[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 237 (Friday, December 9, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 76917-76927]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-31634]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

24 CFR Parts 91, 576, 580, and 583

[Docket No. FR-5475-P-01]


Homeless Management Information Systems Requirements

AGENCY: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and 
Development.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: This proposed rule provides for the establishment of 
regulations for Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS), which 
are the local information technology systems that HUD recipients and 
subrecipients use for homeless assistance programs authorized by the 
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (the McKinney-Vento Act). The 
Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 
2009 (HEARTH Act), enacted into law on May 20, 2009, in addition to 
consolidating and amending programs authorized by the McKinney-Vento 
Act, codifies in law the Continuum of Care planning process, as well as 
certain data collection requirements integral to HMIS. The HEARTH Act 
requires that HUD ensure operation of and consistent participation by 
recipients and subrecipients in HMIS. While Continuums of Care have 
been using HMIS for several years, this proposed rule would add a new 
part to the Code of Federal Regulations to regulate the administration 
of HMIS and collection of data using HMIS, as provided for by the 
HEARTH Act. In addition, this proposed rule would make corresponding 
changes to HUD's regulations for Consolidated Submissions for Community 
Planning and Development Programs, at 24 CFR part 91; the Emergency 
Solutions Grants program, at 24 CFR part 576; the Shelter Plus Care 
Program, at 24 CFR part 582; and the Supportive Housing Program, at 24 
CFR part 583.

DATES: Comment Due Date. February 7, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding 
this rule to the Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, 451 
7th Street, SW., Room 10276, Department of Housing and Urban 
Development, Washington, DC 20410-0500. Communications must refer to 
the above docket number and title. There are two methods for submitting 
public comments. All submissions must refer to the above docket number 
and title.
    1. Submission of Comments by Mail. Comments may be submitted by 
mail to the Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, Department 
of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10276, 
Washington, DC 20410-0500.
    2. Electronic Submission of Comments. Interested persons may submit 
comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at 
http://www.regulations.gov. HUD strongly encourages commenters to 
submit comments electronically. Electronic submission of comments 
allows the commenter maximum time to prepare and submit comments, 
ensures timely receipt by HUD, and enables HUD to make them immediately 
available to the public. Comments submitted electronically through the 
http://www.regulations.gov Web site can be viewed by other commenters 
and interested members of the public. Commenters should follow the 
instructions provided on that site to submit comments electronically.

    Note: To receive consideration as public comments, comments must 
be submitted through one of the two methods specified above. Again, 
all submissions must refer to the docket number and title of the 
rule.

    No Facsimile Comments. Facsimile (FAX) comments are not acceptable.
    Public Inspection of Public Comments. All properly submitted 
comments and communications submitted to HUD will be available for 
public inspection and copying between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., eastern time, 
weekdays at the above address. Due to security measures at the HUD 
Headquarters building, an advance appointment to review the public 
comments must be scheduled by calling the Regulations Division at (202) 
708-3055 (this is not a toll-free number). Individuals with speech or 
hearing impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the 
Federal Information Relay Service at (800) 877-

[[Page 76918]]

8339. Copies of all comments submitted are available for inspection and 
downloading at http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ann Marie Oliva, Director, Office of 
Special Needs Assistance Programs, Office of Community Planning and 
Development, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th 
Street SW., Washington, DC 20410-7000; telephone number (202) 708-4300 
(this is not a toll-free number). Hearing- and speech-impaired persons 
may access this number through TTY by calling the Federal Information 
Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 (this is a toll-free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background--HEARTH Act

    The Act to Prevent Mortgage Foreclosures and Enhance Mortgage 
Credit Availability was signed into law on May 20, 2009 (Pub. L. 111-
22). This new law implements a variety of measures directed toward 
keeping individuals and families from losing their homes. Division B of 
this new law is the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition 
to Housing Act of 2009. The HEARTH Act consolidates and amends three of 
the homeless assistance programs authorized by title IV of the 
McKinney-Vento Act (42 U.S.C. 11371 et seq.) into a single grant 
program. Also, the HEARTH Act revised the Emergency Shelter Grants 
program to broaden its existing emergency shelter and homelessness 
prevention activities, to add new activities to rapidly rehouse 
homeless families and individuals, and to change the program's name to 
the Emergency Solutions Grant program. The HEARTH Act also codifies in 
law the Continuum of Care planning process and certain data collection 
requirements and requires HUD to ensure operation of and consistent 
participation by recipients and subrecipients of programs authorized by 
Title IV of the McKinney-Vento Act in HMIS.

II. This Proposed Rule

A. Background

    Commencing in 2004, HUD has required recipients of McKinney-Vento 
Act funds to collect electronic data on their homeless clients through 
HMIS.\1\ HMIS is a software application used to collect demographic 
information on people served. The purpose of HMIS is to record and 
store client-level information about the numbers, characteristics and 
needs of persons who use homeless housing and supportive services and 
about persons who receive assistance for persons at risk of 
homelessness over time, to produce an unduplicated count of homeless 
persons for each Continuum of Care; to understand the extent and nature 
of homelessness locally, regionally and nationally; and to understand 
patterns of service use and measure the effectiveness of programs.
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    \1\ HUD's ``Third Progress Report on HUD's Strategy for 
Improving Homeless Data Collection, Reporting and Analysis,'' dated 
March 2004, described HUD's efforts, commencing in 2001 and in 
collaboration with recipients and subrecipients to develop an 
effective data collection system on the homeless, at both the 
national and local levels. See http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/homeless/hmis/strategy/reporttocongress2004.pdf. These efforts 
concluded with a notice that HUD published in the Federal Register 
on July 30, 2004 (69 FR 45888) that provided final data and 
technical standards for HMIS.
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    This proposed rule establishes regulations for HMIS at 24 CFR part 
580 and makes corresponding amendments to the Consolidated Plan 
regulations, codified in 24 CFR part 91; the Emergency Solutions Grants 
program regulations, codified in 24 CFR part 576, and established by 
interim rule published on December 5, 2011 (76 FR 75954); the Shelter 
Plus Care program regulations, codified in 24 CFR part 582; and the 
Supportive Housing Program regulations, codified in 24 CFR part 583. 
Informed by HUD's experience with HMIS, the proposed rule would 
implement the HEARTH Act requirements and make mandatory the practices 
that HUD previously provided as guidance. The regulatory framework 
proposed by this rule is designed to provide for uniform technical 
requirements of HMIS, for proper collection of data and maintenance of 
the database, and to ensure the confidentiality of the information in 
the database. HUD is publishing the HMIS rule separate from the program 
rules in part to avoid repetition in those rules, but also because 
recipients of grants and assistance from other Federal agencies that 
are now requiring them to use HMIS to collect data and produce reports 
will benefit from a separate rule.
    The following sections of this preamble provide a section-by-
section overview of the proposed rule.

B. Section-by-Section Overview of Proposed Part 580

General Provisions (Subpart A)
Purpose and Scope (Sec.  580.1)
    This section provides that the purpose of HMIS is to record and 
store client-level information about the numbers, characteristics, and 
needs of homeless persons and those at risk of homelessness. This 
section also clarifies the scope of homeless assistance and prevention 
programs that must utilize HMIS.
    With respect to scope, this rule clarifies that all recipients of 
financial assistance under the Continuum of Care program, the Emergency 
Solutions Grant program, the Rural Housing Stability Assistance (RHS) 
program, as well as HUD programs previously funded under the McKinney-
Vento Act (the Supportive Housing Program, the Shelter Plus Care 
program, and the Section 8 Single Room Occupancy Moderate 
Rehabilitation program) are required to use HMIS to collect client-
level data on persons served. Homeless and nonhomeless projects not 
funded under the McKinney-Vento Act may participate in the local HMIS, 
and must follow HMIS regulations and any additional requirements as may 
be issued by notice, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act.
Definitions (Sec.  580.3)
    Under this rule, a comparable database means a database used by a 
victim service provider or a legal service provider that collects 
client-level data over time and generates unduplicated aggregate 
reports based on the data, in accordance with the requirements of this 
part. Information entered into a comparable database must not be 
entered directly into or provided to an HMIS.
    Consistent with section 401(32) of the McKinney-Vento Act, this 
rule defines the term victim service provider as a private nonprofit 
organization whose primary mission is to provide services to victims of 
domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. This 
term includes rape crisis centers, battered women's shelters, domestic 
violence transitional housing programs, and other programs.
HMIS Administration (Subpart B)
    This section of the proposed rule identifies the responsibilities 
of the Continuum of Care, and the HMIS Lead.
Responsibilities for HMIS Administration (Sec.  580.5)
    This section establishes that the Continuum of Care is responsible 
for making decisions about HMIS management and administration. As 
provided in the Definition section of this rule, Continuum of Care 
means the group composed of representatives of organizations, including 
nonprofit homeless providers, faith-based organizations, governments, 
businesses, advocates, public housing agencies, school districts, 
social service providers,

[[Page 76919]]

mental health agencies, hospitals, universities, affordable housing 
developers, and law enforcement, that serve homeless and formerly 
homeless veterans, and homeless and formerly homeless persons that 
carry out the responsibilities delegated to a Continuum of Care under 
HUD's regulations in 24 CFR part 578. The Continuum of Care is 
responsible for ensuring that the HMIS for the Continuum of Care is 
operated in accordance with the provisions of the new regulations and 
other applicable laws.
Duties of the Continuum of Care (Sec.  580.7)
    This section provides that the Continuum of Care must designate a 
single information system as the official HMIS software for the 
geographic area. A single information system reduces administrative 
burden, is more economical for Continuums and, most importantly, allows 
for Continuum-wide collaboration between organizations serving homeless 
persons and persons at risk of homelessness. The Continuum must also 
designate the HMIS Lead. The HMIS Lead must be an instrumentality of 
state or local government, or a private nonprofit organization. The 
Continuum must review, revise, and approve all policies and plans the 
HMIS Lead is required to develop. Finally, the Continuum must develop a 
governance charter and document all assignments and designations 
consistent with the governance charter.
    This section also provides that a Continuum of Care may choose to 
participate in HMIS with one or more other Continuums of Care. To 
create a multi-Continuum HMIS, each Continuum must designate the same 
HMIS software and the same HMIS Lead and must adopt a joint governance 
charter. The HMIS must be capable of reporting unduplicated data for 
each Continuum of Care separately.
Duties of the HMIS Lead (Sec.  580.9)
    This section lists the duties of the HMIS Lead. These duties 
include developing written policies and procedures for all Covered 
Homeless Organizations (CHOs), executing an HMIS participation 
agreement with each CHO, serving as the applicant to HUD for any HMIS 
grants that will cover the Continuum of Care geographic area, and 
monitoring compliance by all CHOs of the Continuum of Care.
Eligible Activities (Subpart C)
Funding for HMIS (Sec.  580.21)
    Funding for HMIS is provided through Federal assistance or other 
public or private resources. HMIS Leads and CHOs must refer to program 
regulations to determine how funds are made available. One source of 
Federal funding for HMIS is the programs authorized by Title IV of the 
McKinney-Vento Act. The applicable program regulations for the HUD 
McKinney-Vento Act programs are found in the regulations of Chapter V 
of title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations. These regulations 
provide how funds are made available and the requirements attached to 
those funds. Concurrently with the publication of this rule, HUD is 
also publishing the Emergency Solutions Grants interim rule. HUD 
expects to publish proposed rules for the new programs created by the 
HEARTH Act amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act shortly. Those rules 
will control the extent to which grant funds can be used for the costs 
of carrying out HMIS activities.
Eligible Activities (Sec.  580.23)
    This section identifies the activities that are needed to 
administer and run an HMIS. The activities listed in Sec.  580.23(a) 
may be carried out only by the HMIS Lead. This is because the HMIS Lead 
is the only organization given the authority by the Continuum of Care 
to make system-wide decisions regarding the HMIS that impact all CHOs 
within the Continuum and because all of these activities relate to 
administering the system on behalf of the Continuum and the CHOs. The 
activities listed in Sec.  580.23(b) are activities that every 
organization that contributes data to an HMIS will need to do. If an 
HMIS Lead also operates a project and contributes data to the HMIS, it 
will carry out these activities in addition to those listed under Sec.  
580.23(a). This section also clarifies that operation of a comparable 
database by victim service providers and legal service providers is an 
eligible HMIS activity.
Carrying Out HMIS Activities (Sec.  580.25)
    This section requires recipients and subrecipients of McKinney-
Vento Act program funds to participate in the HMIS established by the 
Continuum of Care for their geographic area and specifies the 
parameters in which recipients and subrecipients of funds carry out 
eligible HMIS activities. Participation in HMIS by recipients and 
subrecipients of Emergency Solutions Grants program funds is 
statutorily required.
    This section also provides that victim service providers must not 
directly enter or provide data into an HMIS if they are legally 
prohibited from participating in HMIS and that legal service providers 
may choose not to use HMIS if it is necessary to protect attorney-
client privileges. Victim service providers and legal service providers 
that are recipients of funds requiring participation in HMIS, but which 
do not directly enter data into an HMIS, must use a comparable 
database. This section specifies the standards for a comparable 
database. Victim service providers have been prohibited from entering 
data into HMIS since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act and 
Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 13925). 
The Notice of Allocation, Application Procedures, and Requirements for 
Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program Recipients and 
subrecipients under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 
(HPRP Notice) established, for the first time, standards for a 
comparable database and required victim service providers to enter data 
into a comparable database. Entering data into a comparable database 
was necessary to produce the reports required by the Homelessness 
Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP). The HPRP Notice also 
established the ability for legal service providers to use a comparable 
database instead of directly entering data into the HMIS where it is 
necessary to protect attorney-client privileges. HUD is proposing to 
adopt above requirements in this rule because without information from 
victim service providers and legal service providers, the collaborative 
applicant cannot effectively carry out its required duties and the 
Continuum of Care cannot evaluate the system-wide performance of the 
Continuum. A comparable database allows the collaborative applicant and 
Continuum to obtain the aggregate data needed while respecting the 
sensitive nature of the client-level information if it complies with 
all HMIS data, technical, and security standards as established in this 
part or by notice.
HMIS Governance, Technical, Security, and Data Quality Standards 
(Subpart D)
HMIS Governance Standards (Sec.  580.31)
    The importance of the integrity and security of HMIS cannot be 
overstated. Given such importance, it is equally important that HMIS is 
administered and operated under high standards of data quality and 
security. To strive to meet this objective, this section requires the 
HMIS Lead to adopt policies and procedures for the operation of its 
HMIS. These policies and procedures must not only meet HUD standards, 
but as this regulatory section specifies, the

[[Page 76920]]

policies and procedures must meet applicable state or local 
governmental requirements. This section also emphasizes that the HMIS 
Lead and the CHOs are jointly responsible for ensuring that HMIS data 
processing capabilities, including the collection, maintenance, use, 
disclosure, transmission, and destruction of data and the maintenance 
privacy, security, and confidentiality protections. In particular, 
governing policies and procedures must allow any CHO that is also a 
covered entity under the Health Insurance Portability and 
Accountability Act (HIPAA) to make disclosures of protected health 
information in a manner that fully complies with the HIPAA privacy and 
security rules.
HMIS Technical Standards (Sec.  580.33), HMIS Security Standards (Sec.  
580.35), and Data Quality Standards and Management (Sec.  580.37)
    These three sections address required technical aspects of the HMIS 
system and provide direction to ensure that each HMIS is and remains a 
system of accuracy, integrity, and confidentiality. The standards in 
these three regulatory sections broadly present the parameters of each 
of these areas. By including these standards in regulations, HUD seeks 
to have uniform and consistent standards with respect to technology, 
security, and data quality. It is not HUD's intent that these standards 
be so restrictive that there is no flexibility to adapt to changing 
technology, which may enhance security, data quality, and the technical 
features of the system application that is currently HMIS. Therefore, 
specific details applicable to each of these areas will be reserved for 
inclusion in a notice that will be subject to the Paperwork Reduction 
Act.
    The placement of the detailed operating and technical functions of 
HMIS in a supplemental document will allow HUD to be more responsive to 
changes in technology. HUD will propose any changes to these standards 
through notice and the public comment process. This procedure will 
allow for a more expedient adoption of technology requirements. The 
security standards section specifies that HMIS Leads must establish a 
security plan, which must be approved by the Continuum of Care, 
designate a security officer, conduct workforce security screening, 
report security incidents, establish a disaster recovery plan, and 
conduct an annual security review. Additionally, HMIS Leads must ensure 
that each CHO designates a security officer and conducts workforce 
security measures, and that each user completes security training at 
least annually and each CHO conducts an annual security review.
    The data quality standards and management section specifies that 
HMIS Leads must set data quality benchmarks for CHOs, including bed 
coverage rates and service-volume coverage rates. In the 2006 Continuum 
of Care Exhibit 1 Application, HUD established the use of bed coverage 
rates as a data quality measure. As HMIS is used to collect increasing 
amounts of information on projects without overnight accommodations, 
HUD needs a method for calculating the coverage rate a Continuum of 
Care has in recording the people served in these projects. HUD proposes 
that service-volume coverage be calculated for a HUD-defined category 
of projects without overnight accommodations, such as homelessness 
prevention projects or street outreach projects, by dividing the number 
of persons served annually by the projects that participate in the HMIS 
by the number of persons served annually by all of the Continuum of 
Care projects within the HUD-defined category. HUD is specifically 
seeking public comment on this data quality measurement.
Maintaining and Archiving Data (Sec.  580.51)
    This section specifies that CHOs and HMIS Leads refer to applicable 
program regulations to determine the length of time that records must 
be maintained for inspection and monitoring purposes. The HMIS Lead may 
archive data in the HMIS, but must follow archiving data standards 
established by HUD in Federal Register notices.

C. Explanation of Changes to Proposed Changes to Parts 91, 576, 582, 
and 583

    This proposed rule would revise the definition of HMIS in 24 CFR 
part 91 and each of the HMIS-related sections of 24 CFR part 576, as 
amended by the Interim Rule for the Emergency Solutions Grants program, 
published on December 5, 2011 (76 FR 75954). Specifically, references 
to the new part 580 replace the references to HUD's standards on 
participation, data collection, and reporting under a local HMIS.
    This proposed rule would also revise the recordkeeping requirements 
for the definition of ``homeless'' to allow a certificate or other 
appropriate service transaction recorded in an HMIS that meets the 
requirements of the new part 580 to be acceptable evidence of third-
party documentation and intake worker observations in parts 576, 582, 
and 583.

III. Solicitation of Public Comment

    HUD invites comment on the HMIS requirements as presented in this 
proposed rule. Public comment on this rule will assist HUD in 
developing an effective regulatory framework for administration of 
HMIS.

IV. Findings and Certifications

Regulatory Planning and Review

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reviewed this rule under 
Executive Order 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review.'' This rule 
was determined to be a ``significant regulatory action,'' as defined in 
section 3(f) of the order (although not an economically significant 
regulatory action under the order). The docket file is available for 
public inspection in the Regulations Division, Office of the General 
Counsel, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10276, Washington, DC 20410-0500. Due 
to security measures at the HUD Headquarters building, please schedule 
an appointment to review the docket file by calling the Regulations 
Division at (202) 402-3055 (this is not a toll-free number). 
Individuals with speech or hearing impairments may access this number 
via TTY by calling the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

Information Collection Requirements

    The information collection requirements contained in this proposed 
rule have been submitted to OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 
1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction 
Act, an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required 
to respond to, a collection of information, unless the collection 
displays a currently valid OMB control number.
    The burden of the information collections in this proposed rule is 
estimated as follows:

[[Page 76921]]



                                       Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden
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                                                     Response
     Information collection          Number of       frequency     Total annual    Burden hours    Total annual
                                    respondents      (average)       responses     per response        hours
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
580.5 Responsibility for HMIS                450               1             450               4           1,800
 administration.................
580.7 Duties of the Continuum of             450               1             450              42          18,900
 Care...........................
580.9(a) Duties of the HMIS                  350             125          43,750               8         350,000
 Lead--Ensure operation and
 participation..................
580.9(b) Duties of the HMIS                  350               1             350              80          28,000
 Lead--Develop written policies.
580.9(c) Duties of the HMIS                  350             125          43,750               1          43,750
 Lead--Execute participation
 agreements.....................
580.9(e) Duties of the HMIS                  350             125          43,750               8         350,000
 Lead--Monitor and Enforce
 Compliance.....................
580.9(f) Duties of the HMIS                  350               3           1,050              40          42,000
 Lead--Develop plans............
580.25(d) Carrying out HMIS                2,000               1           2,000              40          80,000
 Activities--Standards for
 Comparable Database............
580.31(c) Unduplicated Count....             350               1             350              16           5,600
580.31(f) Implementing                       300               1             300               4           1,200
 specifications.................
580.35(d)(1) Administrative                7,600               1           7,600               2          15,200
 Safeguards--Security Officer...
580.35(d)(2) Workforce Security.           7,600              12          91,200               2         182,400
580.35(d)(3) Security Awareness              350             125          43,750               1          43,750
 Training and Follow-up.........
580.35(d)(4) Reporting Security              350               1             350               8           2,800
 Incidents......................
580.35(d)(5) Disaster Recovery               350               1             350               8           2,800
 Plan...........................
580.35(6) Annual Security Review             350             125          43,750               1          43,750
580.35(7) Contracts and Other                350             125          43,750             .25          10,938
 Arrangements...................
580.37(c) Data Quality                       350               1             350               4           1,400
 Benchmarks.....................
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............       1,224,288
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In accordance with 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1), HUD is soliciting comments 
from members of the public and affected agencies concerning this 
collection of information to:
    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is 
necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of 
the proposed collection of information;
    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected; and
    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those 
who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated 
collection techniques or other forms of information technology; e.g., 
permitting electronic submission of responses.
    Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding the 
information collection requirements in this rule. Comments must refer 
to the proposal by name and docket number (FR-5475-P-01) and must be 
sent to:

HUD Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office 
Building, Washington, DC 20503, Fax number: (202) 395-6947; and
Reports Liaison Officer, Office of Community Planning and Development, 
Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street, SW., 
Room 7220, Washington, DC 20410-7000.

Environmental Impact

    This proposed rule does not direct, provide for assistance or loan 
and mortgage insurance for, or otherwise govern or regulate, real 
property acquisition, disposition, leasing, rehabilitation, alteration, 
demolition, or new construction, or establish, revise, or provide for 
standards for construction or construction materials, manufactured 
housing, or occupancy. Accordingly, under 24 CFR 50.19(c)(1), this 
proposed rule is categorically excluded from environmental review under 
the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321).

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) 
(UMRA) establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the 
effects of their regulatory actions on state, local, and tribal 
governments and on the private sector. This proposed rule does not 
impose a Federal mandate on any state, local, or tribal government, or 
on the private sector, within the meaning of UMRA.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) generally 
requires an agency to conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis of any 
rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements, unless the 
agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule addresses 
the requirements of the HMIS as provided by the HEARTH Act (Pub. L. 
111-22). The purpose of this rule is to determine the framework and 
conditions of the information technology system used by all recipients 
of grant funds under the McKinney-Vento Act, as amended by the HEARTH 
Act. Given the narrow scope of this rule, HUD has determined that it 
would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities.
    Notwithstanding HUD's determination that this rule will not have a 
significant effect on a substantial number of small entities, HUD 
specifically invites comments regarding any less burdensome 
alternatives to this rule that will meet HUD's objectives as described 
in this preamble.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    Executive Order 13132 (entitled ``Federalism'') prohibits an agency 
from publishing any rule that has federalism implications if the rule 
either imposes substantial direct compliance costs on state and local 
governments and is not required by statute, or the rule preempts state 
law, unless the agency meets the consultation and funding requirements 
of section 6 of the Executive Order. This

[[Page 76922]]

final rule does not have federalism implications and does not impose 
substantial direct compliance costs on state and local governments nor 
preempt state law within the meaning of the Executive Order.

List of Subjects

24 CFR Part 91

    Aged, Grant programs--housing and community development, Homeless, 
Individuals with disabilities, Low- and moderate-income housing, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

24 CFR Part 576

    Community facilities, Emergency solutions grants, Grant programs--
housing and community development, Grant program--social programs, 
Homeless, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

24 CFR Part 580

    Community facilities, Emergency shelter grants, Grant programs--
housing and community development, Homeless, Information technology 
system, Management system, Nonprofit organizations, Reporting 
requirements, Supportive housing programs--housing and community 
development, Supportive services.

24 CFR Part 582

    Homeless, Rent subsidies, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Supportive housing programs--housing and community development, 
Supportive services.

24 CFR Part 583

    Homeless, Rent subsidies, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Supportive housing programs--housing and community development, 
Supportive services.

    Accordingly, for the reasons stated above, HUD proposes to amend 24 
CFR parts 91, 576, 580, and 583 as follows:

PART 91--CONSOLIDATED SUBMISSIONS FOR COMMUNITY PLANNING AND 
DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

    1. The authority citation for 24 CFR part 91 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 3535(d), 3601-3619, 5301-5315, 11331-
11388, 12701-12711, 12741-12756, and 12901-12912.

    2. In Sec.  91.5, the definition of ``Homeless Management 
Information System (HMIS)'' is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  91.5  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). The information 
system designated by the Continuum of Care to comply with the 
requirements of 24 CFR part 580 and used to record, analyze, and 
transmit client and activity data in regard to the provision of 
shelter, housing, and services to individuals and families who are 
homeless or at risk of homelessness.
* * * * *

PART 576--EMERGENCY SOLUTIONS GRANTS PROGRAM

    3. The authority citation for 24 CFR part 576 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 11371 et seq., 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

    4. In Sec.  576.2, the definition of ``homeless management 
information system (HMIS)'' is revised, and the definition of ``HMIS 
Lead'' is added, to read as follows:


Sec.  576.2  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) means the information 
system designated by the Continuum of Care to comply with 24 CFR part 
580 and used to record, analyze, and transmit client and activity data 
in regard to the provision of shelter, housing, and services to 
individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
    HMIS Lead means the entity designated by the Continuum of Care in 
accordance with 24 CFR part 580 to operate the Continuum's HMIS on the 
Continuum's behalf.
* * * * *
    5. Section 576.107 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  576.107  HMIS component.

    (a) Eligible costs.
    (1) The recipient or subrecipient may use ESG funds to pay the 
costs of contributing data to the HMIS designated by the Continuum of 
Care for the area, including the costs of:
    (i) Purchasing or leasing computer hardware;
    (ii) Purchasing software or software licenses;
    (iii) Purchasing or leasing equipment, including telephones, faxes, 
and furniture;
    (iv) Obtaining technical support;
    (v) Leasing office space;
    (vi) Paying charges for electricity, gas, water, phone service, and 
high-speed data transmission necessary to operate or contribute data to 
the HMIS;
    (vii) Paying salaries for operating HMIS, including:
    (A) Completing data entry;
    (B) Monitoring and reviewing data quality;
    (C) Completing data analysis;
    (D) Reporting to the HMIS Lead;
    (E) Training staff on using the HMIS or a comparable database; and
    (F) Implementing and complying with HMIS requirements;
    (viii) Paying costs of staff to travel to and attend HUD-sponsored 
and HUD-approved training on HMIS and programs authorized by Title IV 
of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act;
    (ix) Paying staff travel costs to conduct intake; and
    (x) Paying participation fees charged by the HMIS Lead, as defined 
in 24 CFR 580.3, if the recipient or subrecipient is not the HMIS Lead.
    (2) If the recipient or subrecipient is the HMIS Lead, as defined 
in 24 CFR 580.3, it may also use ESG funds to pay the costs of:
    (i) Hosting and maintaining HMIS software or data;
    (ii) Backing up, recovering, or repairing HMIS software or data;
    (iii) Upgrading, customizing, and enhancing the HMIS;
    (iv) Integrating and warehousing data, including development of a 
data warehouse for use in aggregating data from subrecipients using 
multiple software systems;
    (v) Administering the system;
    (vi) Reporting to providers, the Continuum of Care, and HUD; and
    (vii) Conducting training on using the system or comparable 
database, including traveling to the training.
    (3) If the subrecipient is a victim services provider or a legal 
services provider, it may use ESG funds to establish and operate a 
comparable database that complies with 24 CFR part 580.
    (b) General restrictions. Activities funded under this section must 
comply with the HMIS requirements at 24 CFR part 580.
    6. In Sec.  576.400, paragraph (f) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  576.400  Area-wide systems coordination requirements.

* * * * *
    (f) Participation in HMIS. The recipient must ensure that data on 
all persons served and all activities assisted under ESG are entered 
into the applicable HMIS for the geographic area in which those persons 
and activities are located, or a comparable database, as provided under 
24 CFR part 580. The entry, storage, and use of this data are subject 
to the HMIS requirements at 24 CFR part 580.
    7. In Sec.  576.500, paragraphs (b) and (x)(1)(i) are revised to 
read as follows:

[[Page 76923]]

Sec.  576.500  Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (b) Homeless status. The recipient must maintain and follow written 
intake procedures to ensure compliance with the homeless definition in 
Sec.  576.2. The procedures must require documentation at intake of the 
evidence relied upon to establish and verify homeless status. The 
procedures must establish the order of priority for obtaining evidence 
as third-party documentation first, intake worker observations second, 
and certification from the person seeking assistance third. However, 
lack of third-party documentation must not prevent an individual or 
family from being immediately admitted to emergency shelter, receiving 
street outreach services, or being immediately admitted to shelter or 
receiving services provided by a victim service provider. A certificate 
or other appropriate service transaction recorded in an HMIS or other 
database that meets the standards prescribed by HUD in 24 CFR part 580 
is acceptable evidence of third-party documentation and intake worker 
observations.
* * * * *
    (x) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) All records containing protected identifying information, as 
defined in 24 CFR 580.3, regarding any individual or family who applies 
for and/or receives ESG assistance will be kept secure and 
confidential;
* * * * *

PART 582--SHELTER PLUS CARE

    8. The authority for 24 CFR part 582 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 3535(d), and 11403-11407b.

    9. In Sec.  582.301, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  582.301  Recordkeeping.

    (a) [Reserved.]
    (b) Homeless status. The recipient must maintain and follow written 
intake procedures to ensure compliance with the homeless definition in 
Sec.  582.5. The procedures must require documentation at intake of the 
evidence relied upon to establish and verify homeless status. The 
procedures must establish the order of priority for obtaining evidence 
as third-party documentation first, intake worker observations second, 
and certification from the person seeking assistance third. However, 
lack of third-party documentation must not prevent an individual or 
family from being immediately admitted to emergency shelter, receiving 
street outreach services, or being immediately admitted to shelter or 
receiving services provided by a victim service provider, as defined in 
section 401(32) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as 
amended by the HEARTH Act. A certificate or other appropriate service 
transaction recorded in an HMIS or other database that meets the 
standards prescribed by HUD in 24 CFR part 580 is acceptable evidence 
of third-party documentation and intake worker observations.
* * * * *

PART 583--SUPPORTIVE HOUSING PROGRAM

    10. The authority citation for 24 CFR part 583 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 3535(d) and 11389.

    11. In Sec.  583.301, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  583.301  Recordkeeping.

    (a) [Reserved.]
    (b) Homeless status. The recipient must maintain and follow written 
intake procedures to ensure compliance with the homeless definition in 
Sec.  583.5. The procedures must require documentation at intake of the 
evidence relied upon to establish and verify homeless status. The 
procedures must establish the order of priority for obtaining evidence 
as third-party documentation first, intake worker observations second, 
and certification from the person seeking assistance third. However, 
lack of third-party documentation must not prevent an individual or 
family from being immediately admitted to emergency shelter, receiving 
street outreach services, or being immediately admitted to shelter or 
receiving services provided by a victim service provider, as defined in 
section 401(32) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as 
amended by the HEARTH Act. A certificate or other appropriate service 
transaction recorded in an HMIS or other database that meets the 
standards prescribed by HUD in 24 CFR part 580 is acceptable evidence 
of third-party documentation and intake worker observations.
* * * * *
    12. A new part 580 is added to read as follows:

PART 580--HOMELESS MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM

Subpart A--General Provisions
Sec.
580.1 Purpose and scope.
580.3 Definitions.
Subpart B--HMIS Administration
580.5 Responsibility for HMIS administration.
580.7 Duties of the Continuum of Care.
580.9 Duties of the HMIS Lead.
Subpart C--Eligible Activities
580.21 Funding for HMIS.
580.23 Eligible Activities.
580.25 Carrying out eligible activities.
Subpart D--HMIS Governance, Technical, Security, and Data Quality 
Standards
580.31 HMIS governance standards.
580.33 HMIS technical standards.
580.35 HMIS security standards.
580.37 Data quality standards and management.
Subpart E--Maintaining and Archiving Data
580.41 Maintaining and archiving data.
Subpart F--Sanctions
580.51 Sanctions.

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 11301, 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

Subpart A--General Provisions


Sec.  580.1  Purpose and scope.

    (a) Purpose. The purpose of a homeless management information 
system (HMIS), whether funded by public or private resources, is to 
record and store client-level information about the numbers, 
characteristics, and needs of persons who use homeless housing and 
supportive services and for persons who receive assistance for persons 
at risk of homelessness, including:
    (1) Aggregation of HMIS data. Information in HMIS may be aggregated 
to:
    (i) Obtain information about the extent and nature of homelessness 
over time;
    (ii) Produce an unduplicated count of homeless persons;
    (iii) Understand patterns of service use; and
    (iv) Measure the effectiveness of homeless assistance projects and 
programs.
    (2) Uses of aggregate HMIS information. Information generated from 
the HMIS:
    (i) Will be used by recipients and subrecipients to report to HUD 
and for such other reasons as may be specified in law or regulation or 
by HUD through notices;
    (ii) Will be used by HUD and other Federal agencies to report to 
Congress, to evaluate recipient performance, and for such other reasons 
as may be specified in law or regulation or by HUD through notice; and
    (iii) May be made available to the public to raise awareness and 
enhance local planning processes.

[[Page 76924]]

    (b) Scope. (1) Every Continuum of Care must have an HMIS that is 
operated in compliance with the requirements of this part.
    (2) All recipients of grants from the programs authorized by Title 
IV of the McKinney-Vento Act are required to use HMIS, except as 
provided in Sec.  580.25(d).
    (3) Homeless and nonhomeless projects that are not funded by grants 
from programs authorized by Title IV of the McKinney-Vento Act may also 
participate in the local HMIS, and must follow all of the requirements 
set forth in this part.


Sec.  580.3  Definitions.

    The following terms have the following meanings:
    Act means the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, and, unless 
otherwise specified, as amended by the Homeless Emergency Assistance 
and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009 (Division B of Pub. L. 111-
22 (HEARTH Act) (42 U.S.C. 11371 et seq.).
    Continuum of Care means the group composed of representatives from 
organizations including nonprofit homeless providers, victim service 
providers, faith-based organizations, governments, businesses, 
advocates, public housing agencies, school districts, social service 
providers, mental health agencies, hospitals, universities, affordable 
housing developers, law enforcement, organizations that serve veterans, 
and homeless and formerly homeless persons organized to carry out the 
responsibilities of a Continuum of Care established under 24 CFR part 
578.
    Comparable database means a database that is not the Continuum's 
official HMIS, but an alternative system that victim service providers 
and legal services providers may use to collect client-level data over 
time and to generate unduplicated aggregate reports based on the data, 
and that complies with the requirements of this part. Information 
entered into a comparable database must not be entered directly into or 
provided to an HMIS.
    Contributing HMIS Organization (or CHO) means an organization that 
operates a project that contributes data to an HMIS.
    Data recipient means a person who obtains personally identifying 
information from an HMIS Lead or from a CHO for research or other 
purposes not directly related to the operation of the HMIS, Continuum 
of Care, HMIS Lead, or CHO.
    Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) means the information 
system designated by Continuums of Care to comply with the requirements 
of this part and used to record, analyze, and transmit client and 
activity data in regard to the provision of shelter, housing, and 
services to individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of 
homelessness.
    HMIS Lead means an entity designated by the Continuum of Care in 
accordance with this part to operate the Continuum's HMIS on its 
behalf.
    HMIS vendor means a contractor who provides materials or services 
for the operation of an HMIS. An HMIS vendor includes an HMIS software 
provider, web server host, data warehouse provider, as well as a 
provider of other information technology or support.
    HUD means the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
    Participation fee means a fee the HMIS Lead charges CHOs for 
participating in the HMIS to cover the HMIS Lead's actual expenditures, 
without profit to the HMIS Lead, for software licenses, software annual 
support, training, data entry, data analysis, reporting, hardware, 
connectivity, and administering the HMIS.
    Protected identifying information means information about a program 
participant that can be used to distinguish or trace a program 
participant's identity, either alone or when combined with other 
personal or identifying information, using methods reasonably likely to 
be used, which is linkable to the program participant.
    Unduplicated count of homeless persons means an enumeration of 
homeless persons where each person is counted only once during a 
defined period.
    User means an individual who uses or enters data in an HMIS or 
another administrative database from which data is periodically 
provided to an HMIS.
    Victim service provider means a private nonprofit organization 
whose primary mission is to provide services to victims of domestic 
violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. This term 
includes rape crisis centers, battered women's shelters, domestic 
violence transitional housing programs, and other programs.

Subpart B--HMIS Administration


Sec.  580.5  Responsibility for HMIS administration.

    Every Continuum of Care must have an HMIS that complies with this 
part. The Continuum of Care is responsible for ensuring that its HMIS 
is administered in accordance with the requirements of this part and 
other applicable Federal, state, and local laws and ordinances.


Sec.  580.7  Duties of the Continuum of Care.

    (a) Required duties. The Continuum of Care must:
    (1) Designate a single information system as the official HMIS 
software for the geographic area. The software must comply with the 
requirements of this part.
    (2) Designate an HMIS Lead, which may be itself, to operate the 
HMIS. The HMIS Lead must be a state or local government, an 
instrumentality of state or local government, or a private nonprofit 
organization.
    (3) Develop a governance charter, which at a minimum includes:
    (i) A requirement that the HMIS Lead enter into written HMIS 
Participation Agreements with each CHO requiring the CHO to comply with 
this part and imposing sanctions for failure to comply;
    (ii) The participation fee charged by the HMIS; and
    (iii) Such additional requirements as may be issued by notice from 
time to time.
    (4) Maintain documentation evidencing compliance with this part and 
with the governance charter; and
    (5) Review, revise and approve the policies and plans (required by 
this part and by any notices issued from time to time.
    (b) Discretionary actions. A Continuum of Care may choose to 
participate in an HMIS with one or more other Continuums, subject to 
the following conditions:
    (1) All Continuums of Care within a multi-Continuum HMIS must 
designate the same HMIS Lead and must work jointly with the HMIS Lead 
to develop and adopt a joint governance charter;
    (2) All Continuums of Care within a multi-continuum HMIS must 
designate the same governance, technical, security, privacy, and data 
quality standards;
    (3) Each Continuum of Care must designate the same information 
system as the official HMIS software; and
    (4) The HMIS must be capable of reporting unduplicated data for 
each Continuum of Care separately.


Sec.  580.9  Duties of the HMIS Lead.

    The HMIS Lead shall:
    (a) Ensure the operation of and consistent participation by 
recipients of funds from the Emergency Solutions Grants Program and 
from the other programs authorized by Title IV of the McKinney-Vento 
Act. Duties include establishing the HMIS; conducting oversight of the 
HMIS; and taking

[[Page 76925]]

corrective action, if needed, to ensure that the HMIS is compliant with 
the requirements of this part;
    (b) Develop written HMIS policies and procedures in accordance with 
Sec.  580.31 for all CHOs;
    (c) Execute a written HMIS Participation Agreement with each CHO, 
which includes the obligations and authority of the HMIS Lead and CHO, 
the requirements of the security plan with which the CHO must abide, 
the requirements of the privacy policy with which the CHO must abide, 
the sanctions for violating the HMIS Participation Agreement (e.g., 
imposing a financial penalty, requiring completion of standardized or 
specialized training, suspending or revoking user licenses, suspending 
or revoking system privileges, or pursuing criminal prosecution), and 
an agreement that the HMIS Lead and the CHO will process Protected 
Identifying Information consistent with the agreement. The HMIS 
Participation Agreement may address other activities to meet local 
needs;
    (d) Serve as the applicant to HUD for grant funds to be used for 
HMIS activities for the Continuum of Care's geographic area, as 
directed by the Continuum, and, if selected for an award by HUD, enter 
into a grant agreement with HUD to carry out the HUD-approved 
activities;
    (e) Monitor and enforce compliance by all CHOs with the 
requirements of this part and report on compliance to the Continuum of 
Care and HUD;
    (f) The HMIS Lead must submit a security plan (see Sec.  580.35), a 
data quality plan (see Sec.  580.37), and a privacy policy (see Sec.  
580.31(g)) to the Continuum of Care for approval within [the date that 
is 6 months after the effective date of the final rule to be inserted 
at final rule stage] and within 6 months after the date that any change 
is made to the local HMIS. The HMIS Lead must review and update the 
plans and policy at least annually. During this process, the HMIS Lead 
must seek and incorporate feedback from the Continuum of Care and CHO. 
The HMIS Lead must implement the plans and policy within 6 months of 
the date of approval by the Continuum of Care.

Subpart C--Eligible Activities


Sec.  580.21  Funding for HMIS.

    Eligibility of costs of carrying out HMIS activities depends on the 
source of the funds. HMIS Leads and CHOs must look to the regulations 
for the funding source to determine what costs are eligible.


Sec.  580.23  Eligible activities.

    (a) HMIS Lead. Only the HMIS Lead may carry out the following 
activities:
    (1) Host and maintain HMIS software or data;
    (2) Backup, recovery, and repair of the HMIS software or data;
    (3) Upgrade, customize, and enhance the HMIS;
    (4) Integrate and warehouse data, including development of a data 
warehouse for use in aggregating data from subrecipients using multiple 
software systems;
    (5) System administration;
    (6) Report to providers, the Continuum, and HUD;
    (7) Conduct training for recipients on the use of the system, 
including the reasonable cost of travel to the training; and
    (8) Such additional activities as may be authorized by HUD in 
notice.
    (b) HMIS Lead and CHOs. HMIS Leads that are also CHOs and other 
CHOs may carry out the following activities:
    (1) Purchase, lease, or license computer hardware and software;
    (2) Purchase or lease equipment, including telephones, faxes, and 
furniture;
    (3) Pay for technical support;
    (4) Lease office space;
    (5) Pay for electricity, gas, water, phone service, and high-speed 
data transmission costs necessary to operate and participate in the 
HMIS;
    (6) Pay salaries for operating HMIS, which includes:
    (i) Data entry;
    (ii) Monitor and review data quality;
    (iii) Data analysis;
    (iv) Report to the HMIS Lead;
    (v) Attend HUD-sponsored and HUD-approved training on HMIS and 
programs authorized by Title IV of the McKinney-Vento Act;
    (vi) Conduct training for CHOs on the HMIS or comparable database;
    (vii) Travel to conduct intake and to attend training;
    (viii) Implement and comply with HMIS requirements; and
    (7) Pay the participation fee to the HMIS Lead that is established 
by the Continuum of Care in the governance charter;
    (8) If the CHO is a victim services provider, as defined under 24 
CFR 580.3, or a legal services provider, establish and operate a 
comparable database that complies with 24 CFR 580.25; and
    (9) Such other activities as authorized by HUD in notice.


Sec.  580.25  Carrying out HMIS activities.

    (a) ESG. Each recipient and subrecipient of ESG grant funds under 
24 CFR part 576 is required to enter data in the Continuum's HMIS or a 
comparable database, as provided under this part.
    (b) Reserved.
    (c) Reserved.
    (d) Victim service and legal service providers. Victim service 
providers shall not directly enter or contribute data into an HMIS if 
they are legally prohibited from participating in HMIS. Legal service 
providers may choose not to use HMIS if it is necessary to protect 
attorney-client privilege. Victim service and legal service providers 
that are recipients of funds that require participation in HMIS that do 
not directly enter or contribute data to an HMIS must use a comparable 
database instead.
    (1) Standards for a comparable database. (i) The comparable 
database must meet the standards of this part and comply with all HMIS 
data information, security, and processing standards, as established by 
HUD in notice.
    (ii) The comparable database must meet the standards for security, 
data quality, and privacy of the HMIS within the Continuum of Care. The 
comparable database may use more stringent standards than the Continuum 
of Care's HMIS.
    (2) Victim service providers and legal service providers may 
suppress aggregate data on specific client characteristics if the 
characteristics meet the requirements of this part and any conditions 
as may be established by HUD in notice.

Subpart D--HMIS Governance, Technical, Security, and Data Quality 
Standards


Sec.  580.31  HMIS governance standards.

    (a) Development of local HMIS policies and procedures. An HMIS Lead 
must adopt written policies and procedures for the operation of the 
HMIS that apply to the HMIS Lead, its CHOs, and the Continuum of Care. 
These policies and procedures must comply with all applicable Federal 
law and regulations, and applicable state or local governmental 
requirements. An HMIS Lead may not establish local standards for any 
CHO that contradicts, undermines, or interferes with the implementation 
of the HMIS standards as prescribed in this part.
    (b) The HMIS Lead and the CHO using the HMIS are jointly 
responsible for ensuring that HMIS processing capabilities remain 
consistent with the privacy obligations of the CHO.
    (c) Unduplicated count. An HMIS Lead must, at least once annually, 
or upon request from HUD, submit to the

[[Page 76926]]

Continuum of Care an unduplicated count of clients served and an 
analysis of unduplicated counts, when requested by HUD.
    (d) Reporting. The HMIS Lead shall submit reports to HUD as 
required.
    (e) CHO requirements. A CHO must comply with the applicable 
standards set forth in this part.
    (f) Implementing specifications. A CHO must comply with Federal, 
state, and local laws that require additional privacy or 
confidentiality protections. When a privacy or security standard 
conflicts with other Federal, state, and local laws to which the CHO 
must adhere, the CHO must contact the HMIS Lead and collaboratively 
update the applicable policies for the CHO to accurately reflect the 
additional protections.
    (g) Other requirements. (1) An HMIS Lead must develop a privacy 
policy. At a minimum, the privacy policy must include data collection 
limitations; purpose and use limitations; allowable uses and 
disclosures; openness description; access and correction standards; 
accountability standards; protections for victims of domestic violence, 
dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking; and such additional 
information and standards as may be established by HUD in notice.
    (2) Every organization with access to protected identifying 
information must implement procedures to ensure and monitor its 
compliance with applicable agreements and the requirements of this 
part, including enforcement of sanctions for noncompliance.
    (3) An HMIS Lead or CHO that contracts with an HMIS vendor must, as 
part of its contract with an HMIS vendor, require the HMIS vendor and 
the software to comply with HMIS standards issued by HUD.


Sec.  580.33  HMIS technical standards.

    (a) In general. HMIS Leads and HMIS vendors are jointly responsible 
for ensuring compliance with the technical standards applicable to 
HMIS, as provided in this document and any supplemental notices, and 
for addressing any identified system or operating deficiencies 
promptly. Grant funds must be used only for software that meets the 
requirements of this part.
    (b) Required functionality. The HMIS must meet all required 
functionality established by HUD in notice.
    (c) Unduplication requirements. An HMIS must be capable of 
unduplicating client records as established by HUD in notice.
    (d) Data collection requirements. (1) Collection of all data 
elements. An HMIS must contain fields for collection of all data 
elements established by HUD in notice. For fields that contain response 
categories, the response categories in the HMIS must either directly 
match or map to the response categories defined by HUD.
    (2) Maintaining historical data. An HMIS must be able to record 
data from a theoretically limitless number of service transactions and 
historical observations for data analysis over time and assessment of 
client outcomes, while following Federal, state, territorial, or local 
data retention laws and ordinances.
    (e) Reporting requirements. (1) Standard HUD reports. An HMIS must 
be able to generate the report outputs specified by HUD. The reporting 
feature must be able to represent dates in the past for all historical 
and transactional data elements.
    (2) Data quality reports. An HMIS must be capable of producing 
reports that enable the CHOs and the HMIS Lead to assess compliance 
with local data quality benchmarks and any HUD-established data quality 
benchmarks.
    (3) Audit reports. An HMIS must be capable of generating audit 
reports to allow the HMIS Lead to review the audit logs on demand, 
including minimum data requirements established by HUD in notice.


Sec.  580.35  HMIS security standards.

    (a) In general. Security standards, as provided in this section, 
are directed to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability 
of all HMIS information; protect against any reasonably anticipated 
threats or hazards to security; and ensure compliance by end users. 
Written policies and procedures must comply with all applicable Federal 
law and regulations, and applicable state or local governmental 
requirements.
    (b) System applicability. All HMIS Leads, CHOs, and HMIS vendors 
must follow the security standards established by HUD in notice.
    (c) Security management. (1) Security plan. All HMIS Leads must 
develop a HMIS security plan, which meets the minimum requirements for 
a security plan as established by HUD in notice, and which must be 
approved by the Continuum of Care.
    (2) Timeline for implementation. The HMIS Lead must submit the 
security plan to the Continuum of Care for approval within 6 months of 
[effective date of final rule to be inserted at final rule stage]. The 
HMIS Lead and CHOs must implement all administrative, physical, and 
technical safeguards within 6 months of the initial approval of the 
security plan. If one or more of these standards cannot be implemented, 
the HMIS Lead must justify the implementation delay and produce a plan 
of action for mitigating the shortfall, and develop milestones to 
eliminate the shortfall over time.
    (d) Administrative safeguards. The administrative actions, 
policies, and procedures required to manage the selection, development, 
implementation, and maintenance of security measures to protect HMIS 
information must, at a minimum, meet the following:
    (1) Security officer. Each HMIS Lead and each CHO must designate an 
HMIS security officer to be responsible for ensuring compliance with 
applicable security standards. The HMIS Lead must designate one staff 
member as the HMIS security officer.
    (2) Workforce security. The HMIS Lead must ensure that each CHO 
conduct criminal background checks on the HMIS security officer and on 
all administrative users. Unless otherwise required by HUD, background 
checks may be conducted only once for administrative users.
    (3) Security awareness training and follow-up. The HMIS Lead must 
ensure that all users receive security training prior to being given 
access to the HMIS, and that the training curriculum reflects the 
policies of the Continuum of Care and the requirements of this part. 
HMIS security training is required at least annually.
    (4) Reporting security incidents. Each HMIS Lead must implement a 
policy and chain of communication for reporting and responding to 
security incidents, including a HUD-determined predefined threshold 
when reporting is mandatory, as established by HUD in notice.
    (5) Disaster recovery plan. The HMIS Lead must develop a disaster 
recovery plan, which must include at a minimum, protocols for 
communication with staff, the Continuum of Care, and CHOs and other 
requirements established by HUD in notice.
    (6) Annual security review. Each HMIS Lead must complete an annual 
security review to ensure the implementation of the security 
requirements for itself and CHOs. This security review must include 
completion of a security checklist ensuring that each of the security 
standards is implemented in accordance with the HMIS security plan.
    (7) Contracts and other arrangements. The HMIS Lead must retain 
copies of all contracts and agreements executed as part of the 
administration and management of the HMIS or required to

[[Page 76927]]

comply with the requirements of this part.
    (e) Physical safeguards. The HMIS Lead must implement physical 
measures, policies, and procedures to protect the HMIS.
    (f) Technical safeguards. The HMIS Lead must implement security 
standards establishing the technology that protects and controls access 
to protected electronic HMIS information, and outline the policy and 
procedures for its use.


Sec.  580.37  Data quality standards and management.

    (a) In general. The data quality standards ensure the completeness, 
accuracy, and consistency of the data in the HMIS. The Continuum of 
Care is responsible for the quality of the data produced.
    (b) Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the term:
    (1) HMIS participating bed means a bed on which required 
information is collected in an HMIS and is disclosed at least once 
annually to the HMIS Lead in accordance with the requirements of this 
part.
    (2) Lodging project means a project that provides overnight 
accommodations.
    (3) Nonlodging project means a project that does not provide 
overnight accommodations.
    (c) Data quality benchmarks. HMIS Leads must set data quality 
benchmarks for CHOs. Benchmarks must include separate benchmarks for 
lodging and nonlodging projects. HMIS Leads must establish data quality 
benchmarks, including minimum bed coverage rates and service-volume 
coverage rates, for the Continuum(s) of Care. HMIS Leads may establish 
different benchmarks for different types of projects (e.g., emergency 
shelter projects, permanent housing projects) based on population.
    (1) For the purpose of data quality, the bed coverage rate measures 
the level of lodging project providers' participation in a Continuum of 
Care's HMIS.
    (i) The bed coverage rate is calculated by dividing the number of 
HMIS participating by the total number of year-round beds in the 
geographic area covered by the Continuum of Care.
    (ii) Bed coverage rates must be calculated separately for emergency 
shelter, safe haven, transitional housing, and permanent housing.
    (iii) Bed coverage rates must be calculated for each comparable 
database.
    (2) For the purpose of data quality, the service-volume coverage 
rate measures the level of nonlodging project participation in a 
Continuum of Care's HMIS.
    (i) Service-volume coverage is calculated for each HUD-defined 
category of dedicated homeless nonlodging projects, such as street 
outreach projects, based on population.
    (ii) The service-volume coverage rate is equal to the number of 
persons served annually by the projects that participate in the HMIS 
divided by the number of persons served annually by all Continuum of 
Care projects within the HUD-defined category.
    (iii) Service-volume rates must be calculated for each comparable 
database.
    (d) Data quality management. (1) Data quality plan. All HMIS Leads 
must develop and implement a data quality plan, as established by HUD 
in notice.
    (2) The HMIS must be capable of producing reports required by HUD 
to assist HMIS Leads in monitoring data quality.

Subpart E--Maintaining and Archiving Data


Sec.  580.41  Maintaining and archiving data.

    (a) Maintaining data. Applicable program regulations establish the 
length of time that records must be maintained for inspection and 
monitoring to determine that the recipient has met the requirements of 
the program regulations.
    (b) Archiving data. Archiving data means the removal of data from 
an active transactional database for storage in another database for 
historical, analytical, and reporting purposes. The HMIS Lead must 
follow archiving data standards established by HUD in notice, as well 
as any applicable Federal, state, territorial, local, or data retention 
laws or ordinances.

Subpart F--Sanctions


Sec.  580.51  Sanctions

    The program regulations for the programs that fund the HMIS 
activities contain the sanctions for noncompliance with this part.

    Dated: November 4, 2011.
Mercedes M[aacute]rquez,
Assistant Secretary for Community, Planning and Development.
[FR Doc. 2011-31634 Filed 12-8-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4210-67-P