Study of PHAs’ Efforts to Serve People Experiencing Homelessness

This report examines data collected from about 4,000 Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) through an online survey and follow-up telephone interviews with 120 PHAs. Overall, 24 percent of PHAs have a prioritization that enables them to serve people experiencing homelessness and remove barriers that make it hard for them to access housing assistance programs.

Among the other findings in the report:

  • Larger PHAs and those in metropolitan areas are more likely to make specific efforts to serve homeless persons.
  • More than 53 percent of the national inventory of public housing and Housing Choice Vouchers are controlled by PHAs that have targeted efforts to serve homeless persons.
  • PHAs that administer HUD McKinney-Vento homeless assistance programs are more likely to have a strong general preference for homeless households.

The study also found that PHAs are making attempts to help homeless households overcome barriers to accessing housing assistance. Some PHAs have adopted liberal reinstatement policies so that homeless households who have no fixed address or contact information are not permanently removed from waiting lists if they cannot be easily found.

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