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5.6 One Month or 18? Maximizing HPRP to End Homelessness


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Presented by Katherine Gale

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5.6 One Month or 18? Maximizing HPRP to End Homelessness

  1. 1. One Month or 18? Maximizing HPRP to End Homelessness<br />National Conference on Ending Family Homelessness<br />Oakland, CA<br />February 11, 2011<br />Katharine Gale Consulting<br />Berkeley, CA<br />(510) 710-9176,<br />
  2. 2. How do we “right-size” HPRP assistance?<br />As a flexible program, HPRP has no established caps on the amount of assistance, and assistance can be for between one and 18 months<br />Challenge is providing the “right” amount of assistance – striving to provide the least amount needed for the least amount of time while focusing on housing stability<br />2<br />
  3. 3. Principles for “right-sizing” assistance<br />1) Minimum amount needed<br />Providing the minimum support that is needed to each household assisted means the program can help more households. <br />Providing more than is essential denies this help to other households whose need is just as great. <br />3<br />
  4. 4. Principles for “right-sizing” assistance (cont.)<br />2) For the shortest time possible<br />It’s easy to increase assistance if necessary but the program can’t take money back that wasn’t needed. <br />As long as the household has not already received 18 months of assistance they can be reassisted if need arises. <br />4<br />
  5. 5. Principles for “right-sizing” assistance (cont.)<br />3) Risk is OK <br /> It is OK to take risk – serving a household without currently sufficient income but that is engaged in appropriate efforts to increase income and/or decrease costs is appropriate for this program<br />5<br />
  6. 6. Principles for “right-sizing” assistance (cont.)<br />4) Stability is relative<br />Not all aspects of a household’s life have to be improved to have successfully addressed the crisis.<br />Before this crisis the household typically managed - allow for families’ innate resiliency, creativity and resourcefulness<br />6<br />
  7. 7. What is housing “stability”?<br />The goal of HPRP services is to help households with a housing crisis to achieve housing stability. <br />Housing stability does not necessarily mean housing affordability. <br />More than half of households in poverty spend over half their income for housing, yet fewer than 10% of all poor households become homeless over the course of a year. <br />Once the crisis is addressed, most households will avoid future episodes of homelessness even if they have very high housing cost burdens. <br /> (NAEH Solution Brief 6/25/2010)<br />7<br />
  8. 8. Housing Plan – The Key<br />Assessing with the household what their options are<br />Setting realistic goals for stability<br />Partnership is key – you do your part and we do ours, clear expectations and support<br />Let household know reassessment is coming and there is no guarantee of continuing support<br />8<br />
  9. 9. Strategies to assist households (besides financial assistance)<br />Agency/client may negotiate a payment plan with landlords for all or part of back rent or for deposits if moving<br />In today’s rental market many landlords are anxious to keep the tenants they have had for a while – this may work much more often than you think and be enough to stop the crisis.<br />Legal assistance may be appropriate<br />9<br />
  10. 10. Strategies to assist households (besides financial assistance)<br />Longer-term strategies to cut costs or increase income<br /><ul><li>Help household get housing subsidies or to apply for affordable housing
  11. 11. Work with household to get long-term benefits they qualify for (SSI, VA, unemployment)
  12. 12. Work with household to get earned income through employment programs</li></ul>10<br />
  13. 13. Sizing the Assistance<br /> Offer one-time assistance to households that, after applying above cost cutting or supplementing strategies, have sufficient income to support ongoing rent* but need one-time support to cover rent or utility arrears and/or make a first month and security deposit payment on a new apartment.<br />*rent does not have to be “affordable” to be supportable<br />11<br />
  14. 14. Sizing the Assistance<br />Offer short and medium-term assistance to households <br />with currently inadequate income to cover rent but with prospects for increasing income through employment or benefits (or an ongoing subsidy)<br />With substantial back rent issues or other debts such as medical debt that will continue to impact their budget for the short or medium term<br />At three-month reassessment, end or adjust subsidy as appropriate depending on what has occurred; can go down or up if needed.<br />12<br />
  15. 15. Other housing choices may be best option<br />Household may need to share an apartment<br />A client may need to decide that staying with family/friends is best current option<br />Household may need to move to cheaper housing<br />Remember: the alternative is homelessness and that is all we are trying to keep them from<br />13<br />
  16. 16. More Information<br /> National Alliance to End Homelessness<br /><br />HUD Homelessness Resource Exchange<br />Me  email:<br />14<br />