• Advocating for affordable housing, rapid re-housing, permanent supportive housing, and vouchers are essential in ending the homeless epidemic.

    AFFORDABLE HOUSING

    • The development of affordable housing creates a healthier environment for individuals, families, and their surrounding neighborhood. Communities that invest in affordable housing increase:
      • Immediate and long-term employment opportunities and spending in the local economy.
      • Immediate fiscal benefits for states and localities from the development and rehabilitation of affordable housing.
      • Reduced risk of foreclosure with home-buyers who participate in affordable home-ownership programs.
      • Potential for appreciating values in nearby homes, creating a more robust tax-base for municipalities.

    RAPID RE-HOUSING

    • Families with the lowest barriers to housing can be rapidly re-housed with a one-time infusion of cash assistance and transitional services, while those with the highest barriers to housing are targeted for permanent supportive housing. Most homeless households have lived in independent permanent housing and can generally return to and remain housed with limited assistance.
    • By limiting the period of time people experience homelessness and helping people return to permanent housing as soon as possible, the negative fallout of homelessness itself can be minimized.
    • Families are better served by rapid re-housing programs than by costly transitional housing – The Metropolitan Housing and Communities Center argues for homeless systems to shift their resources toward rapid re-housing programs that provide different housing subsidy and service levels to families based on their needs.

    PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING

    • While the cost is offset by savings in public services that homeless people use while living on the street or in shelter, permanent supportive housing is more geared for high-need families while low-need families may only need a housing subsidy of short-term housing assistance with transitional services.

    VOUCHERS

    • The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program assists very low-income families and elderly and disabled individuals in obtaining affordable housing in the private market. The need for vouchers finds further justification with:
      • High housing-cost burdens are a major contributing factor to homelessness.
      • Vouchers have been found to sharply reduce homelessness and housing instability.
      • In many parts of the country, even full-time workers earning a minimum wage do not make enough money to afford decent housing without public assistance.
      • Only one in four households that are eligible for vouchers receive any form of federal housing assistance because of funding limitations.
      • A majority of the low-income families without housing assistance who face severe housing problems (excluding those who get Social Security) are working families.
      • HUD’s most recent analysis of Census data indicates that in 2005, 6.5 million low-income renter households that did not receive housing assistance had “severe housing problems,” which means they either paid more than half of their income for rent and utilities or lived in severely substandard rental housing – This number increased by 20% between 2001 and 2005.

    See more about our campaign to restore funding for housing vouchers.