MHSA HOUSING PROGRAM BACKGROUND
The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Housing Program, jointly launched by California Department of Mental Health  (State DMH) and the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) in August 2007, provides funding to support capital development and capitalized operating subsidies for supportive housing for individuals with serious mental illness and their families who are homeless. In November 2007, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) released the Expression of Interest, inviting interested parties to submit a Letter of Interest in response to the announcement of the availability funding for capital development and operating subsidies. On June 10, 2008, the Board of Supervisors approved a Board Letter authorizing the Department to enter into an agreement with State DMH permitting the transfer of the Los Angeles County MHSA Housing Program allocation of $115 million to CalHFA for the administration of the funds. On December 18, 2012, the Board of Supervisors approved the transfer of an additional $2 million to CalHFA for capital development and $423,491 per year for Transition Age Youth project-based operating subsidies. Additional information regarding the MHSA Housing Program is available on the following State DMH and CalHFA websites respectively:
The MHSA Housing Advisory Board (Advisory Board) will review Letters of Interest in accordance with the priority list stated above. Typically Letters of Interest received by the last Wednesday of each month will be reviewed by the Advisory Board during its next regularly scheduled meeting, typically the first Thursday of each month. If the Advisory Board is unable to review all of the Letters of Interest due to the number received, those letters that could not be reviewed will be reviewed at the next scheduled meeting. The Advisory Board will determine whether the Letters of Interest are consistent with the criteria set forth in this or future public notifications.
LACDMH will notify the project sponsor of the results of the Advisory Board’s determination. If the proposed project fails to meet minimum criteria and/or funding priorities, the project sponsor may resubmit the Letter of Interest correcting any such deficiencies. If the proposed project meets minimum criteria and funding priorities, LACDMH will invite the project sponsor to further develop the housing project concept in collaboration with LACDMH.
Once the project concept has been fully developed, LACDMH will post a summary of the proposal along with the supportive services plan on its Website, for a thirty-day public comment period. LACDMH will review and summarize public comments, including the actions taken to address any issues raised. This will be submitted to State DHCS along with the full application and/or the components of the application that are included as described in stage 1 below. The project sponsor will be asked to submit selected sections of the application to LACDMH for review and will be notified of the results. If the project does not meet threshold requirements, LACDMH will not be liable for any costs incurred in the preparation of initial or any subsequent submittals.
Shared Housing Developments have the option of submitting a full application which includes the Shared Housing Universal Application and all attachments, or alternately they may submit their application in two stages, at two different times. The first stage shall consist of Section C (development partners), Section D (Service Plan and related materials) and documentation that the public comment period was completed along with a request for the loan and when applicable, a request for an operating subsidy. Included in the application is a form signed by the Director of Mental Health acknowledging support of the project and a commitment to ensure that individuals housed in units funded through the MHSA Housing Program will: 1) be clients of DMH; 2) meet the eligibility requirements of the targeted population; and 3) receive mental health services. This will be submitted to CalHFA and State DHCS for review and approval. If approved, CalHFA will issue a conditional commitment letter for funding in advance of the site selection. This approval can include multiple sites.
The second stage of the process (for shared housing projects only) shall consist of Section A (the Shared Housing Application), Section B (supplemental property information) and a letter from LACDMH approving the site or sites. This information will be submitted to CalHFA and State DHCS once the property is selected, and subject to a purchase and sales agreement. Upon receipt and approval of the last two sections, CalHFA will underwrite the loan and subsidy request when applicable.
FORMS AND DOCUMENTS
For more information, please call the Housing Policy and Development Unit at (213) 251-6558.