Rapid Re-Housing Performance Benchmarks and Program Standards

February 15, 2016  |  Publications

Rapid re-housing is an intervention designed to help individuals and families to quickly exit homelessness, return to housing in the community, and not become homeless again in the near term. The core components of a rapid re-housing program are housing identification, move-in and rent assistance, and rapid re-housing case management and services. These core components represent the minimum that a program must be providing to households to be considered a rapid re-housing program, but do not provide guidance for what constitutes an effective rapid re-housing program.

This document provides details on performance benchmarks that would qualify a program as effective. These benchmarks are accompanied by qualitative program standards for each of the rapid re-housing core components that are likely to help a program meet the performance benchmarks. Lastly, this document include a section on program philosophy and design standards that provide more guidance on the broader role a rapid re-housing program should play in ending homelessness.

The standards included in this document are based on what is currently considered promising practice by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), Abt Associates and other federal technical assistance providers, and nationally recognized, high-performing rapid re-housing providers. As rapid re-housing practice continues to evolve, these program standards will be updated. This living document is intended to be a tool to help current and potential rapid re-housing providers, funders, and other stakeholders design and identify rapid re-housing programs that are or are likely to be the most successful in ending homelessness for individuals and families through the use of the three core components of rapid re-housing.

How to Use this Document

Funder, State Leaders, and Coalitions can use the performance benchmarks and program standards to increase the effective implementation of rapid re-housing. These standards can be used in the development of Requests For Proposals (RFPs) for a variety of funding streams and to set performance and outcome goals for programs, evaluate applications for new rapid re-housing programs and determine which organizations are best suited to provide rapid re-housing, and review current program performance.
Providers can use these standards to improve their own rapid re-housing practice and to evaluate possible rapid re-housing partner agencies. These benchmarks and standards provide clear goals for programs implementing the model and interested in improving practice.

Continuums of Care (CoCs) can use these standards during the process of developing written standards for how they plan to administer assistance through coordinated assessment. CoCs must develop standards for providing assistance including prioritizing who receives rapid re-housing and how much rent participants in a rapid re-housing program must pay. While recommendations for such standards as required by HUD are not included in this document, these standards can help inform their development and ensure that rapid re-housing programs in CoCs are applied effectively and efficiently.