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2nd June
2010
written by naehblog

The Homelessness Research Institute (HRI) recently released the second installment of the Quarterly Leadership Council HPRP Report.

To recap: HRI is tracking the use of federal stimulus-funded Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing funds (HPRP). The objective of the project is to determine how cities are using this new funding source and how effective communities are at turning dollars into real, measurable improvement.

In the first quarterly report, we saw that:

  • Family homelessness was up slightly (6 percent) in the 11 reporting communities
  • Collectively, the 11 reporting communities spent approximately $10.4 million on HPRP financial assistance and housing relocation – this is just over 6 percent of their total grant allocation.
  • Collectively, there is slight emphasis on prevention over rapid re-housing with wide variation among communities. San Francisco, Chicago, and Seattle heavily emphasize prevention while Columbus and Denver focus on rapid re-housing.
  • To date, about 7 percent of households projected to be served by prevention programs had been served by December 2009. That number rises to 8 percent for households projected to be served by rapid re-housing programs for the same timeframe. Of the communities, New York has served notably more.
  • Collectively, the 11 reporting communities saved/created approximately 505 full-time jobs my December 2009 with HPRP funds.

For the 2-page report – as well as a list of all participating communities – please find the report online.

Now on to the second.
In the second report, we included two cities not originally in the first: New Orleans, LA and Washington, D.C.

There were a couple notable changes in the second report, though it’s important to take into account the added cities:

  • This quarter’s report shows that approximately 2/3 of HPRP funding has been allocated for prevention activities. Of the participating cities, San Francisco, Miami, New Orleans, and New York heavily emphasize prevention while Columbus and D.C. focus on rapid re-housing.
  • And on that note, collectively, the 13 communities are using 56 percent of their funding for direct financial assistance while the remaining 44 percent are being used on housing relocation services. Of the cities, only New York is using less than half of it’s allocation for direct financial assistance.
  • This quarter, the 13 cities created/saved 680 full-time jobs.

Now on to the really good stuff. It gets a little confusing, but hang in there.

  • Of the 15,869 people that have exited from prevention programs to date, at least 11,754 (74 percent) have exited to permanent housing. Of the 18,969 that have exited from rapid re-housing services, at least 18,642 (97 percent) exited to permanent housing.
  • Through March 2010 approximately $16 million has been spent on homelessness prevention or 39,000 in the 13 communities. About $5.5 million has been spent to rapidly re-house 23,000 people.
  • 13 percent of prevention funds and 8 percent of rapid re-housing funds have been used to date and several cities – including Miami, Portland, Philadelphia, and Ne York – are using their funds very quickly.

So what does this all mean?

While we’re still drawing conclusion about the data set thus far, there are some things that are clearly emerging.

In the first quarterly report, we saw that some communities were still preparing to allocate and use their HPRP funds – in the second quarter, we saw that all communities were serving people.

Another point worth discussing is the use of these HPRP funds. Note the breakdown of funds used for financial assistance and housing relocation – it’s about half and half. This information suggests that people are using HPRP funds to assist people into permanent housing without providing a rent subsidy. These activities can range far and wide – service providers can negotiations with landlords, some may offer legal services, some may connect at-risk people with families, some may assist clients through the maze of resources available. While some people are receiving rent subsidies through the HPRP program, it’s important to note that these other services are playing a critical role in preventing and end homelessness as well.

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