4.3 Designing Effective Housing Subsidy Programs


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4.3 Designing Effective Housing Subsidy Programs

Speaker: Katie Kitchin

The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program has led to experimentation with different housing subsidy models. During this workshop, presenters will discuss their experiences designing, implementing, and evaluating a variety of short- and medium-term rental subsidy programs. Presenters will also discuss how programs are preparing families to transition off of time-limited rent subsidies.

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4.3 Designing Effective Housing Subsidy Programs

  1. 1. 4.3 Designing Effective Housing Subsidy ModelsKatie Kitchin, Community Alliance for the Homeless, Memphis TN Elaine de Coligny, EveryoneHome, Alameda County, CA Maria Barker, Fannie Mae - Facilitator
  2. 2. Presentation Overview Design Process Approach Screening and Assessment Subsidy Models Termination or Extension of Subsidy Housing Retention
  3. 3. The Design Process Memphis 17 different private/public partners convened to design the approach. Key drivers: 1) Research/Experience 2) Funding 3) Existing infrastructure Most important decision: create a “front door” to shelter/connect prevention to those seeking shelter.
  4. 4. The Design Process Alameda Cnty Started with a task force then entire community of providers and local funders contributed to design. Key drivers: 1) Research on our system and best practices 2) HPRP Funding 3) Seizing an opportunity to create systems change Most important decisions:  Serve higher risk households  Create create a countywide approach  Client files open to whole program
  5. 5. Screening and AssessmentMemphis Targeting, tailoring, and telepathy  Clear connectivity to the emergency shelter system  Individual needs factored/not one size fits all  Subpopulations: foster kids, disabled caretakers  Communicating expectation of resilience Structured Decision Making Risk Assessment tool determines supportive services (35% assigned to FHAs)
  6. 6. Screening and AssessmentAlameda Cnty Basic Eligibility Screening and Targeting done over the phone by 211  Incomes 15% or below AMI, households doubled up with family and friends, persons losing a housing subsidy Regional Housing Resource Centers did assessment and intake  Assessment tool scored people in or out of program  Estimated likely length of subsidy needed  Tool helped create consistency around who got served not as useful predicting length of need
  7. 7. Subsidy Models: How Much is“Just Enough”? Memphis: Expectation is once is enough  Result: 74% required help only once  Need to spend down encouraged some to “double dip”  Human nature – wait until the last minute/take what is free Number of Assistance Periods One Time TwiceThree or More 0 200 400 600 800 1000
  8. 8. Subsidy Models: Taking risks Alameda County: Serving “Higher risk” doesn’t result in higher costs.  Low scorers on assessment had less income, poorer rental and credit histories, and were more often disabled  They cost the program less than higher scorers on average, stayed longer, and had the same permanent housing outcomes
  9. 9. Termination or Extension ofSubsidy Memphis Termination is automatic; extension requires justification and triggers assignment to FHA in most cases. Pressure to spend = spike in double dips. In 26 months, only 2 households (out of 1200) required subsequent shelter placement = .01% Housing retention/stability is measured at 3, 6, and 12 months post subsidy.
  10. 10. Termination or Extension ofSubsidy Alameda County Eligibility for subsidy is assessed every three months 60% of prevention clients exit within 60 days 50% of homeless assistance clients exit within 60 days about one quarter have been in longer than 6 months
  11. 11. Housing Stability in Memphis Housing Stability With and Without FHA Support100% 99% 94%95% 90% 91% 89%90% 86%85%80%75% FHAs Non FHAs70%65%60%55%50% 3 months 6 months 12 months
  12. 12. Housing Stability in Alameda Cnty Less than 3% of those served have returned to homelessness since leaving the program Returns to Homelessness30%25% 24%20%15%10% 9% 7% 7%5% 3%0% Systemwide Shelters TH HPRP SSO