VI. Homeless Tax Write-In Program (Statute: 305 ILCS 5/12-4.18)

  1. A. Purpose and Terminology
  2. B. Policies and Procedures
  3. C. Allowable Costs and Priority Expenditures
  4. D. Unallowable Costs
  5. E. Technical Assistance

A. Purpose and Terminology

The Homeless Tax Write-in program offers existing shelter providers, who are funded under the Emergency and Transitional Housing - ETH (formerly known as Emergency Food and Shelter - EF&S) program, an opportunity to access supplemental financing to upgrade their emergency shelter equipment and facility. The purpose of the program is to support the network of E&TH providers by increasing their capacity to purchase new equipment, and improve, expand, or renovate their facilities so that individuals and families will be better housed and served during their stay at the shelter. The following terminology is used under this program:

Capital improvement:  Renovations or upgrades to major capital items like buildings and large equipment.

Renovation:  Improving existing capital items by applying new technology, materials, or workmanship.

Supplemental Financing:  Funding used to complement resources from other sources to complete the cost of capital improvements.

Overnight Shelter: Providing emergency sleeping accommodations for 12 or fewer hours that provides access to at least one meal and provides supportive services.

Transitional Shelter: Providing shelter, food, and supportive services for up to 24 months.

B. Policies and Procedures

  1. Funding:  All funding under this program is limited to current Emergency and Transitional Housing Program providers. Program availability is limited to funds collected by way of the income tax write-in process and appropriation. The funds must be obligated by the end of the agreement period and expended by the end of the lapse period. Funding is based upon the submittal and acceptance of an application. Applications for funding are evaluated on the basis of provider experience, administrative capacity, facility capacity, need in the geographical area, program services plan and budget.

    Upon approval of the application by IDHS, providers will receive a prospective payment as prescribed by the IDHS.

  2. Funding Application for Tax Write-In Program:  Funding for the Tax Write-In program is limited and may not be available on an annual basis. When funds are available, a notice is issued to current ETH providers that have expressed a need for facility improvements and new equipment. The Illinois Department of Human Services determines which applications will be funded and the funding amounts.
  3. Purchase/Renovation Funding Application:  A separate application is required to access funding under this program. Each provider is required to have an ETH application on file with all related up-to-date requirements, including the following:
    1. A current list of the board members and their terms of office and a list of phone numbers of the board members.
    2. Documentation of 501(c)(3) status.
    3. Policies and procedures regarding its fiscal activities, by-laws, and related organizational documentation.
    4. All fiscal and participant service reports must be up-to-date and on file with IDHS. Provider must have a history of filing reports on a timely basis.
  4. Combination Projects:  Providers may propose a combination of projects. For example, limited renovation may be combined with purchase of appliances, furniture and equipment.
  5. Contract Procedures:  Providers to be awarded funding will be notified, in writing of award submittal dates and procedures for contracting.
  6. Fiscal Audits: If deemed necessary, a program and fiscal audit will be conducted by the IDHS Office of Contract Administration.
  7. Match Requirements:  The Tax Write-In Program does not require a match of funds.
  8. Program Payments:  Upon approval of the application, providers will receive a prospective payment as prescribed by the IDHS. Purchases and/or renovations will be verified by on-site field monitoring, and/or during the program close-out process.

C. Allowable Costs and Priority Expenditures

IDHS allows the use of funds on a priority basis. There are three categories; specifically, first priority, second priority and third priority expenditures as follows:

  1. First Priority:
    1. Shelter furniture including: beds, mattresses, bedding, dressers, chairs, couches, end tables, coffee tables, lockers, cots, chest of drawers, cribs, baby beds, changing tables, window curtains, etc.
    2. Shelter appliances including: stoves, refrigerators, freezers, microwaves, ovens, washers, dryers etc., including installation costs.
    3. Shelter maintenance costs including: replacement of carpeting, painting, plumbing/wiring, basement seepage repair, replacement of furnaces, air conditioners, roof replacement or repair, sewer pipe repair.
    4. Limited renovation including: door and window upgrades/replacements, room remodeling, installation of additional bathrooms, moving walls to add bedrooms, remodeling basements.
    5. Shelter security alarm systems.
    6. Shelter upgrades to comply with health and safety codes. Includes fire alarm systems, range hoods, ventilation equipment, ramps or other upgrades for shelter accessibility to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  2. Second Priority:
    1. Office equipment including: computer software, desks, tables, printers, fax machines, copy machines, file cabinets, chairs, book cases.
  3. Third Priority:
    1. Computer and software upgrades
    2. To supplement (or match) other funding sources i.e., HUD grants for purchases or limited renovation NOT for land acquisition or direct service.

D. Unallowable Costs

The following costs are not allowed under this program:

  1. Property acquisition.
  2. Direct service costs, indirect administrative costs, staff costs etc.
  3. Cell phone purchase or rental
  4. Lap top computers
  5. Vehicles, automobiles, trucks, vans, etc.
  6. Vehicle repair costs
  7. Voucher food, voucher shelter, or homeless prevention costs.

Contact IDHS if there is a question regarding proposed purchase or renovation costs for verification.

E. Technical Assistance

The IDHS is available to advise the provider, if needed, on the policy and procedures of the program.