Last updated: May 10, 2021
Throughout the course of the pandemic response, we’ve seen the communities understand the importance of moving people from congregate shelters settings into individual housing options that allow for proper “sheltering at home” and ability to adequately quarantine. The political and public will was built in a short amount of time, but it needs to be sustained and communities must not revert back to previous methods of sheltering and housing people experiencing homelessness and the community must be acutely aware of the large inflow to homelessness that is inevitable if we don’t focus on housing stability and homelessness prevention.
New recommendations (but not examples) are denoted with ***
- ***Continue to mobilize scaled-up investments into permanent housing options, including permanent supportive housing as needed to exit people from unsheltered homelessness and from shelters, including from new sheltering options created. (A Framework for an Equitable COVID-19 Homelessness Response)
- ***Push and support the transition from congregate shelter models to permanent housing solutions and enact mechanisms of accountability to ensure communities do not fall back into simply evolving congregate settings, but rather eliminate the model in favor of sustainable permanent solutions.
- ***Ensure prevention funding is being provided to an array of community-based organizations, including non-traditional partners best able to reach into highly-impacted communities. (A Framework for an Equitable COVID-19 Homelessness Response)
Examples & Resources:
- Prioritization in Emergency Rental Assistance Programs: A Framework of Strategies, Policies, and Procedures to Better Serve Priority Populations (National Low Income Housing Coalition, April 2021)
- Project Homekey - State of California: Administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), $600 million in grant funding will be made available to local public entities, including cities, counties, or other local public entities, including housing authorities or federally recognized tribal governments within California to purchase and rehabilitate housing, including hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, and other buildings and convert them into interim or permanent, long-term housing. Of the $600 million in Homekey grant funds, $550 million is derived from the State's direct allocation of the federal Coronavirus Aid Relief Funds (CRF), and $50 million is derived from the State's General Fund.
- Chicago Homelessness and Health Response Group for Equity (CHHRGE)
- Housing Is How We End Homelessness, Not Police Sweeps
- How Philanthropy Can (and Can’t) Help Prevent Evictions during the Pandemic - The Urban Institute
- From Hotel to Home: Key Considerations for States and Local Jurisdictions Exploring Hotel/Motel Acquisitions as a Housing Strategy for People Exiting COVID-19 Shelters - CSH