Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel: Family Options Study: Impacts of Three Interventions on Homeless Families at 20 Months
(Housing and Community Development)

Thursday, November 12, 2015: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
Foster I (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Michelle Wood, Abt Associates
Panel Chairs:  Anne Fletcher, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Discussants:  J. Lawrence Aber, New York University and Pamela Loprest, Urban Institute

Family Options Study: 20-Month Impacts on Child Well-Being and Family Preservation
Marybeth Shinn and Scott Brown, Vanderbilt University

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) undertook the Family Options Study to obtain evidence about which types of housing and services interventions work best for homeless families. Using a randomized control trial design, the study compares the effects of assigning families to one of three active interventions— permanent housing subsidies (SUB), community-based rapid re-housing (CBRR), and project-based transitional housing (PBTH)—to one another and to the usual care (UC) available to homeless families. SUB, CBRR, and PBTH are distinguished by the duration of housing assistance and the type and intensity of social services offered. UC consists of emergency shelter and housing or services that families obtain without immediate referral to one of the three active interventions. From September 2010 through January 2012, 2,282 families with more than 5,000 children enrolled in the Family Options Study in 12 communities after spending at least 7 days in emergency shelter. The study’s impact analysis examined the effects of priority access to one of the three active interventions compared to one another and to usual care, providing six two-way experiments comparing effectiveness of homeless assistance policy options. The Family Options Study research team proposes a panel of four papers focused on implementation lessons and impacts of the contrasting policy options in the 20 months following emergency shelter entry. The results of the impact analysis are not included in the paper abstracts submitted with this application but are expected to be released by HUD in Summer 2015.
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