Rapid Re-Housing, Housing First, Housing Tax Credits, and Other Affordable Housing Approaches

Once consisting primarily of shelter, responses to homelessness and housing instability are now many and varied. 

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Domestic Violence Housing First

Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

WSCADV's Domestic Violence Housing First approach focuses on getting survivors of domestic violence into stable housing as quickly as possible, and then providing the necessary support as they rebuild their lives. This web page provides an overview of WSCADV's work to implement this approach in Washington state and includes resources, toolkits, and evaluation of the impact of their projects.

Domestic Violence Housing First Toolkit

2017
Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

The Domestic Violence Housing First (DVHF) approach focuses on getting survivors of domestic violence into stable housing as quickly as possible and then continuing to provide support as they rebuild their lives. With safe and stable housing at its core, the key components of DVHF include: survivor-driven, trauma informed, mobile advocacy; flexible financial assistance; and community engagement. This toolkit is designed to provide materials and resources for organizations to use when developing or implementing the DVHF approach.

Domestic Violence Housing First: The Intersection of Domestic Violence and Homelessness

2013
Linda Olsen
Chiquita Rollins
Kris Billhardt

This is the first of a series of papers published by the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Volunteers of America Home Free Program in Portland, OR. This paper chronicles the histories of the battered women's movement and the anti-homelessness movement, how they have intertwined, and how they can join together to meet shared goals.

Common Ground, Complementary Approaches: Adapting the Housing First Model for Domestic Violence Survivors

2017
Cris Sullivan
Linda Olsen

The Housing First model has been shown to be a highly effective approach to achieving permanent housing for chronically homeless individuals with serious mental illness and chemical dependency. There are numerous components of the model that lend themselves toward achieving similar goals for homeless domestic violence (DV) survivors and their children. A leading cause of homelessness for women, many of whom are mothers, is DV. This article describes the commonalities between the Housing First model and the tenets of DV victim advocacy work and explores how Housing First can be adapted to effectively achieve safe and stable housing for DV survivors and their children. Preliminary evidence for the adapted model – termed Domestic Violence Housing First – is provided, and policy implications are discussed.

Homelessness and Domestic Violence

2014
Linda Olsen
Kris Billhardt

This presentation reviews the intersection between domestic violence homelessness/housing insecurity and provides information about effective approaches to support survivors toward safe and stable housing. Program examples from Oregon and Washington are provided.

Responding to the Call for Safe Housing

2012
District Alliance for Safe Housing

DASH was established in response to the shortage of basic housing services for survivors in the District of Columbia. This report chronicles the progress achieved over a fine-year period in DASH's primary goals: 1. Increase the supply of safe emergency, transitional, and supportive permanent housing for all domestic violence survivors and their children; 2. Build the capacity of all existing housing programs for women in the District, to be safe housing programs for survivors; and 3. Provide domestic violence training to staff at nonresidential programs serving diverse and specific populations.

Best Practice: Rapid Re-housing for Survivors of Domestic Violence - District Alliance for Safe Housing’s Empowerment Project in Washington, DC

2009
District Alliance for Safe Housing

The District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH) is a domestic violence housing and service agency in Washington, DC. Its mission is to ensure access to safe and sustainable refuge for survivors of domestic violence and their children through the development and management of safe housing and related services. It also provides capacity building assistance to community-based organizations to expand their knowledge and ability to serve survivors and their children in an effort to promote the overall safety of women and children in the District. Between 2007 and 2008, DASH piloted the Empowerment Project, a transition-in-place program that provided families with time limited rental assistance and case management to help them quickly transition to housing in the community. This report discusses that project and its outcomes.

Best Practice: Rapid Re-Housing for Survivors of Domestic Violence - Volunteers of America’s Home Free in Portland, OR

2010
National Alliance to End Homelessness

The Home Free program exemplifies how a rapid re-housing approach can work for families impacted by domestic violence. Many survivors are able to quickly stabilize in their own homes and succeed in maintaining that housing, bypassing a prolonged shelter stay or makeshift and sometimes risky temporary housing arrangements. Some families still benefit from the safety and on-site support of shelter or facility-based transitional housing, but others are better supported by being back in their own housing as soon as possible.

Florida's Plan to Address the Housing Needs of Domestic Violence Survivors

2008
Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence

In 2007, the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence formed a planning group to take a statewide look at what could be done to address the housing needs of DV survivors. The DV and Housing Planning Group examined the availability of affordable housing generally, and the unique barriers survivors face to finding housing. The plan includes strategies for creating more affordable housing, helping survivors work toward economic self-sufficiency, developing permanent housing tailored toward the needs of survivors, advocating for improving federal housing policy, and enhancing existing services with a stronger focus on housing.

The Washington State Domestic Violence Housing First Program: Cohort 2 Agencies Final Evaluation Report

2015
Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

WSCADV's Domestic Violence Housing First (DVHF) program was designed to eliminate housing as a reason for survivors to stay in abusive relationships by providing flexible advocacy. This approach gave survivors of domestic violence the ability to establish a home and the freedom to choose how best to rebuild their lives. Permanent housing was the beginning of their new journey. The first phase of the DVHF program began with a cohort of four domestic violence agencies. The second phase, known as Cohort 2, expanded the program to nine additional agencies. Cohort 2 agencies served survivors with higher barriers to housing, including those living in rural, tribal, immigrant, and culturally specific communities.

Best Practice Guideline for Ending Women’s and Girl’s Homelessness

2015
Amy Van Berkum
Abe Oudshoorn

This report synthesizes existing literature on the gendered experience of homelessness in an effort to develop best practices for ending women’s and girl’s homelessness, including the applicability of Housing First and Trauma Informed Care approaches. The authors present an overview of commonalities noted amongst several particular populations of women experiencing homelessness. Particular populations are then examined in relation to their pathways into homelessness, barriers in exiting homelessness, housing preferences and suggestions, service preferences and suggestions, and research and recommendations for the future.

A Framework for Ending Women’s and Girls’ Homelessness

2015
Shelley Yeo, et al.

The purpose of this framework is to provide municipalities across Canada a tool that they can adapt to their local setting to end homelessness for women and girls. Approaches to homelessness in Canada have been going through a significant shift from managing people during their experiences of homelessness to permanent solutions that end homelessness. These solutions take a more comprehensive approach in looking at the root causes of homelessness, and include prevention and rapid intervention. As well, these solutions are largely grounded in the philosophy and practice of Housing First, meaning that individuals are provided with appropriate housing with the right degree of support to sustain this housing with no requirements around treatment or participation in programs.

Across the Continuum: Recommendations on Housing for Survivors of Domestic Violence in Florida

2014
Carol Wick, et al.

This report was created to document and make recommendations to address the housing needs of survivors of domestic abuse throughout Florida. The authors assert that survivors of domestic abuse are affected by a unique type of homelessness and that the continuum of housing options that should be provided differs from someone who is homeless for economic or other reasons. Ideally, all housing options should address the safety, economic and physical recovery needs of the individual survivor and their children and pets.

Mainstream Practice: Highlights from the LGBTQ DV Capacity Building learning Center Literature Review

2015
National LGBTQ Domestic Violence Capacity Building Learning Center

This article summarizes and analyzes the body of literature from the mainstream DV movement and discusses its insights, models, and cautionary tales in terms of their applicability to LGBTQ IPV. Includes discussion of DV shelter models and new low-barrier approaches such as DV Housing First.

Innovative Strategies to Provide Housing for Battered Women

1999
Amy Correia

This policy and practice paper highlights how eight domestic violence organizations are responding to the housing needs of battered women in their communities. There are many different aspects to building housing programs, including resource acquisition, building collaborations with other agencies, and program development. The summaries in this report describe how eight programs tackled these issues.

Rapid Re-Housing Know-How

2016
National Alliance to End Homelessness

This link connects readers to a variety of webinars, blogs, toolkits, and fact sheets regarding rapid re-housing. Includes information for providers as well as funders.

Rapid Re-Housing Performance Benchmarks and Program Standards

2016
National Alliance to End Homelessness

The core components of a rapid re-housing program (housing identification, move-in and rent assistance, and rapid re-housing case management and services) represent the minimum that a program must be providing. This document provides details on performance benchmarks that would qualify a program as effective. These benchmarks are accompanied by qualitative program standards to help a program meet the performance benchmarks. Includes a section on program philosophy and design standards that provide more guidance on the broader role a rapid re-housing program should play in ending homelessness.

Core Components of Rapid Re-Housing

2014
National Alliance to End Homelessness

Rapid re-housing is an intervention designed to help individuals and families to quickly exit homelessness and return to permanent housing. Rapid re-housing assistance is offered without preconditions (such as employment, income, absence of criminal record, or sobriety) and the resources and services provided are typically tailored to the unique needs of the household. This paper describes the core components of a rapid re-housing program: housing identification; rent and move-in assistance; and rapid re-housing case management and services.

Transforming Homeless Services in Pierce County, Washington

Tess Colby
Joe O'Neil

Reallocating transitional housing to rapid re-housing is not easy, but the impact of doing so can be powerful. This webinar examines how Pierce County, Washington conducted an extensive assessment of the county's homeless service system and determined that with no new funds, rapid re-housing was the answer to serving more households and better outcomes. Presenters discuss the transformation of the homeless system using rapid re-housing and the impact it had on housing investments, families served, and overall implementation of coordinated entry and prioritization. Presenters touch on how to successfully use rapid re-housing to serve victims of domestic violence.

The Housing First Checklist

2013
U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness

This tool is intended for use by policymakers, government officials, and practitioners alike to help make a basic assessment of whether and to what degree a particular housing program is employing a Housing First approach. Use this tool as a checklist that can be reviewed during a site visit, program audit, or program interview, or as a guide when reviewing funding applications or reviewing a program’s policies and procedures.

Equal Access for Transgender People: Supporting Inclusive Housing and Shelters

David Canavan
Fran Ledger
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Individuals and families seeking services from HUD funded homeless projects have nowhere else to go. Too many LGBT youth and adults meet this standard and have nowhere to turn other than a HUD funded project. Acknowledging their need for assistance and seeking help is often its own struggle for those who have sacrificed much simply to recognize themselves. Transgender individuals in particular are impacted by violence and discrimination in ways that both contribute to their homelessness and keep them from accessing necessary shelter and services. HUD funds welcoming and inclusive housing programs open to all eligible individuals; the Equal Access Rule and follow-up guidance ensure that local projects know how to implement and enforce this requirement. These training materials provide CoCs and projects with the framework to create welcoming and inclusive projects for transgender and gender non-conforming people.

Housing First Assessment Tool

2017
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

HUD continues to encourage Continuums of Care (CoCs) and providers to implement and strengthen Housing First approaches. To support these efforts, HUD has developed this Housing First Assessment Tool. This tool builds on the work of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness’s (USICH) Housing First checklist. It assists providers and CoCs to document how closely their projects align to the Housing First model. CoCs can use this tool to assess and measure a project’s progress in aligning with Housing First best practice standards, and an individual project can use this tool to identify what they are doing well and where improvements can be made.

2017 Advocates' Guide

2017
National Low Income Housing Coalition

An educational primer on federal programs and resources related to affordable housing and community development. Includes chapters on the National Housing Trust Fund, special housing issues (including housing needs of survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking), and information on tools and types of housing programs.

2013 Advocates' Guide to Housing and Community Development Policy

2013
National Low Income Housing Coalition

The National Low Income Housing Coalition publishes this guide in order to educate advocates of all kinds about the programs and policies that make housing affordable to low income people. The Guide includes an orientation to affordable housing and community development programs, explains how affordable housing works and why it is needed, and provides vital information to guide organizations and individuals in their advocacy efforts. Also includes information about the core affordable housing programs and policies that make housing and community development programs work on the ground.