The Commissioners Court docket fielded statements from county executives Tuesday relating to a negotiation to fund a whole lot of models of everlasting supportive housing. Justice and Public Security Government Roger Jefferies spoke, in addition to Well being and Human Companies Government Sherri Fleming.
The proposal, Jefferies defined, was nothing new. In 2016, the Commissioners Court docket OK’d the same collaboration between the county and a number of other companions, together with town of Austin, Ending Neighborhood Homelessness Coalition, Central Well being, Neighborhood Care Collaborative, Episcopal Well being Basis and Ascension Seton. Finally, although, the thought to create 250 models of everlasting supportive housing was shot down over financing considerations.
“What was fascinating about it was it was the distinctive financing state of affairs,” Jefferies mentioned. “It was referred to as ‘pay-for-success,’ the place social affect buyers would supply cash up entrance. Then, the funders – just like the county and town of Austin – would pay the buyers again upon achievement of outcomes. It was a reasonably difficult contracting construction. I believe on the finish of the negotiation of that the county determined it wasn’t in our greatest curiosity to enter that construction, so we pulled out, and ultimately all the opposite funders additionally pulled out.”
Lately, the county was capable of reconvene the earlier funders towards the identical purpose, underneath a distinct financing scheme. The brand new scheme, versus the pay-for-success mannequin, is predicated on a extra conventional fee-for-service mannequin.
Fleming outlined the present state of the venture, in addition to a request to the Commissioners Court docket.
“As Roger said, town has invited companions again to the desk to debate potential tasks for everlasting supportive housing. We’re on the part of the venture the place accomplice curiosity is being explored,” she mentioned.
Fleming hesitated to say rather more than that because of the excessive likelihood that “the venture would look significantly totally different than it appears to be like at this time.”
She underscored HHS’s want for the commissioners to move the movement to “enter right into a collaboration of native companions to develop and negotiate a proposal to fund models of everlasting supportive housing.”
“I believe employees’s curiosity at this time, although, is to have the courtroom authorize us to take part in these discussions, as a result of it was clear to employees on the conclusion of earlier discussions that we have to come to you as a way to get permission to have these discussions, ought to they arrive up once more,” Fleming mentioned.
Whereas Commissioner Brigid Shea expressed robust approval of supportive housing basically, she took exception to discrepancies between the precise language of the movement and Fleming’s description of HHS’s want.
“I used to be supportive of making an attempt to have the pay-for-success mannequin work – it was revolutionary, I believe, however finally too difficult due to the contracting provisions,” Shea mentioned. “However I’m a bit of bit involved concerning the posting language as a result of this appears to be like like it’s directing employees to barter a proposal to fund … I’m not keen to have our employees enter right into a negotiation and proposal to fund with out realizing what sort of prices we’re speaking about and the place the cash may come from.”
Fleming reiterated that no settlement on funding ranges for the venture has been crafted or considerably mentioned. That was as a result of HHS didn’t have the commissioners’ permission to take part.
In response to Fleming, the proposal would “solely authorize employees to take part in accomplice’s discussions, and convey to the (Commissioners) Court docket substantial progress in these discussions, together with requests for the county to take part financially.”
Shea reiterated her earlier considerations, in addition to her assist for the venture. “I’m a bit of involved the language says otherwise – I’d prefer to have barely totally different language once we’re prepared to maneuver ahead with this.”
Shea instructed altering the language to “develop choices for the courtroom to contemplate relating to everlasting supportive housing,” versus the present language that states HHS would be capable to develop and negotiate a proposal to fund models of everlasting supportive housing.
“So it’s clear we’re growing choices, however we’re not committing to one thing, as a result of that’s the rub. We don’t know what it should price and we don’t know the supply of the funds,” Shea mentioned.
The Commissioners Court docket handed a movement to amend the language after which motioned to approve.
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