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Rapid Re-Housing and Prevention
|Years of research and experience in working to end homelessness has proven that rapid re-housing and prevention are key strategies.|
Rapid re-housing has become a major emphasis in communities’ strategies to end homelessness. Rapid re-housing is also an emphasis in the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act. The priority for rapidly ending homelessness, when it occurs, is now a national one.
Rapid re-housing is a strategy that has been successfully used by many communities to reduce homelessness. Today, most households become homeless as a result of a financial crisis that prevents them from paying the rent, or a domestic conflict that results in one member being ejected or leaving with no resources or plan for housing. Most households who become homeless today have already lived in independent permanent housing, and they can generally return and remain stably housed with limited assistance. And homelessness itself is associated with a host of negative outcomes that can be minimized by limiting the period of time people experience it. By helping homeless households return to permanent housing as soon as possible, communities have been able to reduce the length of time people remain in homeless shelters. This opens beds for others who need them, and reduces the public and personal costs of homelessness.
Prevention can help communities reduce the size of their homeless population. Prevention assistance can aid households in preserving their current housing situation and can reduce the number of people entering the homeless assistance system and the demand for shelter and other programmatic housing beds.