Housing Chronically Homeless People: Opportunities through the 811 Mainstream Vouchers
There’s no doubt about it: we need more resources to end homelessness in this nation. In fact, we need many more resources. But we also need to make sure that we use every single resource that exists. And for communities seeking to address chronic homelessness, there are important resources available right now.
811 Mainstream Vouchers: What They Are, and How to Use ThemThe U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently awarded more than $130 million in housing vouchers for public housing authorities (PHAs) to expand housing capacity for the most vulnerable in their communities. This is great news for more than 300 awardee PHAs. HUD’s Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher program (also referred to as “811 Mainstream Vouchers”) provides critical funding to ensure that non-elderly people with disabilities experiencing homelessness can access housing.
Now the Work BeginsMany PHAs and Continuums of Care (CoCs) worked hard together to forge the partnerships needed for a successful application. But that’s just the first step. Now, the hard work really begins: getting people experiencing homelessness into units. CoCs and PHAs have to extend their partnerships all the way through lease-up. As CoCs begin the housing process, they should emphasize their vantage points as partners:
- CoCs have relationships with the target population
- CoCs have experience implementing tenant based rental assistance programs
- CoCs have coordinated entry to identify applicants