FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2018
Vice President of Communications and Public Policy
Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
LAKEWOOD, CO—The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) submitted a Request for Reconsideration to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) appealing their decision to reject CCH’s financing plan to develop the Federal Center property in Lakewood for affordable housing and services for families and individuals experiencing homelessness in the area.
CCH believes that HHS evaluated the financing plan under an outdated and now incorrect standard leading to an arbitrary and capricious decision about the “completeness” and sufficiency of the submitted plan. HHS also used a different evaluative standard and response process with CCH’s application than it has with other applications under Title V of the McKinney Vento Act where those applicants were able to supplement their applications with additional materials and clarifying information. HHS made no such allowance for CCH’s application. There are a number of documents that HHS deemed “incomplete” which CCH could have easily provided to HHS, but CCH was not afforded the opportunity to submit those documents. While CCH acknowledges that HHS has wide discretion to evaluate property acquisition applications under Title V, in this case, CCH believes HHS has abused that discretion in in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act. If HHS refuses the appeal and supplemental information, CCH will have no option other than to return to U.S. District Court of Colorado to preserve our rights to the property in our ongoing effort to provide lasting solutions for individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Lakewood and Jefferson County.
“Because HHS has not provided any guidance on what a ‘reasonable plan to finance the approved program’ requires, CCH submitted the best plan possible to HHS with the understanding that there might be some points of clarification required in the process,” according to John Parvensky, CEO/President of CCH. “By categorically denying the plan outright without specifying the threshold or standard, HHS has attempted to essentially deny us the opportunity to exercise our mission and provide housing and services to those experiencing homelessness in Lakewood and Jefferson County. We think HHS has acted arbitrarily and capriciously with this denial and we would like them to review their decision with our further explanations and supplemental materials which we submitted today.”
About Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
The mission of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless is to work collaboratively toward the prevention of homelessness and the creation of lasting solutions for people experiencing and at-risk of homelessness homeless throughout Colorado. The Coalition advocates for and provides a continuum of housing and a variety of services to improve the health, well-being and stability of those it serves. Since its founding more than 30 years ago, the organization has earned state and national recognition for its integrated healthcare, housing and service programs. The Coalition’s comprehensive approach addresses the causes of homelessness, as well as the consequences, offering critical assistance to over 18,000 individuals and families each year. Learn more at www.coloradocoalition.org.