HMIS Definitions (from Final Revised HMIS Data Standards March 2010)
This section defines terms commonly used throughout the Notice.
Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR): HUD’s annual report to Congress on the nature and extent of homelessness nationwide.
Annual Performance Report (APR): A reporting tool that HUD uses to track program progress and accomplishments of HUD homeless assistance and HPRP Programs on an annual basis. Formerly known as the Annual Progress Report.
Client: A living individual about whom a Contributory HMIS Organization (CHO) collects or maintains protected personal information: (1) because the individual is receiving, has received, may receive, or has inquired about assistance from a CHO; or (2) in order to identify needs, or to plan or develop appropriate assistance within the CoC.
Continuum of Care (CoC): The primary decision making entity defined in the funding application to HUD as the official body representing a community plan to organize and deliver housing and services to meet the specific needs of people who are homeless as they move to stable housing and maximum self-sufficiency.
CoC Program: A program identified by the CoC as part of its service system, whose primary purpose is to meet the specific needs of people who are experiencing a housing crisis. Continuum of Care Programs may include:
Homeless Assistance Program: A program whose primary purpose is to meet the specific needs of people who are literally homeless (as defined in data element 3.11, Housing Status). Homeless assistance programs include outreach, emergency shelter, transitional housing, rapid re-housing, permanent housing and permanent supportive housing.
Homelessness Prevention Program: A program whose primary purpose is to meet the specific needs of people who are imminently losing their housing or at risk of losing their housing (as defined in data element 3.11, Housing Status.).) Homelessness prevention programs include those funded by HPRP and other homelessness prevention programs identified by the CoC as part of its service system.
Contributory CoC Program: A homeless assistance program or homelessness prevention program that contributes Protected Personal Information (PPI) or other client level data to an HMIS.
Contributory Non-CoC Program: A program that is neither a homeless assistance program nor a homelessness prevention program that contributes PPI or other client-level data to an HMIS.
Contributory HMIS Organization (CHO): An organization that operates a contributory homeless assistance program or homelessness prevention program or contributory non-homeless assistance program.
Data Recipient: A person who obtains PPI from an HMIS Lead Agency or from a CHO for research or other purposes not directly related to the operation of the HMIS, CoC, HMIS Lead Agency, or CHO.
End User (or User) : An employee, volunteer, affiliate, associate, and any other individual acting on behalf of a CHO or HMIS Lead Agency who uses or enters data in the HMIS or another administrative database from which data are periodically uploaded to the HMIS.
Homeless Management Information System (HMIS): The information system designated by a CoC to process Protected Personal Information (PPI) and other data in order to create an unduplicated accounting of homelessness within the CoC. An HMIS may provide other functions beyond unduplicated accounting.
HMIS Lead Agency: An organization designated by a CoC to operate the CoC’s HMIS on its behalf.
HMIS Participating Bed: For any residential homeless program, a bed is considered a “participating HMIS bed” if the program makes a reasonable effort to record all universal data elements on all clients served in that bed and discloses that information through agreed upon means to the HMIS Lead Agency at least once annually.
HMIS Software Solution Provider: An organization that sells, licenses, donates, builds or otherwise supplies the HMIS user interface, application functionality and database.
HMIS Vendor: A contractor who is paid to provide services for the operation of a CoC’s HMIS. An HMIS vendor includes an HMIS software solution provider, web server host, and data warehouse provider, as well as a provider of other contracted information technology or support.
Non-Contributory CoC Program: A CoC Program that does not contribute PPI or other client-level data to an HMIS.
Participating CoC Program: A Contributory CoC Program that makes reasonable efforts to record all the universal data elements and all other required data elements as determined by HUD funding requirements on all clients served and discloses these data elements through agreed upon means to the HMIS Lead Agency at least once annually.
Protected Personal Information (PPI): Information about a client: (1) whose identity is apparent from the information or can reasonably be ascertained from the information; or (2) whose identity can, taking into account any methods reasonably likely to be used, be learned by linking the information with other available information or by otherwise manipulating the information.
Processing: An operation or set of operations performed on PPI, whether or not by automated means, including but not limited to collection, maintenance, use, disclosure, transmission and destruction of the PPI.
Quarterly Performance Report (QPR): A reporting tool that HUD uses to track progress and accomplishments of HPRP funded programs on a quarterly basis.
Research: A systematic investigation, including research development, testing, and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.
Unduplicated Accounting of Homelessness: An unduplicated accounting of homelessness includes measuring the extent and nature of homelessness (including an unduplicated count of homeless persons), utilization of homelessness programs over time, and the effectiveness of homelessness programs.
Unduplicated Count of Homeless Persons: An enumeration of homeless persons where each person is counted only once during a defined period of time.
Victim Service Provider: A nonprofit or non-governmental organization including rape crisis centers, battered women’s shelters, domestic violence transitional housing programs, and other programs whose primary mission is to provide services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.