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New CARF standards align with the VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) grant program

Accreditation standards for rapid rehousing and homelessness prevention support housing stability programs 

November 03, 2014, Tucson, Arizona—CARF International has announced new standards for accreditation of rapid rehousing and homelessness prevention (RRHP) programs to support grantees of the Department of Veterans Affairs' SSVF program. The SSVF program promotes supportive services and housing stability for low-income or homeless veteran families, and is part of a larger initiative outlined by the federal government in 2010 to end veteran homelessness by 2015.

After October 01, 2015, SSVF grantees seeking CARF accreditation for the purpose of a multi-year grant will need to be accredited in the RRHP standards. Up to $600,000,000 of grant money is available through the competitive SSVF program. For more information about the SSVF program and current accreditation requirements, visit: http://www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.aspNew window icon

Rapid rehousing and homelessness prevention programs offer short-term crisis response for persons and households that are experiencing homelessness or are at imminent risk of homelessness. Interventions are designed to reduce barriers to housing and help persons served and their families rapidly exit homelessness and return to or maintain stable housing. CARF's RRHP standards emphasize the creation of a person-centered housing plan that considers, on an individual basis, the available community resources, available financial assistance, barriers to housing, and desired housing outcomes. View the full RRHP program description.

The RRHP standards will be included in CARF's upcoming 2015 Employment and Community Services Standards Manual and can be applied on surveys conducted after June 30, 2015.

The standards were drafted by an International Standards Advisory Committee (ISAC) that included representatives from the Veterans Administration, Abt Associates, The Salvation Army – Ohio, Volunteers of America – Greater New Orleans, National Alliance to End Homelessness, Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, and HUD Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs.

Vince Kane, director of the VA's National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans (NCHAV), said, "The NCHAV has worked closely with CARF in crafting these pioneering standards. Thanks to CARF's national standing as a leading accreditation organization for mental health and rehabilitation, the Center's work to develop research-informed standards for SSVF can now be accessed by other providers of homeless prevention and rapid rehousing services."

Pete Hathaway, managing director of CARF's Employment and Community Services accreditation area, added, "These standards are important because they represent best practices in addressing homelessness. By conforming to these standards, SSVF grantees, as well as other providers, will maximize their potential for success in meeting the federal government's call to end homelessness for veterans."

Prior to adoption, CARF submitted the standards to its International Advisory Council (IAC) for review. CARF also conducted a field review to invite comment from interested professionals and the public, including veterans and their families.

CARF's leadership in framing standards is backed by its 48-year history of accrediting health and human services.

11/3/2014 9:20:00 AM

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