HUD – Homeless Point in Time (PIT) – Make Everyone Count – Resources & Guides for Local Counts

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HUD PIT Count Update: Let’s Make Everyone Count

  • HUD PIT Count Update: Let’s Make Everyone Count

January 20, 2012

2012 National Shelter and Street Point-in-Time Count &Housing Inventory Count

In anticipation of the 2012 Housing Inventory Count (HIC) and Point-in-Time (PIT) counts, HUD wanted to provide communities a few reminders.

When to Conduct the Sheltered and Unsheltered Count

Beginning in 2012, all Continuums of Care (CoCs) must conduct an annual sheltered count.  The unsheltered count is only required every other year – the next required year will be 2013.  Although 2012 is not a required year for CoCs to conduct an unsheltered count HUD encourages all CoCs who have the means to conduct an unsheltered count to do so.

Who to Count

Though the new HUD homeless definition has been published, the McKinney-Vento Act as amended by HEARTH states that CoCs will continue to count the same literally homeless populations and subpopulations in their counts, as they have in the past.

How to Count Chronically Homeless and Unaccompanied Children

CoCs must count chronically homeless individuals and families and unaccompanied children in the same manner they did in the 2011 PIT count.  In the interim Consolidated Plan rule, effective January 4, 2012, HUD published an amended chronically homeless definition.  However, HUD will not collect data based on the amended chronically homeless definition until the Consolidated Plan rule is published as final.  For the purpose of the 2012 PIT count, the subpopulation data for unaccompanied children will be limited to persons under 18.  Prior to the 2013 PIT count, HUD will provide additional guidance on how to count chronically homeless individuals and families, as well as unaccompanied youth.

When to Conduct the HIC and PIT Counts

CoCs are required to complete a PIT count of homeless people for a single night during the last 10 days in January, as well as a housing inventory.  The 2012 annual housing inventory and the sheltered PIT count should be on the same night.  Any CoC planning to conduct the HIC and/or PIT count outside the last 10 days of January 2012, must submit a waiver request to HUD.  Waiver requests should be submitted via email to Michael Roanhouse, Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs at and must include the proposed date of the count and the rationale for selecting a date outside the last 10 days of January.

What to Prepare for in the Future

HUD anticipates publishing the CoC HEARTH regulations during 2012.  As HUD works with the other members of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness to implement Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, communities should pay special attention to data collection and performance management issues.  Communities are highly encouraged to evaluate their count process and determine how to improve it for future years.  In particular, communities are asked to consider the effectiveness of their processes to capture data on specific subpopulations, including families with children, youth, chronics, and veterans.

HUD is considering how to provide additional support to communities interested in improving their methodology.  If you have specific questions, concerns, or suggestions, or you are interested in participating in a peer planning group/community of practice in 2012 to improve your methodology, please write to us at the HUDHRE Help Desk.


Please visit the Homelessness Resource Exchange ( and the links below for additional information.

2012 Housing Inventory Count and Point-in-Time Count of Homeless Persons Data Collection Guidance

Preparing for Your 2012 Housing Inventory and Point-in-Time Counts Webinar

Preparing for Your 2012 Housing Inventory and Point-in-Time Counts with Special Attention on Veteran Program Guidance Webinar

2012 Point-in-Time and Housing Inventory Count FAQs

A Guide to Counting Sheltered Homeless People (Revised January 2012)

A Guide to Counting Unsheltered Homeless People (Revised January 2008)

Submit questions to the Virtual Help Desk on the HRE


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