Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities

Housing and Services Partnership Academy and Technical Assistance

Texas Government Code §2306.1096 directs the Texas Housing and Health Services Coordination Council (“HHSCC” or the “Council”) to develop policies to coordinate and increase state efforts to offer Service-Enriched Housing (“SEH”) and identify barriers preventing or slowing SEH efforts.

For the purpose of directing the work of the Council and its work products, including the biennial plan, SEH is defined as integrated, affordable, and accessible housing that provides residents with the opportunity to receive on-site or off-site health-related and other services and supports that foster independence in living and decision-making for individuals with disabilities and persons who are elderly.

In 2011, TDHCA partnered with the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (“DADS”) to develop a successful application to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) for the Real Choice Systems Change Grant: Building Sustainable Partnerships for Housing. The State of Texas was one of six states selected to receive a grant and was awarded $330,000. One of the activities which DADS and TDHCA partnered on under this grant was implementing a Housing and Services Partnership (“HSP”) Academy.

The 2013 two-day Academy provided 16 local community teams the tools and education necessary to create safe, affordable, accessible housing for people with disabilities. Each team consisted of a housing and service provider, as well as a person with a disability. In addition, documents were created for the HSP Academy that are available through TDHCA’s Housing Resource Center's Tools for Serving People with Disabilities, and as resources for organizations and developers interested in creating community-based, affordable, integrated housing for persons with disabilities.

In the Council’s 2014-2015 Biennial Plan submitted to Governor Rick Perry on August 1, 2014, Council members recommended the HSP Academy be replicated.

At the TDHCA governing board meeting of June 16, 2015, staff sought board approval to submit a Request for Proposal, negotiate, and approve a contract to prepare a second Academy with follow-up training and technical assistance. On behalf of the Council, TDHCA awarded the Corporation for Supportive Housing (“CSH”) the contract.

In November 2015, CSH released a Request for Applications from teams throughout Texas who wanted to participate in the Academy and post-Academy technical assistance. Eleven applications were received and after a review team process, nine teams were approved to participate. The names of the teams selected are listed below:

  1. Alamo Affordable Accessible Housing Co-Operative
  2. Coastal Bend Housing Solutions Services Committee
  3. Dallas County Housing Alliance
  4. East Texas Housing Coalition
  5. Greater Houston Area Housing & Services Partnership Team
  6. Heart and Home Communities
  7. Housing and Services Roundtable of Tarrant County
  8. Lubbock Housing Team
  9. San Benito Housing & Services Group

As part of the technical assistance, CSH and TDHCA staff conducted two pre-Academy webinars. On December 9, 2015, the first webinar included an overview of federal, state, and local housing and services resources. The second webinar, held December 18, provided information to prepare the teams for the onsite Academy which was held in Austin on February 9-10, 2016.

The Academy included but was not limited to topics teams expressed an interest in learning more about. The topics included a tenant/consumer panel; an overview of new construction and rehabilitation development processes; identifying and securing existing units for SEH; round table sessions on housing and services programs; peer presentations; and team planning sessions.

The Housing and Services Partnership (HSP) 2017 Training and Technical Assistance (TA) Program

The Housing and Services Partnership (HSP) 2017 Training and Technical Assistance (TA) Program offers blended training and technical assistance for participants of the HSP Academy in 2016, Aging and Disability Resource Center Housing Navigators, and Centers for Independent Living staff. A mixture of virtual trainings, remote and on-site technical assistance, and a new online Connect Community builds on the efforts of teams from 2016 as well as provides more in-depth trainings on Service-Enriched Housing development and landlord engagement. Teams are also able to tailor remote and on-site technical assistance to enhance team learning and build community collaboration. The program began in November 2016 and continues through August 31, 2017.

Components of the Program

Online Connect Community (HSP 2017): The Connect Community provides an opportunity for participants to ask questions, share feedback and resources, follow up to virtual trainings, and build a network of other practitioners across the state. All HSP participants receive access to the community hosted through CSH’s Online Training Center at www.csh.org/training.

All Access Pass: All participants receive an All Access Pass good from November 2016 – November 2017. Access to over 55 CSH online trainings, featuring experts in the field who are transforming the way services are delivered to those in need, creating quality supportive housing, and improving project performance to keep vulnerable populations housed and healthy. The All Access Pass gives unlimited, anytime, anywhere access to live and recorded instructor-led trainings as well as self-paced classes. The pass includes three learning tracks – Coordinated Assessment, Quality Supportive Housing, and the Veterans E-Academy.

Virtual and On-site TA: Customized virtual TA following the virtual instructor led webinars provide teams the ability to request specific tools, products, or materials to help support team/community learning. TA providers are also available for one on-site TA session, which may include hosting a community meeting, providing a community-wide training, and facilitating a discussion with other community stakeholders (funders, providers, developers, etc.).

Virtual Instructor Led Webinars: The webinar series offers two tracks: Development and Landlord Engagement. Participants can choose one or both tracks.

Housing and Services Partnership Academy Final Evaluation Report

In 2013, an Academy funded by a Real Choice Systems Change Grant and coordinated by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs in partnership with the Texas Center for Disability Studies, provided training and information to teams representing communities across Texas to help them develop comprehensive plans for improving the quantity and quality of Service-Enriched Housing for persons with disabilities and older Texans. In 2016, the Council supported another Academy, providing technical assistance and a 1.5 day Academy. To date, two separate cohorts of community teams (16 communities in 2013 and nine communities in 2016) have taken part in an Academy.

For the second round of the Academy, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs contracted with the Corporation for Supportive Housing to develop and deliver a robust package of training and technical assistance to nine community teams that were competitively selected from across the state of Texas. Corporation for Supportive Housing was also asked to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the Academy and technical assistance. This report provides an overview of the training and technical assistance efforts and summarizes findings from the evaluation.

Download the report (PDF)