Service-enriched housing

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

  • This strategy can support healthy living environments. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program overview

  • Affordable rental housing that provides social services on-site or on-site referral services
  • Services can be coordinated by nonprofits or government organizations
  • May be focused on low-income families, individuals experiencing homelessness, seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, or others, with strongest results for individuals experiencing homelessness
  • Housing is generally integrated, with tenants living in scattered-site units throughout the community or in buildings in which a majority of units are not reserved for participants
  • Housing is not time limited

Evidence and impacts

Strong

Ranked as having the second-highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps

  • Reduces homelessness
  • Increases housing stability
  • Reduces hospital utilization
  • Reduces behavioral health issues like anxiety and substance use

Best practices in implementation

  • Note: This content is under review
  • Partner with housing developers and landlords, along with social service agencies and providers, to identify appropriate housing units and program sites.
  • Recruit program participants through partnerships with social service agencies and community-based organizations, along with strategic street outreach.
  • Invest in a wide range of on-site services and staff, such as general case management, mental health (trauma-informed care, cognitive behavioral therapy, 12-step recovery, and more), professional and vocational training, and life skill-building classes.
  • Engage with program participants as with any other tenant, including providing a lease in their name, the ability to renew a lease at their discretion, and community and behavioral guidelines and rules similar to those found in any other housing community.
  • Subsidize rent to a significant degree, with tenants paying no more than 30 percent of their income towards rent and other living costs.
  • Incorporate consumer choice as much as possible, such as providing program participants with a range of housing styles and neighborhoods and deciding which on-site services to take advantage of.