“Housing Safety Net” Strategies
Housing Safety Nets
Developing “Housing Safety Nets” requires new protocols and practices for cross-sector collaboration at the federal, state and local level. In this new housing-focused framework, assessing and responding to a family’s housing needs becomes a major focus of case management planning and services delivery.
Within this new framework, key strategies with basic components can facilitate the development of Housing Safety Nets for vulnerable and disadvantaged populations.
These strategies and basic components are adaptable to diverse services systems and place-based initiatives.
Depending upon the specific focus of housing interventions, local resources and services, and the target populations to be served, a Housing Safety Net program prioritizes specific indicators of housing instability most relevant to a specific neighborhood or community—while, at the same time, responding immediately to serious housing instability indicators that may arise.
Housing Safety Nets can be implemented by a single organization as the lead, through multiple organizations sharing a Housing Safety Net team, to more comprehensive initiatives serving multiple target populations within a single services delivery system or a specific community.
Housing Safety Nets require the development of new staffing patterns within mainstream and community-based services systems and cross-sector collaboration within a universal prevention framework.
Rather than a focus on homeless families or families at risk of homelessness, a Housing Safety Net program would address an entire continuum of housing needs: severe rent burden, poor housing quality, overcrowding, residential displacement, and homelessness.