Affordable Housing, Federal News, Homelessness, Supportive Housing

Urban Institute Examines the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families

Urban Institute

Supportive housing, which combines housing and supportive services, is a cost-effective approach to ending homelessness for those who are the most vulnerable – the chronically homeless. The Urban Institute’s November 2014 report, Supportive Housing for High-Need Families in the Child Welfare System, examines whether supportive housing can achieve success for high-need families on child welfare the way it has for adults who are chronically homeless. The report examines the goals and design of a federal demonstration program which integrates welfare, housing, and homelessness services at five sites across the U.S., including one in Connecticut.

The purpose of the federal demonstration - The Partnership to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families in the Child Welfare System - is to investigate whether supportive housing programs lower the number of children in foster care, as well as prove a more effective use of government funds. The initiative was prompted by the success of the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) Keeping Families Together pilot program in New York City.

As stated above, one of the programs being evaluated is being implemented in Connecticut. In 2012, the CT Department of Children and Families (DCF) was awarded a $5 million dollar, five-year grant for Intensive Supportive Housing for Families (ISHF), an expansion of the existing supportive housing program. ISHF, in cooperation with the CT Department of Housing and The Connection, Inc., provides housing vouchers and case management to 50 families in Connecticut. The program aims to improve housing stability, family stability, and parenting, with technical assistance from CSH and the Center for the Study of Social Policy. The program is being evaluated locally by the University of Connecticut and nationally by the Urban Institute.

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