A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

Use TANF Payments to Provide Rapid Re-Housing and Emergency Housing Assistance

View this resource as a PDF

use_tanf_rapid_re_housing_icon_only.pngThrough emergency housing assistance, including rapid re-housing programs, states can use Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds to prevent and end homelessness among families. Rapid re-housing programs help families move into housing as quickly as possible after they become homeless, instead of allowing families to spend weeks or months in shelters and transitional programs. These programs also minimize the impact of homelessness on children and provide the stability parents need to find jobs or participate in employment programs.

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a memorandum explaining that TANF funds can be used to address the housing-related needs of families who are homeless or precariously housed. Use of TANF funds in this way is consistent with rules on providing benefits and services to needy or eligible families. Families do not need to be receiving TANF cash assistance in order to qualify for housing services.

How can TANF funds be used for housing assistance?

States may adjust cash benefit levels in relation to housing costs.

States can also provide a housing supplement to cash assistance. TANF programs can also provide an array of non-recurrent, short-term benefits and services that are designed to address a specific crisis situation and extend no longer than four months.

For example, TANF may be used for short-term rental or mortgage assistance to prevent eviction or to help a homeless family secure housing. This may include security and utility payments, moving assistance, motel or hotel vouchers, case management services, financial and credit counseling, legal services, housing search and placement services, and related administrative costs.

TANF funds can also support rapid re-housing programs. For example, a partnership between The Road Home and Utah’s Department of Workforce Services provides rapid re-housing assistance combined with employment services to help families with children move into housing quickly. TANF funds provide rental assistance, remove barriers to housing, deliver case management services, and connect families to work supports.

TANF agencies should also be active participants in statewide, regional, and local efforts to prevent and end homelessness, including the Continuum of Care. TANF funds can be used in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s targeted homeless assistance grants program, the Continuum of Care program, and Emergency Solutions Grants program.

To learn more about using TANF funding for housing assistance, visit:

For more information about rapid re-housing, visit:

View this resource as a PDF


Increase TANF Payments to Protect Families From Homelessness

Use TANF to Provide Rapid Re-Housing and Emergency Housing Assistance

Support Families with the Greatest Needs by Removing Barriers to TANF

Use TANF to Create Subsidized Jobs and Provide Work Supports for Families Living in Poverty

Strengthen Connections Among Welfare-to-Work, Job Training, and Homeless Assistance Programs

unique_role_of_funders.png   Tips for Funders: Understanding the Connections Between Family Homelessness and TANF Policies



Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.

We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or email.