Myth - Supportive Housing Providers Association

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Breaking Myths around Accessing
Resources for People Experiencing
Homelessness
Supportive Housing Providers Association &
Corporation for Supportive Housing
July, 2012
Who is SHPA?
• Mission – Strengthen the supportive housing
industry, to enable the increased development
of supportive housing, and to support nonprofit organizations to develop the capacity
for providing permanent supportive housing
– Membership association
– Strong state and federal advocacy voice
– Training and technical assistance
– Supportive housing resident involvement
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Who is the CSH?
We help communities throughout the country transform
how they address homelessness and improve people’s
lives through quality supportive housing.
CSH’s Project Related Assistance
• Project Assistance and Lending
• Public Policy and Systems Reform
• Industry Leadership and Capacity
Building
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Breaking Myths
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Resources are limited
Extensive rules and regulations
Funder created requirements
Program/agency created requirements
Fact versus fiction
Great resources:
– Federal Interagency Re-Entry Council “Re-Entry Myth
Busters”
– CSH “PHA and Re-Entry Populations: Eligibility of
Person with Criminal Histories and/or Drug
Involvement for Public Housing and Section8/Housing
Choice Voucher Programs
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Myth
• All persons with criminal records are
precluded by federal law or HUD
regulations from accessing public
housing or Section 8/Housing Choice
Voucher assistance.
• Individuals who have been convicted of
a crime are “banned” from public
housing.
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Fact
• Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) have
great discretion in determining their
admissions and occupancy policies for
ex-offenders.
• PHAs can choose to ban ex-offenders
from participating in public housing and
Section 8 programs, it is not HUD policy
to do so.
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Myth
PHAs are required to evict households in
response to every instance or illegal drug
use, criminal activity, or lease violation.
7
Fact
• PHAs have substantial discretionary authority.
• HUD regulations require PHAs include lease clauses
that prohibit any member of a household, guest, or
other person under the tenant’s control from
engaging in criminal activity, including drug related
criminal activity, on or off premises
– Entire tenant household can be evicted or for the activities
of one member of the household or non-household
member
– Tenants can be evicted or terminated for activities that
occur on or off the premises
– Tenant can be evicted or terminated regardless of whether
the person has been arrested or convicted of such activity 8
Fact
• “Public Housing Authorities have the
discretion to terminate the lease of a tenant
when a member of the household or guest
engaged in drug related activity, regardless of
whether the tenant knew, or should have
known, of the drug related activity”
9
Fact
• PHAs are required to include in lease clauses outlining the
possibility of termination if any member of the household has
engaged in abuse of alcohol that threatens the health, safety,
or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other
tenants
• PHAs are granted considerable discretion when making
decision regarding evictions or termination of assistance,
including seeking alternatives to eviction or termination
• PHAs remain free to consider a wide range of factors in
deciding whether, and whom, to evict as a consequence of a
lease violation. Factors may include:
– Seriousness of the violation,
– Effect that eviction of the entire household would have on the
household members not involved in the criminal activity, and
– Willingness of the head of household to remove the wrongdoing
household member from the lease as a condition for continued
occupancy
10
Myth
• People with criminal records are automatically
barred from employment opportunities.
11
Fact
• An arrest or conviction record will NOT
automatically bar individuals from employment.
• If an employer is aware of a conviction or
incarceration, that information should only bar
employment when the conviction is closely
related to the job, after considering:
– The nature of the job,
– The nature and seriousness of the offense, and
– The length of time since it occurred.
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Myth
• An employer can get a copy of your criminal
history from companies that do background
checks without your permission.
13
Fact
• Employers must get one’s permission, usually in
writing, before asking a background screening
company for a criminal history report.
• If one does not give permission or authorization,
the application for employment may not get
reviewed.
• If a person does give permission but does not get
hired because of information in the report, the
potential employer must follow several legal
obligations.
14
Myth
• Veterans cannot request to have their VA
benefits resumed until they are officially
released from incarceration.
15
Fact
• Veterans may inform VA to have their benefits
resumed within 30 days or less of their
anticipated release date based on evidence
from a parole board or other official prison
source showing the Veteran’s scheduled
release date.
16
Myth
• A Veteran with criminal convictions or a
history of incarceration is not eligible for VA
health care.
17
Fact
• An eligible Veteran, who is not currently
incarcerated, can use VA care regardless of any
criminal history, including incarceration.
• Only when an otherwise eligible Veteran is
currently incarcerated, or in fugitive felon
status, is he or she not able to use VA health
care.
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Myth
• Eligibility for Social Security benefits cannot be
reinstated when an individual is released from
incarceration.
19
Fact
• Social Security benefits are not payable if an
individual is convicted of a criminal offense
and confined.
• However, monthly benefits usually can be
reinstated after a period of incarceration by
contacting Social Security and providing proof
of release.
20
Myth
• Individuals convicted of a felony can never
receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp
Program) benefits.
21
Fact
• This ban applies only to convicted drug felons,
and IL has amended the ban to allow some
individuals to regain eligibility by meeting
certain additional requirements.
22
Myth
• An individual cannot apply for Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly
the Food Stamp Program) benefits without a
valid State-issued identification card.
23
Fact
• A person can get SNAP benefits even if he or she
does not have a valid State ID.
• A local office is required to accept any document
that reasonably establishes the applicant’s
identity and cannot accept only one type of
verification. Other examples of acceptable
documents that verify an applicant’s identity are:
– A birth certificate
– An ID card for health benefits or another assistance
program
– A school or work ID card
– Wage stubs containing the applicant’s name
24
Myth
• An individual cannot apply for Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly
the Food Stamp Program) benefits without a
mailing address.
25
Fact
• A person can get SNAP benefits even if he or she does
not have a mailing address.
• However, the SNAP application process requires
applicants to provide an address where they can
receive case related notices.
– Holding correspondence at the local office for pick up;
– Using the address of a local shelter (with the shelter’s
permission);
– Use the address of a trusted friend or family member (with
resident’s permission);
– Send correspondence to a local post office as general
delivery mail.
26
Myth
• A parent with a felony conviction cannot
receive TANF/welfare.
27
Fact
• The 1996 Welfare ban applies only to
convicted drug felons, and only eleven states
have kept the ban in place in its entirety. Most
states have modified or eliminated the ban.
28
Myth
• Incarceration exempts individuals from the
requirement to file taxes, halts the
accumulation of federal tax debts, and
prohibits the receipt of tax credits and
deductions upon release.
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Fact
• Incarceration neither changes one’s obligation
to pay taxes and tax debts nor prohibits the
receipt of tax credits and deductions upon
release.
30
Myth
• Medicaid agencies are required to terminate
benefits if an otherwise eligible individual is
incarcerated.
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Fact
• States are not required to terminate eligibility
for individuals who are incarcerated based
solely on inmate status.
• States may suspend eligibility during
incarceration, enabling an individual to remain
enrolled in the state Medicaid program,
thereby facilitating access to Medicaid
services following release.
32
Myth
• There are all kinds of myths regarding mental
health, including the number of adults
suffering from mental illness, ability to work
with mental health issues, level of diagnoses.
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Fact
• 1 in 4 adults will have a mental illness during
their lives
• 1 in 17 (6%) develop a severe mental illness
that is considered chronic and delibilating
• 45% of people with a mental illness diagnose
have symptoms of 2 or more psychiatric
disorders
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Additional Questions?
• What other myths have you heard?
• How do you best dispel myths?
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Upcoming Webinars, Trainings, and
Conferences
• Information and registration available at
www.shpa-il.org
• Introduction to Service Philosophies in PSH
Webinar
• August 2, 2012 – 10:00 am
• Central and Southern IL Resident Conference
• August 1, 2012
• 9:30 am – 4:30 am
• Springfield
• Northern IL Resident Conference
• August 15th, 2012
• 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
• Chicago
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Contact Information
Aaron Eldridge, Sr., SHPA
[email protected]
Lindsey Bishop Gilmore, CSH
[email protected]
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