On October 25, HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) released a report titled Family Options Study: Long-Term Impacts of Housing and Services Interventions for Homeless Families, which seeks to identify the most efficient and cost-effective way to house and serve homeless families with children.
The report presents the long-term (37 months) outcomes of HUD’s Family Options Study, which tracked how homeless families in emergency shelters across 12 U.S. communities responded to various homelessness interventions. Between September 2010 and January 2012, over 2,000 families were enrolled and randomly assigned to participate in one of four homelessness interventions: housing subsidy, community-based rapid re-housing, project-based transitional housing, and usual care (defined as any housing or services that a family accesses in the absence of immediate referral to the other interventions).
The study found long-term housing subsidies, typically Housing Choice Vouchers, had the greatest impact on reducing family homelessness and improving non-housing family outcomes (i.e., increased adult well-being, child well-being, food-security, and less economic stress). While not as effective as housing vouchers, rapid re-housing programs were significantly less expensive, with an average per-family monthly cost of approximately $800, compared to voucher at $1,172/month, transitional housing at $2,700/month and emergency shelter programs at $4,800/month.
Read more about HUD’s study and findings here.