Federal Definition of Chronic Homelessness

DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT 24 CFR Parts 91 and 578 [Docket No. FR–5809–F–01] RIN 2506–AC37 Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing: Defining ‘‘Chronically Homeless’’ AGENCY: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, HUD. ACTION: Final rule.

A ‘‘chronically homeless’’ individual is defined to mean a homeless individual with a disability who lives either in a place not meant for human habitation, a safe haven, or in an emergency shelter, or in an institutional care facility if the individual has been living in the facility for fewer than 90 days and had been living in a place not meant for human habitation, a safe haven, or in an emergency shelter immediately before entering the institutional care facility. In order to meet the ‘‘chronically homeless’’ definition, the individual also must have been living as described above continuously for at least 12 months, or on at least four separate occasions in the last 3 years, where the combined occasions total a length of time of at least 12 months. Each period separating the occasions must include at least 7 nights of living in a situation other than a place not meant for human habitation, in an emergency shelter, or in a safe haven.

Chronically homeless families are families with adult heads of household who meet the definition of a chronically homeless individual. If there is no adult in the family, the family would still be considered chronically homeless if a minor head of household meets all the criteria of a chronically homeless individual. A chronically homeless family includes those whose composition has fluctuated while the head of household has been homeless.


CPC Summary of Federal Definition for Chronic Homelessness (3 criteria need to be met)
  1. Tenure/Length of Homelessness
      a)  Homeless for 12 months or longer consecutively, or
      b)  Homeless for 4 times in the previous 3 years with episodes totaling 12 months or longer

  2. Disabling Condition - A disabling condition is defined as “a diagnosable substance abuse disorder, a serious mental illness, developmental disability, or chronic physical illness or disability, including the co-occurrence of two or more of these conditions.” In addition, “a disabling condition limits an individual’s ability to work or perform one or more activities of daily living.”

  3. Current Dwelling/Location - Unsheltered, emergency shelter or safe haven (can also include someone living in an institutional care facility for less than 90 days and was previously living unsheltered or in an emergency shelter or safe haven)

Hawaii Homeless Programs
HMIS Lead Agency
1010 Richards Street , Suite 312
Honolulu, HI   96813

C. Peraro Consulting, LLC
HMIS Support Team