New to Rapid Re-Housing? Questions to Get You Started.

written by Jen Saunder and Kay Moshier McDivitt
April 12, 2016

In our first blog in the Rapid Re-Housing Know-How Series, we briefly mentioned the three core components of rapid re-housing

Here are some key questions related to each of these core components that all rapid re-housing providers should consider.  The recently released Rapid Re-Housing Performance Benchmarks and Program Standards provide more information about how to develop effective rapid re-housing programs, including guidance about how to address some of the questions below.

 

Housing Identification

  • Does your program have a staff member or “housing locator” who identifies and recruits landlords and encourages them to rent to homeless households served by the program?
  • Does this staff member have the knowledge, skills, and agency resources to understand landlords’ perspectives, understand landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities, and negotiate landlord supports?
  • Does your program have clear job description for the role of the housing locator or staff member responsible for landlord recruitment?
  • Does your program have a plan for recruiting and developing relationships with landlords? [NOTE: You program should identify landlords who are willing to house your participants in advance of implementing a rapid re-housing program.]

 

Rent and Move-In Assistance

  • Does your program have clearly defined policies and procedures for determining the amount of financial assistance a participant is provided?
  • Does your program have defined, objective standards for when case management and financial assistance should continue and end?
  • Does your program have a clear and objective process for final approval for each client?
  • Do these procedures indicate that financial assistance is not a standard package and is flexible enough to adjust to households’ unique needs and resources?
  • Has your program developed a policy to provide to clients that says assistance is based on individualized housing plans. This policy should also make clear any limits to financial assistance required by their funder(s) or established by the program.
  • Does your program have established processes for approval, review, and modification of types/levels of financial assistance?
  • Does your program have a system in place for making payments to landlords?

 

Rapid Re-Housing Case Management and Services

  • Is your program identifying and reaching out to organizations who might be good partners for providing supportive services?
  • Are your program’s staff members prepared to provide effective home-based case management?
  • Has your program developed case manager job descriptions to direct them to focus on housing and to use strengths-based practices focused on participant engagement?
  • Is your program developing training resources on rapid re-housing case management strategies and related evidence-based practices?