In the past, the ROSS grant has included programs such as ROSS-Family & Homeownership and ROSS-Elderly/Persons with Disabilities. Since FY08, these programs have been combined into one ROSS-Service Coordinators program.
The purpose of the ROSS Service Coordinator program is to provide funding to hire and maintain Service Coordinators who will assess the needs of residents of conventional Public Housing or Indian housing and coordinate available resources in the community to meet those needs. This program works to promote the development of local strategies to coordinate the use of assistance under the Public Housing program with public and private resources, for supportive services and resident empowerment activities. These services should enable participating families to increase earned income, reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance, make progress toward achieving economic independence and housing self-sufficiency, or, in the case of elderly or disabled residents, help improve living conditions and enable residents to age-in-place.
The ROSS program also funds the Public Housing Family Self-Sufficiency (PH FSS) program. This funding is provided on a competitive basis for PHAs (ONLY) to hire an FSS program coordinator for one year.
As a response to the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998 (the Public Housing Reform Act), ROSS is a redefined and restructured combination of programs funded in prior years: The Tenant Opportunities Program (TOP), Economic Development and Supportive Services Program (EDSS), and Public Housing Service Coordinators.
ROSS grants may be made to four types of applicants:
- Public Housing Authorities (PHAs)
- Tribes/tribally designated housing entities (TDHEs)
- Resident associations (RAs) such as resident management corporations, resident councils, and intermediary resident organizations
- Nonprofit organizations supported by residents and/or PHAs
Public Housing Family Self-sufficiency (PH FSS)
Funding under this program is made only to PHAs to hire a program coordinator who links residents with training opportunities, job placement organizations, and local employers. Residents enter into a contract of participation which outlines their responsibilities towards completion of training and employment objectives over a five year period or less. The contract of participation also stipulates PHA responsibilities towards helping residents achieve their goals. For each participating family that is a recipient of welfare assistance, the PHA must establish an interim goal that the family become independent from welfare assistance and remain independent from welfare assistance at least one year prior to the expiration of the contract. During the period of participation, residents may earn an escrow credit, based on increased earned income, which they may use in a variety of ways upon successful graduation from the program.
Elderly/Disabled Service Coordinator Program
While formerly funded through ROSS, HUD now provides funding to eligible PHAs through the Public Housing Operating Fund. PHAs which were recipients of this grant in 1995 are renewed annually, provided that funding is available for this purpose through appropriations. PHAs request funding through the Operating Fund and use the grant to hire Service Coordinators who obtain supportive services for the elderly and persons with disabilities residing in public housing. The program's objective is to help this resident population continue to live in place, independently, without having to move to more expensive assisted care environments. Grant funds may be used to pay for the Service Coordinator's salary, fringe benefits, and related administrative costs (i.e., training, office equipment, utilities). Service Coordinators are responsible for functions such as: working with community service providers to tailor services to the needs of eligible residents, establishing a system to monitor and evaluate service delivery and outcomes, and coordinating with other independent living programs. NOTE: Recipients of the EDSC funds should consult the NOFA to determine eligibility for the ROSS-SC program. If you are unsure if you are a recipient of this funding, please contact the PIH Resource Center at 1-800-955-2232.
Provided that funding is made available from congressional appropriations, grant competitions are announced annually through HUD's SuperNOFA process. Information about how to apply and deadlines for applying may be obtained by going to the HUD Grants web site; and looking under "funds available". Be sure to look at the information on registering and applying with Grants.gov as well as consult the webcast schedule for webcasts on the logic model, grants.gov, specific programs and other NOFA information.
For more information on the ROSS program, please call 1 (800) 955-2232.