Homelessness Prevention

Leaving home can have destabilizing impacts on survivors and their children. Helping survivors remain in the safe housing they have achieved is a promising alternative.

= web resource    = downloadable file

Creating Safe Housing Options for Survivors: Learning From and Expanding Research

Cris Sullivan

This research brief provides a brief overview of the current and expanding evidence behind best practices in helping domestic violence survivors obtain safe and stable housing. It begins with evidence for three common core components of this work: mobile advocacy, flexible funding, and attending to safety. It then provides evidence for how services should be provided: survivor-driven, trauma-informed, and voluntary.

A Promising Approach to Prevent Homelessness for Domestic Violence Survivors

Cris Sullivan
Heather Bomsta
Peg Hacskaylo

This presentation describes how flexible funds are employed in a DV housing program in Washington DC as a means to prevent homelessness for survivors. Further, it discusses the elements and results of a longitudinal pilot study that tested whether this project (DASH's Survivor Resiliency Fund) represents a promising strategy to prevent homelessness for survivors of intimate partner violence.

Addressing Discriminatory Housing Barriers For Victims of Domestic Violence: A Toolkit for Advocates

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Federal and state laws provide protections and remedies that can preserve survivors' housing. This toolkit provides advocates with information about how to help victims of domestic violence keep their housing. The tool kit draws from state-specific as well as federal law protections, including the Violence Against Women Act; Fair Housing Act; and the United States Constitution.

Leaving One’s Home to Escape an Abuser: A Brief Overview of Renter’s Protections

National Housing Law Project

Survivors who rent their homes, particularly low-income survivors living in federally subsidized housing, may be hesitant to leave their homes out of fear of losing access to affordable housing. Other survivors living in market‐rate housing may fear the financial penalties associated with ending a lease early. This article  discusses select protections that may be available to survivors who wish to leave their rental units immediately for safety.

In Focus: Sexual Violence - Economic Security for Survivors Project

Wider Opportunities for Women

While the immediate impact of sexual assault may include fear, injury, diminished quality of life and emotional distress, survivors can also incur long-term economic costs with life-long impacts. The costs and impacts of sexual assault can increase the likelihood of homelessness, unemployment and interrupted careers or education. This can create cyclical risk of re-victimization. This report examines barriers to safety and justice for SA survivors, and to specific populations in particular, and makes key recommendations about how to respond.

Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing for Survivors of Domestic Violence

National Alliance to End Homelessness

This paper describes how communities are increasingly using homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing approaches to meet the needs of domestic violence survivors, helping survivors avoid homelessness altogether or quickly re-establish housing in the community to minimize their experience of homelessness. This allows providers to keep emergency shelter available for women and children who need immediate safety and the confidential location a domestic violence shelter provides.

Maintaining Safe and Stable Housing for Domestic Violence Survivors: A Manual for Attorneys and Advocates

Meliah Schultzman, et al.
National Housing Law Project

This Manual is designed for advocates and attorneys assisting domestic violence survivors who are at risk of losing their housing or who need to improve the safety of their housing. Survivors often return to abusive partners because they cannot maintain safe and secure housing on their own. As a result, housing advocacy is a critical part of holistic services for domestic violence survivors. The purpose of this Manual is to provide background information and sample documents that can be used to advocate on behalf of survivors facing evictions, rental subsidy terminations, and other forms of housing instability.

Addressing Housing Barriers for Survivors of Domestic Violence in Colorado: A Toolkit for Advocates

Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Discriminatory housing practices by landlords, local laws, and public housing agencies can contribute greatly to survivors' homelessness and can often force a survivor to choose between homelessness and staying with an abusive partner. Advocates and local programs have an important role to play in reducing barriers to housing and advocating for survivors to maintain or find affordable housing. This toolkit is designed to assist advocates in better understanding federal and state law housing protections, survivor rights, options for housing, and how to work with your local public housing authorities and landlords to better serve survivors.

A Framework for Ending Women’s and Girls’ Homelessness

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.

Housing & Sexual Violence Bulletin

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

For sexual violence victims, safe and affordable housing is often further out of reach, due to the effects of trauma, economic insecurity, and lack of resources in the aftermath of sexual violence. The majority of sexual assaults take place in or near victims’ homes or the homes of victims’ friends, relative or neighbors. Safe and affordable housing can be a protective factor against sexual victimization. This paper provides suggestions for how advocates to prevent homelessness and increase housing resources for these survivors.

Preventing Homelessness: What Advocates Need to Know - Legal Protections for Survivors

Shakeita Boyd
District Alliance for Safe Housing

Objectives for this presentation are to: Explore systemic level strategies to help prevent people from becoming homeless: Discuss VAWA protections for survivors on a local and federal level; and discuss homelessness prevention and practical strategies that can be used by advocates to assist survivors with maintaining their housing.

The Effectiveness of Housing Interventions and Housing and Service Interventions on Ending Family Homelessness: A Systematic Review

Ellen Bassuk, et al.

Family homelessness has become a growing public health problem over the last 3 decades, yet few studies have explored the effectiveness of housing and service interventions. The purpose of this systematic review is to appraise and synthesize evidence on effective interventions addressing family homelessness.

The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes

National Low Income Housing Coalition

Each year, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) measures the availability of rental housing affordable to extremely low income (ELI) households and other income groups. Based on 2015 American Community Survey (ACS) data, this report provides information on the affordable housing supply and housing cost burdens at the national, state, and metropolitan levels. This year’s analysis continues to show that ELI households face the largest shortage of affordable and available rental housing and have more severe housing cost burdens than any other group.

A New Direction: A Framework for Homelessness Prevention

Stephen Gaetz
Erin Dej

This report from Canada provides a starting place for a national conversation about how to think about responding to homelessness in a different way. It proposes a new emphasis on the prevention of homelessness, not in opposition to, or as a replacement for, the focus on Housing First, but rather to complement it. It argues for the need to shift from prioritizing an investment in the crisis response to one that emphasizes both prevention and successful exits from homelessness.

Prioritizing Homeless Children and Their Families

New Destiny Housing, Enterprise and the Citizens Committee on Children of NYC

As a response to research on the impact of homelessness on children, Citizens’ Committee for Children (CCC), Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise), and New Destiny Housing (New Destiny) convened the Family Homelessness Task Force (FHTF), a group of stakeholders from over 40 organizations with expertise in housing, homelessness, and child well-being. FHTF came together to call more attention to the needs of homeless children and their families and to develop and advance recommendations to prevent and end family homelessness, while ensuring the well-being of families living in shelter. This report provides recommendations from FHTF.