The Challenge: Although research has clearly demonstrated that housing instability negatively impacts other outcomes within a wide range of service delivery systems, identification of housing problems most often occurs when a family is facing eviction or actually loses their housing. While family assessment tools in use today generally include questions about a family’s current housing, these questions are usually brief and fail to provide a true picture of how and in what conditions a family may be living. Although there are numerous points-of-intervention along the housing spectrum, housing-related problems of families are generally addressed informally by staff who are not knowledgeable about housing-related issues or are relegated to other services systems too overloaded to provide appropriate and timely interventions. For many families, the result is extended periods of housing instability, transiency, and homelessness, disrupting every aspect of family life and resulting in poor outcomes for diverse service delivery systems addressing non-housing service needs.
The Solution: The Housing Stability Assessment Initiative has been developed by Partnering for Change to promote early intervention and timely and appropriate responses to indicators of housing distress at the direct services level – at schools, health clinics & hospitals, workforce development programs, child and family service organizations, and through other human services systems.