The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program

The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program provides financial assistance and services to prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless and help those who are experiencing homelessness to be quickly re-housed and stabilized. This program is intended to target individuals and families who would be homeless but for this assistance. Rapid Re-Housing funds provide for a variety of assistance, including: short to medium-term rental assistance, housing relocation and stabilization services. They also include such activities as mediation, credit counseling, security deposits, utility deposits, utility payments and case management.

Rapid re-housing has the following core components:

Housing Identification:
  • Recruit landlords to provide housing opportunities for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
  • Address potential barriers to landlord participation such as concern about short term nature of rental assistance and tenant qualifications.
  • Assist households to find and secure appropriate rental housing.
Rent and Move-In Assistance:
  • Provide assistance to cover deposits, and the rental and utility assistance (typically three months or less) necessary to allow individuals and families to move immediately out of homelessness and to stabilize in permanent housing.
  • Assist households to find and secure appropriate rental housing.
Rapid Re-Housing Case Management and Services:
  • Help individuals and families experiencing homelessness identify and select among various permanent housing options based on their unique needs, preferences, and financial resources.
  • Help individuals and families experiencing homelessness address issues that may impede access to housing (such as credit history, arrears, and legal issues). Help individuals and families negotiate manageable and appropriate lease agreements with landlords.
  • Make appropriate and time-limited services and supports available to families and individuals to allow them to stabilize quickly in permanent housing.
  • Monitor participants’ housing stability and be available to resolve crises, at a minimum during the time rapid re-housing assistance is provided.
  • Provide or assist the household with connections to resources that help them improve their safety and well-being and achieve their long-term goals. This includes providing or ensuring that the household has access to resources related to benefits, employment, and community-based services (if needed and appropriate), so that they can sustain rent payments independently when rental assistance ends.
  • Ensure that services provided are client-directed, respectful of individuals’ right to self-determination, and voluntary. Unless basic program-related case management is required by statute or regulation, participation in services should not be required to receive rapid re-housing assistance.

Rapid re-housing places a priority on moving a family or individual experiencing homelessness into permanent housing as quickly as possible, ideally within 30 days of a client becoming homeless and entering the program. Originally aimed primarily at people experiencing homelessness due to short-term financial crises, Rapid Re-Housing also assists individuals and families who are traditionally perceived as more difficult to serve. This includes people with limited or no income, survivors of domestic violence, and those with substance abuse issues. Although the duration of financial assistance may vary, on average, three months of financial assistance is sufficient to stably re-house a household.