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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Scally, Corianne; Batko, Samantha; Popkin, Susan; DuBois, Nicole
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Recent proposals, including the President’s FY 2018 proposed budget and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s A Better Way plan, propose deep cuts and possible reforms to housing assistance. Currently, only one in five eligible renter households receives federal assistance. Any reductions to funding and the proposed reforms threaten the well-being of millions of households. This report provides an overview of the current landscape of housing assistance, its central role in the safety net, the evidence on contemporary policy proposals, and identifies critical gaps in our knowledge that suggest the need for more investigation prior to policy changes. (Author abstract) 

    Recent proposals, including the President’s FY 2018 proposed budget and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s A Better Way plan, propose deep cuts and possible reforms to housing assistance. Currently, only one in five eligible renter households receives federal assistance. Any reductions to funding and the proposed reforms threaten the well-being of millions of households. This report provides an overview of the current landscape of housing assistance, its central role in the safety net, the evidence on contemporary policy proposals, and identifies critical gaps in our knowledge that suggest the need for more investigation prior to policy changes. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Parkes, Rhae
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    This brief describes strategies and opportunities for Public Housing Authorities and other owners and operators of assisted housing to finance supportive services. This brief is not exhaustive, but it compiles lessons and observations based on the author’s work in the industry. Given the significant challenges some families face, even while housed, no single strategy will work in isolation. A multilayered approach is needed to develop more sustainable platforms on which to deliver supportive services. (Author abstract) 

    This brief describes strategies and opportunities for Public Housing Authorities and other owners and operators of assisted housing to finance supportive services. This brief is not exhaustive, but it compiles lessons and observations based on the author’s work in the industry. Given the significant challenges some families face, even while housed, no single strategy will work in isolation. A multilayered approach is needed to develop more sustainable platforms on which to deliver supportive services. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Pindus, Nancy; Kingsley, G. Thomas; Biess, Jennifer; Levy, Diane; Simington, Jasmine; Hayes, Christopher
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    The centerpiece of the assessment of American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) housing conditions is the first ever national survey of American Indian and Alaska Native households in tribal areas. This survey sampled 1,340 AIAN households from 38 tribal areas and achieved a response rate of 60 percent. The survey offers information not available in existing census data sources, including estimates of electrical and heating problems, physical conditions problems, and the extent of "doubling up" among AIAN households in tribal areas. The report contextualizes data from the household survey with information on demographic, social, and economic conditions and regional and historical comparisons based on the 2000 and 2010 decennial censuses and the 2006-10 American Community Survey (ACS). Analyses show that housing conditions are substantially worse among AIAN households than among all U.S. households, with overcrowding in tribal areas being especially severe. Findings from a survey of 110 tribally designated housing entities, site visits to 22 tribal areas, and data on housing...

    The centerpiece of the assessment of American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) housing conditions is the first ever national survey of American Indian and Alaska Native households in tribal areas. This survey sampled 1,340 AIAN households from 38 tribal areas and achieved a response rate of 60 percent. The survey offers information not available in existing census data sources, including estimates of electrical and heating problems, physical conditions problems, and the extent of "doubling up" among AIAN households in tribal areas. The report contextualizes data from the household survey with information on demographic, social, and economic conditions and regional and historical comparisons based on the 2000 and 2010 decennial censuses and the 2006-10 American Community Survey (ACS). Analyses show that housing conditions are substantially worse among AIAN households than among all U.S. households, with overcrowding in tribal areas being especially severe. Findings from a survey of 110 tribally designated housing entities, site visits to 22 tribal areas, and data on housing production before and after enactment of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self- Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA) show that tribes have produced and maintained low- income housing much more effectively since the passage of NAHASDA. Nominal dollars for the Indian Housing Block Grant have not been increased since 1996, however, leading to a substantial decrease in buying power. Limited funding is a key constraint for many tribes who could increase their rate of housing production if they had more funding. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Galvez, Martha M.; Simington, Jasmine; Treskon, Mark
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    This report explores how public housing authorities (PHAs) granted Moving to Work (MTW) status by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) use their unique policy and fiscal flexibility to help low-income households move to opportunity-rich neighborhoods. Policy and programs adopted through MTW include changes to the tenant-based Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program or policies that increase the affordable housing supply in opportunity neighborhoods through the project-based voucher (PBV) program. We draw from an extensive review of publicly available MTW agency plans and reports that document each PHA’s initiatives. (Author abstract)

    This report explores how public housing authorities (PHAs) granted Moving to Work (MTW) status by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) use their unique policy and fiscal flexibility to help low-income households move to opportunity-rich neighborhoods. Policy and programs adopted through MTW include changes to the tenant-based Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program or policies that increase the affordable housing supply in opportunity neighborhoods through the project-based voucher (PBV) program. We draw from an extensive review of publicly available MTW agency plans and reports that document each PHA’s initiatives. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Abdi, Fadumo
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2017

    Posted by Fadumo Abdi, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    Housing First is a consumer-driven approach to addressing homelessness that centers on providing homeless people with housing quickly and then providing additional support services as needed. This immediate focus on helping individuals and families access and sustain permanent housing solutions is what differentiates the approach from other homelessness strategies. The primary focus on securing stable and permanent housing first is consistent with what...

    Posted by Fadumo Abdi, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    Housing First is a consumer-driven approach to addressing homelessness that centers on providing homeless people with housing quickly and then providing additional support services as needed. This immediate focus on helping individuals and families access and sustain permanent housing solutions is what differentiates the approach from other homelessness strategies. The primary focus on securing stable and permanent housing first is consistent with what individuals and families experiencing homelessness want to achieve when they initially seek services.

    Programs modeled from the Housing First approach share critical elements, including:

    • A focus on helping individuals and families access permanent rental housing as quickly as possible;
    • A variety of supportive services are delivered to promote housing stability and individual well-being on an as-needed and entirely voluntary basis; and
    • A standard lease agreement to housing – as opposed to mandated services compliance.

    For example, Pathways to Housing, the first Housing First program of its kind, was designed to end homelessness and support recovery for individuals with severe psychiatric disabilities and co-occurring substance use disorders by emphasizing consumer choice, psychiatric rehabilitation, and harm reduction. The program addresses homeless individuals’ needs from a consumer perspective which encourages consumers to define their own needs and set clear recovery goals coupled with intensive case management services to provide access to identified services without prerequisites for psychiatric treatment or sobriety. The consumer-centered approach highlighted in Pathways to Housing and other Housing First models is in contrast to other housing assistance models that condition the provision of housing based on participation and compliance with behavioral health, substance treatment, and/or work training program requirements. Other target populations served through the Housing First approach have included homeless families who are experiencing persistent poverty, unemployment, child welfare involvement, or domestic violence.

    Unlike its predecessors, Housing First assumes stable housing must be established before an individual can begin to work toward improving their mental health, financial stability, and self-sufficiency. Research has found that by providing homeless people with immediate housing without prerequisites of participation in treatment services, they were more likely to stay housed for longer and less likely to return to homelessness. Similarly, giving clients the choice of which supportive services they need has also been found to result in reduced psychiatric symptoms and substance use among participants.

    Consistent with the consumer choice perspective that underscores the Housing First approach, there is some variability in the supportive services programming offered to clients even when focusing on the same sub-population. For example, a 12-month evaluation of three programs using Housing First approach to serve homeless individuals with mental illnesses found that clients of all three programs demonstrated positive outcomes relative to sustained housing, increased earnings, and improved symptoms, but varied in terms of housing tenure and support services offered. Programs outlined in the study utilized several successful strategies for the delivery of services including housing-based case managers or daily home visits by coordinators available on a 24/7 basis. Housing inventory also varied by program with some scattering properties among available private apartments and housing facilities stock while other programs solely own properties used for program participants. The ways in which the three programs implemented the Housing First model presented unique success and challenges. For example, the program which owns the housing units is able to provide more client supervision, but this can limit client integration into the broader community. Although each program took different approaches to implementation, each ultimately achieved positive outcomes for the individuals served.

    As more research is conducted on the effects of the Housing First approach, findings suggest programs that adhere to the Housing First’s core elements of unconditional, immediate housing and choice of services demonstrate positive outcomes. With a growing recognition of the Housing First approach some practitioners have begun to describe it as a whole-system orientation and response to the problem of homelessness. This holistic orientation is influencing how communities across the country respond to the persistent challenges posed by homelessness particularly among those with complex needs. For example, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has funded a study to assess the effects of five programs using the Housing First model for high need families. The evaluation targets families in the child welfare system struggling with substance use, mental health issues, and unstable housing. Through the study, the program hopes to determine its ability to provide trauma-informed care, develop working relationships with local housing agencies, and capacity to connect families to community resources. Continued research and practice evidence will serve as helpful resource guides and implementation toolkits for the future as more communities implement a Housing First approach to address the myriad challenges of homeless individuals and families with the greatest needs.

    Learn more about the Housing First model in the SSRC Library:

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