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RULE §1.8Plan Requirements, Process and Approval Criteria for Properties Designated for Camping by Political Subdivisions for Homeless Individuals

(a) Purpose. Subchapter PP of Chapter 2306, Texas Government Code, Property Designated by Political Subdivision for Camping by Homeless Individuals, was enacted in September 2021. §2306.1122 provides that a Political Subdivision may not designate a property to be used by homeless individuals to Camp unless the Department has approved a Plan as further described by Subchapter PP. This rule provides the Department's policies for such Plans, including the process for Plan submission, Plan requirements, the review process, and the criteria by which a Plan will be reviewed by the Department.

(b) Applicability.

  (1) This rule applies only to the designation and use of a property designated for camping by homeless individuals that first begins that use on or after September 1, 2021, except that the rule and requirements of Subchapter PP, Chapter 2306, Texas Government Code, do not apply to a Proposed Property to be located on/in a Public Park. Public Parks are ineligible to be used as a Camp by homeless individuals per Subchapter PP, Chapter 2306, Texas Government Code.

  (2) The designation and use of a Proposed Property described by Subchapter PP, Chapter 2306, Government Code that first began before September 1, 2021, is governed by the law in effect when the designation and use first began, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.

  (3) A Political Subdivision that designated a property to be used by homeless individuals to Camp before September 1, 2021, may apply on or after that date for approval of a Plan pursuant to this section.

  (4) A Political Subdivision that authorizes camping under the authority of §48.05(d)(1), (3) or (4), Texas Penal Code, are not required to submit a Plan for those instances.

(c) Definitions.

  (1) Camp--Has the meaning assigned by Section 48.05 of the Texas Penal Code.

  (2) Department--The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

  (3) Plan--Specifically an application drafted by a Political Subdivision, submitted to the Department by the Political Subdivision, with the intention of meeting the requirements provided for in subsection (e) of this section (relating to Threshold Plan Requirements).

  (4) Plan Determination Notice--The notification provided by the Department to the Political Subdivision stating a Plan's Approval or Denial.

  (5) Political Subdivision--A local government as defined in Chapter 2306, Texas Government Code.

  (6) Proposed New Campers--Homeless individuals that the Political Subdivision intends to allow to Camp at the Proposed Property for which a Plan is submitted.

  (7) Proposed Property--That property proposed for use for Proposed New Campers and submitted in the Plan, owned, controlled, leased, or managed by the Political Subdivision.

  (8) Public Park--Any parcel of land dedicated and used as parkland, or land owned by a political subdivision that is used for a park or recreational purpose that is under the control of the political subdivision, which is designated by the political subdivision.

(d) Plan Process.

  (1) Submission.

    (A) Plans may be submitted at any time. Plan resubmissions may also be submitted at any time.

    (B) All Plans must be submitted electronically to campingplans@tdhca.state.tx.us.

    (C) At least one designated email address must be provided by the Political Subdivision; all communications from the Department to the Political Subdivision regarding the Plan will be sent to that email address. No communication will be sent by traditional postal delivery methods. Up to two email contacts may be provided.

  (2) Review Process.

    (A) Upon receipt, Department staff will send a confirmation email receipt to the designated email address and initiate review of the Plan. The Plan will be reviewed first to determine that all information specified in subsection (e) of this section (relating to Threshold Plan Requirements) have been included and that sufficient information has been provided by which to evaluate the Plan against the Plan Criteria provided for in subsection (f) of this section (relating to Plan Criteria).

    (B) If a Plan as submitted does not sufficiently meet the requirements of §2306.1123, Texas Government Code, and subsection (e) of this section, or does not provide sufficient explanation by which to assess the Plan Criteria provided for in subsection (f) of this section, staff will issue the Political Subdivision a notice of deficiency. The Political Subdivision will have five calendar days to fully respond to all items requested in the deficiency notice.

      (i) For a Political Subdivision that satisfies all requested deficiencies by the end of the five calendar day period, the review will proceed.

      (ii) For a Political Subdivisions that does not satisfy all requested deficiencies by the end of the five calendar day period, no further review will occur. A Plan Determination Notice will be issued notifying the Political Subdivision that its Plan has been denied and stating the reason for the denial. The Political Subdivision may resubmit a Plan at any time after receiving a Plan Determination Notice.

    (C) Plan Determination Notice.

      (i) Upon completion of the review by staff, the Political Subdivision will be notified that its Plan has been Approved or Denied in a Plan Determination Notice.

      (ii) Not later than the 30th day after the date the Department receives a plan or resubmitted Plan, the Department will make a final determination regarding approval of the Plan and send a Plan Determination Notice to the Political Subdivision. For a Political Subdivision that had a deficiency notice issued, and that satisfied all requested deficiencies by the end of the five calendar day period, the Department will strive to still issue a final determination notice by the 30th day from the date the Plan was originally received, however the date of issuance of the Plan Determination Notice may extend past the 30th day by the number of days taken by the Political Subdivision to resolve the deficiencies.

      (iii) A Political Subdivision may appeal the decision in the Plan Determination Notice using the appeal process outlined in §1.7 of this chapter (relating to Appeals Process).

    (D) Reasonable Accommodations may be requested from the Department as reflected in §1.1 of this subchapter (relating to Reasonable Accommodation Requests to the Department).

(e) Threshold Plan Requirements. A Plan submitted for approval to the Department must include all of the items described in paragraphs (1) - (8) of this subsection for the property for which the Plan is being submitted:

  (1) pertinent contact information for the Political Subdivision as specified by the Department in its Plan template;

  (2) the physical address or if there is no physical address the legal description of the property;

  (3) the estimated number of Proposed New Campers to be located at the Proposed Property;

  (4) a description with respect to the property of the five evaluative factors that addresses all of the requirements described in subparagraphs (A) - (E) of this paragraph:

    (A) Local Health Care. Provide:

      (i) A description of the availability of local health care for Proposed New Campers, including access to Medicaid services and mental health services;

      (ii) A description of the specific providers of the local health care and mental health services available to Proposed New Campers. Local health/mental health care service providers do not include hospitals or other emergency medical assistance, but contemplate access to ongoing and routine health and mental health care. Providers of such services can include, but are not limited to: local health clinics, local mental health authorities, mobile clinics that have the location in their service area, and county indigent healthcare programs;

      (iii) A description or copy of a communication from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services specific to the Political Subdivision and specific to the population of homeless individuals must be provided to establish the availability of access to Medicaid services;

      (iv) A map or clear written description of the geographic proximity (in miles) of each of those providers to the Proposed Property;

      (v) The cost of such care and services, whether those costs will be borne by the Proposed New Campers or an alternative source, and if an alternative source, then what that source is; and

      (vi) A description of any limitations on eligibility that each or any of the providers may have in place that could preclude Proposed New Campers from receiving such care and services from the specific providers.

    (B) Indigent Services. Provide:


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