HMIS and Comparable Databases

Recipients of federal funds for housing are required to comply with data collection and reporting standards established by federal funders. Victim services programs, however, must comply with federal requirements to protect private identifying information, which can make participating in housing funding streams extremely challenging.

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COVID-19 Homeless System Response: Victim Service Provider - Comparable Database ESG-CV Project Set-Up Tips

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

This document highlights tips for how victim service providers (VSPs) can ensure their comparable databases are set up correctly to fulfill HUD's COVID-19 Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG-CV) program quarterly reporting requirements.

ESG-Caper Submission Update for Domestic Violence HUD ESG-Funded Emergency Shelter and Housing Providers

National Network to End Domestic Violence

This document provides an overview of the most recent HUD Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Sage reporting requirements and how they will affect DV housing and emergency shelter programs which receive HUD ESG funds. Programs without a Comparable Database compatible with Sage reporting requirements can an extension and an alternative reporting option (this year only) from HUD to complete the 2017 ESG CAPER.

Comparable Databases & Data Collection for Victim Service Providers: Best Practices Series - Highlight TCFV and Osnium WS Comparable Database

National Network to End Domestic Violence
Collaborative Solutions

This webinar is intended for state coalitions and DV/SA service providers, CoCs, and HMIS leads. It provides an overview of the commonly asked questions from DV and SA state coalitions and jurisdictions who are interested in learning about comparable databases and HUD CoC reporting requirements and process in order to plan, implement, and manage a comparable database, based on best practices in Texas.

2017 HMIS Data Standards Manual

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Solid data enables a community to work confidently towards their goals as they measure outputs, outcomes, and impacts. A Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) is the information system designated by a local Continuum of Care (CoC) to comply with the requirements of CoC Program interim rule 24 CFR 578. It is a locally-administered data system used to record and analyze client, service and housing data for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The 2017 HMIS Data Dictionary and 2017 HMIS Data Standards Manual are the documentation of requirements for the programming and use of all HMIS systems and comparable database systems, effective October 1, 2017.


Homeless Management Information Systems: Implementation Guide

Center for Social Policy, John W. McCormack Institute of Public Affairs, University of Massachusetts Boston

This guide presents a set of steps to implementing an HMIS—from planning through implementation. The Implementation Guide is designed in a step-by-step format beginning with an overview (Concepts and Components of HMIS), which defines an HMIS, describes the benefits in relation to functional options, and introduces privacy, security, and consumer involvement issues.

Breaking the Cycle of Homelessness: Ensuring Housing & Educational Stability for Survivors of Domestic Violence and their Children

Michael Santos
National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty

A comprehensive presentation that includes information about housing protections for survivors as well as protections for children and youth. Provides guidance toward best practices with these populations.

Choosing a Comparable Database: Aligning Data and Confidentiality, A Case Study for Domestic and Sexual Violence Coalitions

National Network to End Domestic Violence
Texas Council on Family Violence


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that recipient and subrecipients receiving HUD funding “shall collect data on the use of funds awarded and persons served with this assistance in HUD’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) or other comparable database.” HUD envisioned HMIS systems as a way for communities to create data-driven solutions to ending homelessness in communities. However, Victim Service Providers (VSP) are prohibited from entering client-level data into an HMIS and instead should use a comparable database. This resource outlines federal statues and provides a case study for VSPs when choosing a comparable database.

Technology and Confidentiality Resources Toolkit for Nonprofit Victim Service Agencies and Advocates

National Network to End Domestic Violence

Privacy and confidentiality is paramount to safety for victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Yet victim service agencies may need to share information in many ways: with community partners, within community coordinated response teams, through referrals to other service providers, or in community-wide data collection initiatives. This website provides guidance for agencies in understanding their obligations to confidentiality in accordance to federal laws, best practices to ensure survivor-centered services, when and how much information to keep, and how best to share information with others.