Neighborhoods & Communities
Implementing a New Housing-Focused Framework
Housing Interventions from a Community Base
In many disadvantaged neighborhoods, low-income residents are isolated and often lack the knowledge of resources to assist them during housing crises. For others, high rents have forced them into substandard and deteriorating rental units that are often purposefully neglected by landlords who have no motivation to maintain them.
Assessing the specific types of housing instability most prevalent in a neighborhood or community – and then developing and implementing appropriate and timely intervention strategies should become a primary tool to help stabilize the housing of low-income and disadvantaged populations.
Place-Based Housing Interventions
While the concept is not new, placed-based services have re-emerged as a vital tool for both poverty alleviation and neighborhood revitalization.
This approach can provide low-income neighborhoods a cost-effective way to address barriers to service delivery and prevent housing-related crises from escalation.
As part of the methodology, a lead agency could work collaboratively with residents, community leaders, service providers and other key stakeholders to identify, prioritize and implement strategies to identify and respond to indicators of housing instability in their neighborhoods.
This process provides the vital platform for the development of “Housing Safety Nets” responsive to a particular community’s needs.
The Role of Housing Coordinators
A Housing Coordinator can work closely with services providers on a community level to help identify gaps in resources and services, improve coordination and collaboration, address barriers to accessing services, track outcomes of housing instability interventions, and identify areas to improve or build new partnerships. Targeted outreach, culturally responsive programming and adequate transportation services are additional supports for successful housing interventions.
Building services coalitions and linkages is critical. Many existing programs, resources and services could be made more accessible to residents of underserved neighborhoods through targeted collaborations and agreements to work together. Ideally, a neighborhood or community would develop a collaborative Housing Intervention Team.
With a little effort, it is often possible to negotiate formal or informal working relationships that are mutually beneficial, cost-effective, and provide a broad spectrum of housing interventions support.