Life After HPRP: Sustaining Rapid Re-Housing Programs

Life After HPRP: Sustaining
Rapid Re-Housing Programs
• Karen DeBlasio, HPRP Desk Officer, HUD
• Angie Rodgers, Research & Policy Consultant
Learning Objectives
• Provide HPRP grantees with tips and promising
practices regarding common implementation
• Provide CoCs and ESG grantees with ideas about
system-level changes they may wish to consider as
we move forward under the next generation of the
ESG program.
HPRP – A Refresher
HUD’s Vision for HPRP
• Focus is housing stabilization
– Temporary financial assistance and/or services
– Bridge to long-term stability
• Intent is to serve persons who:
– Are homeless or would be homeless but for this assistance
– Can remain stably housed after this temporary assistance
Program Assistance Types
• Homelessness Prevention
– Prevent individuals and families at risk of homelessness
from becoming homeless
• Rapid Re-housing (Homeless Assistance)
– Assist persons experiencing homelessness to be quickly
re-housed and stabilized
– Persons served under this category must meet the HUD
homeless definition specific to HPRP
Eligible Activity Categories
• Financial Assistance
Rental Assistance (including arrears)
Security Deposits
Utility Deposits
Utility Payments
Moving Cost Assistance
Hotel/Motel Vouchers
• Housing Relocation and Stabilization Services
Outreach and Engagement
Case Management
Housing Search and Placement
Legal Services
Credit Repair
• Data Collection and Evaluation
• Administrative costs (5% cap)
Participant Eligibility: Rapid Re-Housing
• Individuals and families who are homeless per HUD
HPRP definition (must meet one of the following):
– Sleeping in emergency shelter
– Sleeping in place not meant for human habitation
– Staying in hospital or institution for up to 180 days, but
literally homeless immediately prior to entry
– Graduating from/timing out of transitional housing
– Victim of domestic violence
Eligibility Requirements
In addition to homelessness, each household must also
meet two more HUD eligibility requirements:
 Income below 50% of Area Median Income (some
grantees have chosen lower limits)
 “But for” prevention assistance, the household would
continue to remain homeless -- because they lack the
financial resources and support networks to obtain
housing and they have no subsequent housing options
HUD Reminder: Document Eligibility!
• Assess and document income
Written verification (pay stubs, benefit awards letter or direct deposit
record); oral verification by a third party (employer, public assistance
staff), or if no other options are possible in time to prevent
homelessness, self-declaration
• Assess and document housing status
Written documentation (by HMIS data, written confirmation from a
shelter); oral verification by a third party (shelter, etc.) or, if
documentation is not possible, self-declaration (of living in a car,
camping, etc.)
• Assess and document “But For…”
Verification or self declaration of assets; Case notes of interview with
household exploring support systems and other housing options
Other Documentation Issues…
HUD is finding lack of documentation of cost “reasonableness” for
rent, moving costs, storage costs, and motel/hotel costs. Cost
comparisons should be documented.
HUD expects each grantee to have policies governing the treatment
of household assets—and to follow those policies consistently.
HPRP cannot be used when other local, state or federal funding is
being used for the same cost type and the same period of time.
Files should include that the household was asked about other
forms of assistance (utility assistance programs, rental subsidies,
Why Rapid Re-Housing?
Transforming your
System of Care
Why Rapid Re-Housing?
• Where homelessness cannot be prevented, it can be
ended quickly for the overwhelming majority of
• Most households will successfully exit homelessness
with limited assistance
• Households with moderate to severe housing barriers
may require more intensive and/or expensive
assistance to exit homelessness – but most can still
succeed with temporary assistance
Why Rapid Re-Housing?
• An efficient and effective rapid re-housing
program can:
– “Open the back door,” reduce the length of time persons
remain homeless, and free up critical shelter space
– Create viable housing opportunities not previously available
through landlord partnerships--especially for persons with
poor or no credit/rental history, very low incomes and/or other
housing barriers
– Provide transitional stabilization assistance once a client is in
their own home
– Change the system’s central focus from emergency shelter to
re-housing (i.e. emergency shelter is a means to an end: just
a safe place to stay until a person who is homeless can be rehoused)
Principles of Rapid Re-Housing
• Targeting: Re-housing resources are most effective when
households are quickly screened and linked to the right
assistance to end homelessness as quickly as possible.
RRH focus: households who need some amount of
assistance for some period of time and who are not better
served by another longer-term or more intensive program.
• Direct Movement from Homelessness to Housing: There
are no intermediate program steps that delay movement to
• “Just Enough” Assistance: Provide minimum amount of
assistance necessary to obtain and stabilize housing.
Principles of Rapid Re-Housing
• Mainstream Service Linkage: Linkage to mainstream
resources is critical to some households’ ability to achieve
housing stability and maximizes HPRP resources.
• Landlords are Most Valued Resource: Partnerships are key
to rapid re-housing success.
• Everyone is Housing Ready: RRH assistance helps ensure
a CoC is ready and able to re-house households who are
CoC Challenge
CoC Opportunity
Provide the right
resources to the right
people at the right
point in time for the
right amount of time.
Transform CoC to more
effectively and
efficiently prevent and
end homelessness
How is Rapid Re-Housing
transforming CoCs?
Common Challenges & Solutions
Implementation Challenge #1: Targeting
• Targeting is extremely critical if a rapid re-housing
program is to be both successful and cost effective.
• The challenge is to quickly identify those who are best
served by rapid re-housing (vs exiting homelessness
on their own or through other programs).
• Screening for rapid re-housing assistance may require
assertive outreach or in-reach with an emphasis on
finding the right programmatic “fit” to end.
homelessness as quickly as possible, Create the
services to fit the people rather than looking for the
people to fit a rigid program model.
Targeting & Streamlining Access to
Re-Housing Assistance…
• Los Angeles, CA:
– “Vehicular outreach team” contacts homeless families and
individuals living in vehicles and refers them to geographically
dispersed assistance centers.
• Memphis, TN:
– All shelter clients assessed/engaged by RRH staff within two
weeks of shelter entry
• State of Indiana:
– State ESG grantees required to have MOU with local HPRP
provider, which ensures coordination with local shelters and
local HPRP provider
Example: Efficient Targeting & Linkage
Family loses
Doubles up with friends or
Calls Central Intake for
homeless services
Housing Search
Diverted with referral to
prevention & stabilization
Enters public or private
Rapid Re-Housing Team assesses
housing barriers
Re-Housing Advocate works with family
to locate and secure housing, including
financial assistance.
Re-Housing Advocate helps
family stabilize
Family moves into
Implementation Challenge #2:
Rapid Housing Placement
Focus on identifying and addressing barriers
– Tenant screening barriers: what a landlord will use to ‘screen out’ applicants
– Housing retention barriers: problems that caused past housing loss and may
cause future housing loss
Know the rental market and establish partnerships
– Landlords are essential partners – identify and develop lasting, mutually
beneficial relationships
– Staff must be housing market “experts” – awareness of options and knowing
how to access all types of housing options is job #1
– Tailor landlord “incentives” to fit the local housing market, landlords risktolerance and the client’s barriers
– Consider specializing staff functions (e.g. Housing Locator)
Client Housing Plans
– Keep focus on housing placement and specific barriers to address related to
Rapid Housing Placement
• Palm Beach County, FL:
– “Housing Specialist” recruits landlords and inspects units
– On average, place families within 7 days of program approval
• Pasco County, FL:
– Use moving assistance, rental and utility assistance to move
clients into housing quickly
– Some landlords with higher vacancy rates reduce rents =
mutual benefit
Implementation Challenge #3:
Transitioning to Stability
• Rapid re-housing assistance not intended to resolve
all of the household's ongoing barriers and financial
• Linkage with mainstream resources is key to meet
ongoing needs beyond term of RRH assistance.
• Assuring households can sustain housing does not
mean households will no longer experience housing or
life problems or that they will achieve “affordable”
Transitioning to Stability…
• State of Indiana:
– Focus on providing “just enough” assistance to assure
housing stability and reduce future risk
– Use of standardized Housing Case Management plan with
emphasis on optimizing household strengths
• Pima County/Tuscon, AZ:
– Coordinate with VASH to provide security deposit
– Used to secure housing while inspection is completed
Implementation Challenge #4:
Continuous Improvement
Programs/systems learn by doing and make adjustments to
improve performance.
Identify key performance indicators and targets related to
system/program effectiveness, efficiency, quality, and access.
Average length of time homeless
Amount and duration of assistance
Successful housing outcomes
Client satisfaction
At least annually, review and analyze data to assess changes in
target population, outcomes, costs, and satisfaction. Then use
results to develop a program improvement plan.
Continuous Improvement
• Sacramento, CA:
– Success = assessment within 72 hours of entry and re-housing
within 20 days
• Miami, FL:
– Use “Lean Six Sigma” model for tracking performance at every step
– process efficiency, staff performance, system performance
– Feeds into ongoing ‘scorecard’
• Memphis, TN:
– Meet monthly to review data
– Front-line staff meets weekly on shared cases
• Boston, MA:
– Use technical service provider to conduct monthly trainings
– Serves as forum for peer-to-peer learning and review of difficult
HPRP In Virginia
• HUD funded $11.4M to the state of Virginia.
• The state funds were administered by VA DHCD.
• VA DHCD granted the state funds to nonprofit or municipal
entities in 23 jurisdictions.
• Additionally, 13 entitlement communities received $13.4M from
• A new study by VCEH examines implementation of HPRP in 8 of
these VA communities.
• The study focuses on the rapid re-housing portion of each
community’s programming.
It details each community’s successes, challenges, and post-HPRP
plans for rapid re-housing.
VCEH Study Methodology
The study covers:
• Arlington County, Chesapeake, Fairfax County, Franklin County,
New River Valley, Richmond, Roanoke and Virginia Beach.
The study uses:
• HUD reports for the quarter ending 06/30/2010; and
• Interviews with government staff and nonprofit service providers.
VCEH Study Findings
• Experiences in VA largely affirm national claims about the success of
rapid re-housing.
• “Housing locators” identified as key factors of success in all of the
communities using them.
• Case management is more successful when it can focus on the root
causes of housing instability.
• Communities have better outcomes when all of the different services and
systems that affect homeless persons are collaborating.
• The mix of short-term subsidy, assistance finding housing, and case
management is a successful mix for most persons experiencing
• More resources all around would be needed to take rapid re-housing to
• Permanent housing subsidy and long-term case management would be
needed to stabilize people with chronic barriers.
VCEH Study Findings – Housing Locators
• The underlying principle is that housing locators contribute to success
because they develop and maintain relationships with landlords willing to
accept renters with challenges.
• 5 of the 8 communities in the study are using housing locators/brokers.
• Locators/Brokers:
• allow communities to be proactive about stabilizing homeless
persons in permanent housing;
• free up case management staff to focus on a person’s reasons for
being homeless;
• Encourage landlords to rent to their referrals because they know the
locators will remain part of the arrangement until the person is
• Case Study: Arlington added 18 LLs to their pool as result of their
housing locator’s efforts.
VCEH Study Findings – Case Management
• The underlying principle is that case management that focuses on the
root cases of housing instability creates better odds that the person will
maintain their housing long-term.
• All of the communities in the study are doing case management.
• Case managers in communities without separate housing locators still
have to spend a lot of time on the details of actually getting people
• These communities typically report a desire for more resources that
will allow their case managers to focus more on employment, health
and other barriers.
• Case Study: Fairfax County deployed “community case managers,” who
work regionally across a number of nonprofits.
VCEH Study Findings – Collaboration
• The underlying principle is that all of the services and systems affecting
homelessness should work together.
• Collaboration reduces duplication of effort, and ensures that every
entity is deployed according to its capacity and competency.
• Many jurisdictions had already begun planning as part of their 10 Year
Plan process or Continuum of Care.
• In the best examples, government staff and nonprofit service providers
collaborated on applying for the funding, and continued to collaborate on
implementation and accountability.
• Case Study: VSH, having been asked to implement HPRP in some
jurisdictions around the Richmond region that were new service areas for
them, collaborated with existing service providers, school systems, etc.
to reach their target population in these new areas.
VCEH Study Findings – Taking Rapid Re-Housing to Scale
• 5 of the 8 communities in the study have solid plans to continue their
rapid re-housing program, in whole or in part, once HPRP runs out.
• Funding is an issue, and communities are looking to a variety of
resources, but few have concrete options at this point.
• Rapid Re-housing programs could also serve homeless persons who
need long-term assistance.
• Most communities haven’t done this with HPRP, but will begin to
explore with whatever resources are available to take HPRP’s place.
• Such an expansion will require more permanent resources.
• As communities look to expansion, there are important questions to
continue asking.
VCEH Study Findings – Taking Rapid Re-housing to Scale
• Is rapid re-housing cheaper than the alternative?
• Does rapid re-housing stabilize people faster than the alternative?
• What are the benefits associated with faster stabilization?
• Are the benefits the same or greater for both episodic and chronic
VCEH Study Findings – Taking Rapid Re-housing to Scale