Emergency Prevention

STEP 3: EMERGENCY PREVENTION

Your community has in place an emergency homelessness prevention program that includes rent, mortgage, and utility assistance, case management, landlord or lender intervention, and other strategies to prevent eviction and homelessness.


Your community has in place an emergency homelessness prevention program that includes rent, mortgage, and utility assistance, case management, landlord or lender intervention, and other strategies to prevent eviction and homelessness..

 


The most economically efficient way to end homelessness is to prevent its occurrence. Financial assistance to prevent an eviction, mediation to address problems with a landlord or lender, and case management can all prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless. A 1991 study of eviction prevention programs by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that the average cost to prevent family homelessness was one-sixth the average cost of a stay in a shelter. Yet a recent examination of the Continuum of Care planning process found that few communities dedicate substantial resources to preventing homelessness. Among the innovations that are developing in the area of emergency homelessness prevention are:

  • Enhancing coordination and information sharing among emergency assistance (including rent or mortgage and utility assistance) providers to maximize existing prevention dollars.
  • Moving beyond one-time eviction prevention payments to providing time limited housing subsidies until families become financially stable.
  • Combining emergency assistance with either time limited or ongoing case management to reduce future risk of homelessness.
  • Targeting new homelessness prevention and emergency assistance efforts to the neighborhoods that a disproportionate number of people seeking shelter are exiting.
  • Integrating homelessness prevention activities at intake sites for shelters to identify resources to prevent homelessness.


 

 


 

Spotlight

Library Resources

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Solutions Brief | June 24, 2009
This one-pager discusses how to target assistance toward those with the greatest risk of becoming homeless. It was used during a June 23, 2009 webinar entitled "Implementing HPRP in Rural Areas."
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Research Brief | January 14, 2009
Recessions mean more homelessness. Increasing numbers of unemployed people are unable to afford rent, and charities and local governments are unable to keep up. Based on estimates of the depth likely to be reached by the current recession, 1.5 million additional Americans are likely to experience homelessness over the next two years, over and above the number who usually become homeless. However, the worst increases in homelessness can be prevented by providing emergency assistance to help stabilize or rehouse people experiencing a housing crisis.
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Audio | October 23, 2007
This audio conference focused on CAMBA, a community based homeless prevention program.
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Conference Presentation | July 9, 2007
Designing effective homeless prevention programs for families is challenging. This workshop weaved together research and promising practices that can inform program design and planning. The workshop also examined strategies communities have implemented to achieve more effective targeting.