A big focus of this year’s NAEH conference was the success of Rapid Re-housing and the components needed to build and sustain an effective system of Rapid Re-housing. National experts presented on a wide range of topics from diversifying funding sources to converting transitional housing to Rapid Re-housing.
The recently released HUD Family Options Study, a frequently cited multi-year analysis which compared vouchers, transitional housing, Rapid Re-housing, and usual care; provided increased support at the conference for the benefits of Rapid Re-housing as an intervention. In the study, those individuals offered Rapid Re-housing experienced homelessness in shelter and transitional housing approximately 1 month less on average than those offered usual care. In addition, Rapid Re-housing was the lowest cost intervention, with families who were offered Rapid Re-housing using $3,000 less in assistance than those in usual care and showed comparable or better outcomes.
While the message was clear, Rapid Re-housing continues to be one of the most cost-effective and successful interventions, it was also clear that there are a number of challenges in changing practices One of the highlights was “Going to Scale with Rapid Re-Housing: How Virginia Changed Its Approach to Homeless Families” a presentation by Kathy Robertson of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development which showed how Virginia was able to use Rapid Re-housing to help reduce family homelessness by 22.6% and family homelessness by 25% from 2010 to 2014. Through the development of a Rapid Re-housing provider learning collaborative geared to help shift policies, procedures, and cultures, Virginia was able expand its provider base from 4 providers to over 60. In addition, they assisted communities in refocusing resources, set up system design clinics, and implemented a Rapid Re-housing provider certification process.
Other very helpful Rapid Re-Housing presentations included:
For more information you can also visit the National Alliance to End Homelessness website at naeh.org.