  183         (7) “New and temporary homeless” means individuals or
  184  families who are homeless due to societal factors.
  185         (6)(8) “State Office on Homelessness” means the state
  186  office created in s. 420.622.
  187         Section 2. Section 420.622, Florida Statutes, is amended to
  188  read:
  189         420.622 State Office on Homelessness; Council on
  190  Homelessness.—
  191         (1) The State Office on Homelessness is created within the
  192  Department of Children and Families to provide interagency,
  193  council, and other related coordination on issues relating to
  194  homelessness.
  195         (2) The Council on Homelessness is created to consist of 19
  196  members 17 representatives of public and private agencies who
  197  shall develop policy and advise the State Office on
  198  Homelessness. The council is composed of the following members
  199  shall be: the Secretary of Children and Families, or his or her
  200  designee; the executive director of the Department of Economic
  201  Opportunity, or his or her designee, who shall advise the
  202  council on issues related to rural development; the State
  203  Surgeon General, or his or her designee; the Executive Director
  204  of Veterans’ Affairs, or his or her designee; the Secretary of
  205  Corrections, or his or her designee; the Secretary of Health
  206  Care Administration, or his or her designee; the Commissioner of
  207  Education, or his or her designee; the Director of CareerSource
  208  Florida, Inc., or his or her designee; the Executive Director of
  209  the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, or his or her designee;
  210  the Secretary of the Department of Elderly Affairs, or his or
  211  her designee; one representative of the Florida Association of
  212  Counties; one representative of the Florida League of Cities;
  213  one representative of the Florida Supportive Housing Coalition;
  214  one representative of the Florida Coalition for the Homeless;
  215  one representative of the Florida Housing Coalition the
  216  Executive Director of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation,
  217  or his or her designee; one representative of the Florida
  218  Coalition for the Homeless; and four members appointed by the
  219  Governor, who is encouraged to appoint members who have
  220  experience in the administration or the provision of resources
  221  or services that address, or of housing that addresses, the
  222  needs of persons experiencing homelessness. The council members
  223  shall be nonpaid volunteers and shall be reimbursed only for
  224  travel expenses. The appointed members of the council appointed
  225  by the Governor shall be appointed to staggered 2-year terms.,
  226  and The council shall meet at least four times per year. The
  227  importance of minority, gender, and geographic representation
  228  must shall be considered in appointing members to the council.
  229         (3) The State Office on Homelessness, pursuant to the
  230  policies set by the council and subject to the availability of
  231  funding, shall:
  232         (a) Coordinate among state, local, and private agencies and
  233  providers to produce a statewide consolidated inventory of for
  234  the state’s entire system of homeless programs, including local
  235  continuum of care plans which incorporates regionally developed
  236  plans. Such programs include, but are not limited to:
  237         1. Programs authorized under the McKinney-Vento Homeless
  238  Assistance Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act of 1987,
  239  as amended by the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid
  240  Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009, 42 U.S.C. ss. 11302
  241  ss. 11371 et seq., and carried out under funds awarded to this
  242  state; and
  243         2. Programs, components thereof, or activities that assist
  244  persons who are homeless or at risk for homelessness.
  245         (b) Collect, maintain, and make available information
  246  concerning persons who are homeless or at risk for homelessness,
  247  including summary demographic demographics information drawn
  248  from the local continuum of care Homeless Management Information
  249  System or the annual Point-in-Time Count and the local continuum
  250  of care Housing Inventory Chart required by the Department of
  251  Housing and Urban Development, current services and resources
  252  available, the cost and availability of services and programs,
  253  and the met and unmet needs of this population. To assist the
  254  council in providing this information, all entities that receive
  255  state funding must provide the council with summary aggregated
  256  access to all data they maintain in summary form, which may not
  257  include with no individual identifying information, to assist
  258  the council in providing this information. The State Office on
  259  Homelessness, in consultation with the designated lead agencies
  260  for a local homeless continuum of care and with the Council on
  261  Homelessness, shall develop a process by which summary data is
  262  collected the system and process of data collection from all
  263  lead agencies for the purpose of analyzing trends and assessing
  264  impacts in the statewide homeless delivery system for delivering
  265  services to the homeless. Any statewide homelessness survey and
  266  database system must comply with all state and federal statutory
  267  and regulatory confidentiality requirements.
  268         (c) Annually evaluate state and continuum of care programs
  269  local services and resources and develop a consolidated plan for
  270  addressing the needs of the homeless or those at risk for
  271  homelessness.
  272         (d) Explore, compile, and disseminate information regarding
  273  public and private funding sources for state and local programs
  274  serving the homeless and provide technical assistance in
  275  applying for such funding.
  276         (e) Monitor and provide recommendations for coordinating
  277  the activities and programs of continuums of care local
  278  coalitions for the homeless and promote the effectiveness of
  279  programs to prevent and end homelessness in the state addressing
  280  the needs of the homeless.
  281         (f) Provide technical assistance to facilitate efforts to
  282  support and strengthen establish, maintain, and expand local
  283  homeless assistance continuums of care.
  284         (g) Develop and assist in the coordination of policies and
  285  procedures relating to the discharge or transfer from the care
  286  or custody of state-supported or state-regulated entities
  287  persons who are homeless or at risk for homelessness.
  288         (h) Spearhead outreach efforts for maximizing access by
  289  people who are homeless or at risk for homelessness to state and
  290  federal programs and resources.
  291         (i) Promote a federal policy agenda that is responsive to
  292  the needs of those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
  293  the homeless population in this state.
  294         (j) Review reports on continuum of care performance
  295  measures and Develop outcome and accountability measures and
  296  promote and use such measures to evaluate program effectiveness
  297  and make recommendations for improving current practices to work
  298  toward ending homelessness in this state in order to best meet
  299  the needs of the homeless.
  300         (k) Formulate policies and legislative proposals aimed at
  301  preventing and ending homelessness in this state to address more
  302  effectively the needs of the homeless and coordinate the
  303  implementation of state and federal legislative policies.
  304         (l) Convene meetings and workshops of state and local
  305  agencies, continuums of care local coalitions and programs, and
  306  other stakeholders for the purpose of developing and reviewing
  307  policies, services, activities, coordination, and funding of
  308  efforts to end homelessness meet the needs of the homeless.
  309         (m) With the input of the continuums of care, conduct or
  310  promote research on the effectiveness of current programs and
  311  propose pilot projects aimed at ending homelessness improving
  312  services.
  313         (n) Serve as an advocate for issues relating to
  314  homelessness.
  315         (o) Investigate ways to improve access to participation in
  316  state funding and other programs for prevention and alleviation
  317  of homelessness to faith-based organizations and Collaborate and
  318  coordinate with faith-based organizations, investigate ways to
  319  improve such organizations’ access to state funding, and
  320  investigate ways to improve such organizations’ participation in
  321  other programs that are intended to prevent and reduce
  322  homelessness.
  323         (4) The State Office on Homelessness, with the concurrence
  324  of the Council on Homelessness, shall accept and administer
  325  moneys appropriated to it to provide annual challenge grants
  326  to lead agencies of homeless assistance continuums of care
  327  designated by the State Office on Homelessness pursuant to s.
  328  420.6225 s. 420.624. The department shall establish varying
  329  levels of grant awards up to $750,000 $500,000 per continuum of
  330  care lead agency. The department, in consultation with the
  331  Council on Homelessness, shall specify a grant award level in
  332  the notice of the solicitation of grant applications.
  333         (a) To qualify for a the grant, a continuum of care lead
  334  agency must develop and implement a local homeless assistance
  335  continuum of care plan for its designated catchment area. The
  336  services and housing funded through the grant must be
  337  implemented through the continuum of care’s continuum of care
  338  plan must implement a coordinated assessment or central intake
  339  entry system as provided in s. 420.6225(4)(b) and must be
  340  designed to screen, assess, and refer persons seeking assistance
  341  to the appropriate housing intervention and service provider.
  342  The continuum of care lead agency shall also document the
  343  commitment of local government or private organizations to
  344  provide matching funds or in-kind support in an amount equal to
  345  25 percent of the grant requested. Expenditures of leveraged
  346  funds or resources, including third-party cash or in-kind
  347  contributions, may be made are authorized only for eligible
  348  activities carried out in connection with a committed on one
  349  project. Such funds or resources may which have not have been
  350  used as leverage or match for any other project or program. The
  351  expenditures and must be certified through a written commitment.
  352         (b) Preference must be given to continuum of care those
  353  lead agencies that have demonstrated the ability of their
  354  continuum of care to help households move out of homelessness
  355  provide quality services to homeless persons and the ability to
  356  leverage federal homeless-assistance funding under the Stewart
  357  B. McKinney Act with local government funding or private funding
  358  for the provision of services to homeless persons.
  359         (c) Preference must be given to lead agencies in catchment
  360  areas with the greatest need for the provision of housing and
  361  services to the homeless, relative to the population of the
  362  catchment area.
  363         (c)(d) The grant may be used to fund any of the housing,
  364  program, or service needs included in the local homeless
  365  assistance continuum of care plan. The continuum of care lead
  366  agency may allocate the grant to programs, services, or housing
  367  providers that implement the local homeless assistance continuum
  368  of care plan. The lead agency may provide subgrants to a local
  369  agency to implement programs or services or provide housing
  370  identified for funding in the lead agency’s application to the
  371  department. A lead agency may spend a maximum of 10 8 percent of
  372  its funding on administrative costs.
  373         (d)(e) The continuum of care lead agency shall submit a
  374  final report to the department documenting the outcomes achieved
  375  by the grant-funded programs grant in enabling persons who are
  376  homeless to return to permanent housing, thereby ending such
  377  person’s episode of homelessness.
  378         (5) The State Office on Homelessness, with the concurrence
  379  of the Council on Homelessness, may administer moneys given
  380  appropriated to it to provide homeless housing assistance grants
  381  annually to continuum of care lead agencies for local homeless
  382  assistance continuum of care, as recognized by the State Office
  383  on Homelessness, to acquire, construct, or rehabilitate
  384  transitional or permanent housing units for homeless persons.
  385  These moneys shall consist of any sums that the state may
  386  appropriate, as well as money received from donations, gifts,
  387  bequests, or otherwise from any public or private source, which
  388  are intended to acquire, construct, or rehabilitate transitional
  389  or permanent housing units for homeless persons.
  390         (a) Grant applicants shall be ranked competitively based on
  391  criteria determined by the State Office on Homelessness.
  392  Preference must be given to applicants who leverage additional
  393  private funds and public funds, particularly federal funds
  394  designated for the acquisition, construction, or rehabilitation
  395  of transitional or permanent housing for homeless persons; who
  396  acquire, build, or rehabilitate the greatest number of units; or
  397  who acquire, build, or rehabilitate in catchment areas having
  398  the greatest need for housing for the homeless relative to the
  399  population of the catchment area.
  400         (b) Funding for any particular project may not exceed
  401  $750,000.
  402         (c) Projects must reserve, for a minimum of 20 10 years,
  403  the number of units acquired, constructed, or rehabilitated
  404  through homeless housing assistance grant funding to serve
  405  persons who are homeless at the time they assume tenancy.
  406         (d) No more than two grants may be awarded annually in any
  407  given local homeless assistance continuum of care catchment
  408  area.
  409         (e) A project may not be funded which is not included in
  410  the local homeless assistance continuum of care plan, as
  411  recognized by the State Office on Homelessness, for the
  412  catchment area in which the project is located.
  413         (f) The maximum percentage of funds that the State Office
  414  on Homelessness and each applicant may spend on administrative
  415  costs is 10 5 percent.
  416         (6) The State Office on Homelessness, in conjunction with
  417  the Council on Homelessness, shall establish performance
  418  measures related to state funding provided through the State
  419  Office on Homelessness and shall utilize those grant-related
  420  measures to and specific objectives by which it may evaluate the
  421  performance and outcomes of continuum of care lead agencies that
  422  receive state grant funds. Challenge Grants made through the
  423  State Office on Homelessness shall be distributed to lead
  424  agencies based on their overall performance and their
  425  achievement of specified objectives. Each lead agency for which
  426  grants are made under this section shall provide the State
  427  Office on Homelessness a thorough evaluation of the
  428  effectiveness of the program in achieving its stated purpose. In
  429  evaluating the performance of the lead agencies, the State
  430  Office on Homelessness shall base its criteria upon the program
  431  objectives, goals, and priorities that were set forth by the
  432  lead agencies in their proposals for funding. Such criteria may
  433  include, but are not limited to, the number of persons or
  434  households that are no longer homeless, the rate of recidivism
  435  to homelessness, and the number of persons who obtain gainful
  436  employment.
  437         (7) The State Office on Homelessness shall must monitor the
  438  challenge grants and homeless housing assistance grants to
  439  ensure proper expenditure of funds and compliance with the
  440  conditions of the applicant’s contract.
  441         (8) The Department of Children and Families, with input
  442  from the Council on Homelessness, may must adopt rules relating
  443  to the challenge grants and the homeless housing assistance
  444  grants and related issues consistent with the purposes of this
  445  section.
  446         (9) The council shall, By June 30 of each year, the council
  447  shall provide to the Governor, the Legislature, and the
  448  Secretary of Children and Families a report summarizing the
  449  extent of homelessness in the state and the council’s
  450  recommendations for ending reducing homelessness in this state.
  451         (10) The State Office on Homelessness may administer moneys
  452  appropriated to it for distribution among the continuum of care
  453  lead agencies and entities funded in the 2020-2021 state fiscal
  454  year which are designated by the office as local coalitions for
  455  the homeless 28 local homeless continuums of care designated by
  456  the Department of Children and Families.
  457         Section 3. Section 420.6225, Florida Statutes, is created
  458  to read:
  459         420.6225 Continuum of care.—
  460         (1) The purposes of a continuum of care, as defined in s.
  461  420.621, are to coordinate community efforts to prevent and end
  462  homelessness in its catchment area designated as provided in
  463  subsection (3) and to fulfill the responsibilities set forth in
  464  this chapter.
  465         (2) Pursuant to the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid
  466  Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009, each continuum of
  467  care is required to designate a collaborative applicant that is
  468  responsible for submitting the continuum of care funding
  469  application for the designated catchment area to the United
  470  States Department of Housing and Urban Development. The
  471  continuum of care collaborative applicant shall serve as the
  472  continuum of care’s point of contact to the State Office on
  473  Homelessness, is accountable for representations made in the
  474  application, and, in carrying out its responsibilities under
  475  this chapter, may be referred to as the continuum of care lead
  476  agency.
  477         (3) For the purpose of awarding federal homeless assistance
  478  funding for continuum of care programs, the State Office on
  479  Homelessness shall do both of the following:
  480         (a) Designate and, as necessary, revise continuum of care
  481  catchment areas, which must be consistent with the continuum of
  482  care catchment areas recognized by the United States Department
  483  of Housing and Urban Development.
  484         (b) Recognize a single continuum of care lead agency for
  485  each such catchment area, which must be consistent with the
  486  continuum of care collaborative applicant designation recognized
  487  by the United States Department of Housing and Urban
  488  Development.
  489         (4) Each continuum of care shall create a continuum of care
  490  plan, the purpose of which is to implement an effective and
  491  efficient housing crisis response system to prevent and end
  492  homelessness in the continuum of care catchment area. A
  493  continuum of care plan must include all of the following
  494  components:
  495         (a) Outreach to unsheltered individuals and families to
  496  link them with appropriate housing interventions.
  497         (b) A coordinated entry system, compliant with the
  498  requirements of the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid
  499  Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009, which is designed to
  500  coordinate intake, utilize common assessment tools, prioritize
  501  households for housing interventions, and refer households to
  502  the appropriate housing intervention.
  503         (c) Emergency shelter, designed to provide safe temporary
  504  shelter while the household is in the process of obtaining
  505  permanent housing.
  506         (d) Supportive services, designed to maximize housing
  507  stability once the household is in permanent housing.
  508         (e) Permanent supportive housing, designed to provide long
  509  term affordable housing and support services to persons with
  510  disabilities who are moving out of homelessness.
  511         (f) Rapid ReHousing, as specified in s. 420.6265.
  512         (g) Permanent housing, including linkages to affordable
  513  housing, subsidized housing, long-term rent assistance, housing
  514  vouchers, and mainstream private sector housing.
  515         (h) An ongoing planning mechanism to end homelessness for
  516  all subpopulations of persons experiencing homelessness.
  517         (5) Continuums of care must promote participation by all
  518  interested individuals and organizations and may not exclude
  519  individuals and organizations on the basis of race, color,
  520  national origin, sex, handicap, familial status, or religion.
  521  Faith-based organizations, local governments, and persons who
  522  have experienced homelessness are encouraged to participate. To
  523  the extent possible, these individuals and organizations must be
  524  coordinated and integrated with other mainstream health, social
  525  services, and employment programs for which homeless populations
  526  may be eligible, including, but not limited to, Medicaid, the
  527  State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Temporary
  528  Assistance for Needy Families Program, the Food Assistance
  529  Program, and services funded through the Mental Health and
  530  Substance Abuse Block Grant, the Workforce Innovation and
  531  Opportunity Act, and the welfare-to-work grant program.
  532         Section 4. Section 420.6227, Florida Statutes, is created
  533  to read:
  534         420.6227 Grant-in-aid program.—
  535         (1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.—The Legislature hereby finds and
  536  declares that many services for households experiencing
  537  homelessness have been provided by local communities through
  538  voluntary private agencies and religious organizations and that
  539  these resources have not been sufficient to prevent and end
  540  homelessness in this state. The Legislature recognizes that the
  541  level of need and types of problems associated with homelessness
  542  may vary from community to community, due to the diversity and
  543  geographic distribution of the homeless population and the
  544  resulting differing needs of particular communities.
  545         (2) PURPOSE.—The principal purpose of the grant-in-aid
  546  program is to provide needed assistance to continuums of care to
  547  enable them to do all of the following:
  548         (a) Assist persons in their communities who have become, or
  549  may likely become, homeless.
  550         (b) Help homeless households move to permanent housing as
  551  quickly as possible.
  552         (3) ESTABLISHMENT.—There is hereby established a state
  553  grant-in-aid program to help continuums of care prevent and end
  554  homelessness, which may include any aspect of the local
  555  continuum of care plan, as described in s. 420.6225.
  556         (4) APPLICATION PROCEDURE.—Continuums of care that intend
  557  to apply for the grant-in-aid program must submit an application
  558  for grant-in-aid funds to the State Office on Homelessness for
  559  review.
  560         (5) SPENDING PLANS.—The State Office on Homelessness shall
  561  develop guidelines for the development, evaluation, and approval
  562  of spending plans that are created by local continuum of care
  563  lead agencies.
  564         (6) ALLOCATION OF GRANT FUNDS.—The State Office on
  565  Homelessness shall administer state grant-in-aid funds for
  566  continuums of care, which must be awarded on a competitive
  567  basis.
  568         (7) DISTRIBUTION TO LOCAL AGENCIES.—The State Office on
  569  Homelessness shall distribute funds awarded under subsection (6)
  570  to local agencies to fund programs that are required by the
  571  local continuum of care plan, as described in s. 420.6225 and
  572  that are authorized under subsection (3), based upon the
  573  recommendations of the local continuum of care lead agencies, in
  574  accordance with spending plans that are developed by the lead
  575  agencies and approved by the office. Not more than 10 percent of
  576  the total state funds awarded under a spending plan may be used
  577  by the continuum of care lead agency for staffing and
  578  administrative expenditures.
  579         (8) LOCAL MATCHING FUNDS.—If an entity contracts with local
  580  agencies to provide services and receives financial assistance
  581  under this section, the entity must provide a minimum of 25
  582  percent of the funding necessary for the support of project
  583  operations. In-kind contributions, including, but not limited
  584  to, materials, commodities, transportation, office space, other
  585  types of facilities, or personal services, may be evaluated and
  586  counted as part or all of the required local funding, at the
  587  discretion of the State Office on Homelessness.
  588         Section 5. Section 420.623, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  589         Section 6. Section 420.624, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  590         Section 7. Section 420.625, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
  591         Section 8. Subsection (3) of section 420.626, Florida
  592  Statutes, is amended, and subsection (2) of that section is
  593  republished, to read:
  594         420.626 Homelessness; discharge guidelines.—
  595         (2) The following facilities and institutions are
  596  encouraged to develop and implement procedures designed to
  597  reduce the discharge of persons into homelessness when such
  598  persons are admitted or housed for more than 24 hours at such
  599  facilities or institutions: hospitals and inpatient medical
  600  facilities; crisis stabilization units; residential treatment
  601  facilities; assisted living facilities; and detoxification
  602  centers.
  603         (3) The procedures should include all of the following:
  604         (a) Development and implementation of a screening process
  605  or other mechanism for identifying persons to be discharged from
  606  the facility or institution who are at considerable risk for
  607  homelessness or face some imminent threat to health and safety
  608  upon discharge.;
  609         (b) Development and implementation of a discharge plan
  610  addressing how identified persons will secure housing and other
  611  needed care and support upon discharge.;
  612         (c) Communication with Assessment of the capabilities of
  613  the entities to whom identified persons may potentially be
  614  discharged to determine their capability to serve such persons
  615  and their acceptance of such discharge into their programs, and
  616  selection of the entity determined to be best equipped to
  617  provide or facilitate the provision of suitable care and
  618  support.;
  619         (d) Coordination of effort and sharing of information with
  620  entities that are expected to bear the responsibility for
  621  providing care or support to identified persons upon discharge.;
  622  and
  623         (e) Provision of sufficient medication, medical equipment
  624  and supplies, clothing, transportation, and other basic
  625  resources necessary to assure that the health and well-being of
  626  identified persons are not jeopardized upon their discharge.
  627         Section 9. Section 420.6265, Florida Statutes, is amended
  628  to read:
  629         420.6265 Rapid ReHousing.—
  631         (a) The Legislature finds that Rapid ReHousing is a
  632  strategy of using temporary financial assistance and case
  633  management to quickly move an individual or family out of
  634  homelessness and into permanent housing, and using housing
  635  stabilization support services to help them remain stably
  636  housed.
  637         (b) The Legislature also finds that public and private
  638  solutions to homelessness in the past have focused on providing
  639  individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness with
  640  emergency shelter, transitional housing, or a combination of
  641  both. While emergency shelter and transitional housing programs
  642  may provide critical access to services for individuals and
  643  families in crisis, the programs often fail to address permanent
  644  housing their long-term needs and may unnecessarily extend their
  645  episodes of homelessness.
  646         (c) The Legislature further finds that most households
  647  become homeless as a result of a financial crisis that prevents
  648  individuals and families from paying rent or a domestic conflict
  649  that results in one member being ejected or leaving without
  650  resources or a plan for housing.
  651         (d) The Legislature further finds that Rapid ReHousing is a
  652  cost-effective is an alternative approach to ending homelessness
  653  which reduces to the current system of emergency shelter or
  654  transitional housing which tends to reduce the length of time
  655  that a person is homeless and which is demonstrably more has
  656  proven to be cost effective than alternative approaches.
  657         (e) It is therefore the intent of the Legislature to
  658  encourage homeless continuums of care to adopt the Rapid
  659  ReHousing approach to ending preventing homelessness for
  660  individuals who and families that who do not require the
  661  intensive intense level of supports provided in the permanent
  662  supportive housing model.
  664         (a) The Rapid ReHousing response to homelessness differs
  665  from traditional approaches to addressing homelessness by
  666  focusing on each individual’s or family’s barriers to housing.
  667  By using this approach, communities can significantly reduce the
  668  amount of time that individuals and families are homeless and
  669  prevent further episodes of homelessness.
  670         (b) In Rapid ReHousing, when an individual or a family is
  671  identified as being homeless, the individual or family is
  672  assessed and prioritized for housing through the continuum of
  673  care’s coordinated entry system, temporary assistance is
  674  provided to allow the individual or family to obtain permanent
  675  housing as quickly as possible, and necessary, if needed,
  676  assistance is provided to allow the individual or family to
  677  retain housing.
  678         (c) The objective of Rapid ReHousing is to provide
  679  assistance for as short a term as possible so that the
  680  individual or family receiving assistance attains stability and
  681  integration into the community as quickly as possible does not
  682  develop a dependency on the assistance.
  683         Section 10. Section 420.6275, Florida Statutes, is amended
  684  to read:
  685         420.6275 Housing First.—
  687         (a) The Legislature finds that many communities plan to
  688  manage homelessness rather than plan to end it.
  689         (b) The Legislature also finds that for nearly most of the
  690  past two decades, public and private solutions to homelessness
  691  have focused on providing individuals and families who were are
  692  experiencing homelessness with emergency shelter, transitional
  693  housing, or a combination of both. This strategy failed to
  694  recognize that, while emergency shelter programs may provide
  695  critical access to services for individuals and families in
  696  crisis, they often fail to address their long-term needs.
  697         (c) The Legislature further finds that Housing First is a
  698  cost-effective an alternative approach to the current system of
  699  emergency shelter or transitional housing which tends to ending
  700  homelessness and reducing reduce the length of time of
  701  homelessness for many individuals and families and has proven to
  702  be cost-effective.
  703         (d) It is therefore the intent of the Legislature to
  704  encourage homeless continuums of care to adopt the Housing First
  705  approach to ending homelessness for individuals and families.
  707         (a) The Housing First approach to homelessness provides
  708  permanent differs from traditional approaches by providing
  709  housing assistance, followed by case management, and support
  710  services responsive to individual or family needs once after
  711  housing is obtained. By using this approach when appropriate,
  712  communities can significantly reduce the amount of time that
  713  individuals and families are homeless and prevent further
  714  episodes of homelessness. Housing First emphasizes that social
  715  services provided to enhance individual and family well-being
  716  can be more effective when people are in their own home, and:
  717         1. The housing is not time-limited.
  718         2. The housing is not contingent on compliance with
  719  services. Instead, participants must comply with a standard
  720  lease agreement.
  721         3. Individuals and families and are provided with
  722  individualized the services and support that are necessary to
  723  help them maintain stable housing do so successfully.
  724         3. A background check and any rehabilitation necessary to
  725  combat an addiction related to alcoholism or substance abuse has
  726  been completed by the individual for whom assistance or support
  727  services are provided.
  728         (b) The Housing First approach addresses the societal
  729  causes of homelessness and advocates for the immediate return of
  730  individuals and families into housing and communities. Housing
  731  First links affordable housing with community-based social
  732  service and health care organizations Housing First provides a
  733  critical link between the emergency and transitional housing
  734  system and community-based social service, educational, and
  735  health care organizations and consists of four components:
  736         1. Crisis intervention and short-term stabilization.
  737         2. Screening, intake, and needs assessment.
  738         3. Provision of housing resources.
  739         4. Provision of case management.
  740         Section 11. Paragraph (d) of subsection (22) of section
  741  420.507, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  742         420.507 Powers of the corporation.—The corporation shall
  743  have all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out and
  744  effectuate the purposes and provisions of this part, including
  745  the following powers which are in addition to all other powers
  746  granted by other provisions of this part:
  747         (22) To develop and administer the State Apartment
  748  Incentive Loan Program. In developing and administering that
  749  program, the corporation may:
  750         (d) In counties or rural areas of counties that do not have
  751  existing units set aside for homeless persons, forgive
  752  indebtedness for loans provided to create permanent rental
  753  housing units for persons who are homeless, as defined in s.
  754  420.621 s. 420.621(5), or for persons residing in time-limited
  755  transitional housing or institutions as a result of a lack of
  756  permanent, affordable housing. Such developments must be
  757  supported by a local homeless assistance continuum of care
  758  developed under s. 420.6225 s. 420.624, be developed by
  759  nonprofit applicants, be small properties as defined by
  760  corporation rule, and be a project in the local housing
  761  assistance continuum of care plan recognized by the State Office
  762  on Homelessness.
  763         Section 12. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.