Rapid Re-Housing

Training

What is Rapid Re-Housing?

Rapid Re-Housing provides short-term rental assistance and services. The goals are to help people obtain housing quickly, increase self-sufficiency, and stay housed. It is offered without preconditions such as employment, income, absence of criminal record, or sobriety. The resources and services provided are typically tailored to the needs of the person.

Rapid Re-Housing has demonstrated to be effective in housing people experiencing homelessness and retaining housing. By connecting people with a home, clients are in a better position to address other challenges that may have led to their homelessness, such as obtaining employment or addressing substance abuse issues. The intervention has also been effective for people traditionally perceived to be more difficult to serve, including people with limited or no income and survivors of domestic violence.

Those who receive Rapid Re-Housing assistance are homeless for shorter periods of time than those assisted with shelter or transitional housing. Rapid Re-Housing is also less expensive than other homeless interventions, such as shelter or transitional housing. Although the duration of financial assistance may vary, many programs find that four to six months of financial assistance is sufficient to stably re-house a household.

All Ohio BoSCoC homeless assistance projects must follow a Housing First approach. This means that Rapid Re-Housing projects must reduce barriers to entry, ensure that support services are voluntary, and provide housing-focused assistance. Individuals or households with high need should be prioritized.

Core Components of Rapid Re-Housing

There are three core components of Rapid Re-Housing. While a program must make all three available, it is not required that a single entity provide all three services or that a household utilize them all. Below are the core components as outlined by The National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH).

Housing Identification

The goal of housing identification is to find housing for people quickly. This can be a challenging task, especially in high-cost, low-vacancy markets. Programs should recruit landlords continuously, even before you have people who need housing. The more partnerships you create now, the greater the opportunity you will have later to rapidly house those that need it.

Your rapid re-housing program should designate housing identification staff members who can find and recruit landlords willing to rent to those served by your program.

And finally, match participants to appropriate housing. This is housing that is decent, safe, will be affordable after assistance ends. One critical aspect of this step is choice: make sure the individual or household has a choice in their housing.

Rent and Move-In Assistance (Financial)

The goal of rent and move-in assistance is to help with the costs associated with getting into housing. The amount and duration of this assistance varies, but at a minimum, it should be enough to help people secure a place to live.This assistance shouldn’t be a standard “package” but flexible in order to meet unique needs. This is particularly important when financial circumstances or housing costs change.

Rapid Re-Housing Case Management and Services

The goal of rapid re-housing case management is to help stabilize people once housed, by connecting them to services and supports if needed. It should focus on helping people navigate barriers that may stand in the way of securing and maintaining housing, and should also strive to build a support system by connecting them with people and programs in the community.

Rapid re-housing assistance should end and the case closed when the individual or family is no longer facing the threat of homelessness, but case management may continue if appropriate or requested.

Rapid Re-Housing Eligibility

All RRH projects must serve persons who meet Category 1 of HUD’s homeless definition. For RRH, Category 1 of the homeless definition ONLY includes individuals and families who are sleeping in a place not meant for human habitation or living in an emergency shelter meant to provide temporary living arrangements. Moreover, although RRH projects/services funded through Homelessness Crisis Response Programs (HCRP) are permitted to serve households currently residing in TH, RRH projects funded through HUD’s CoC Program are only permitted to serve persons/households currently in emergency shelter or unsheltered locations like sleeping in a car or an encampment. RRH projects are NOT permitted to serve Category 2 individuals or families who are imminently at risk of losing their housing. For more information see the Ohio BoSCoC Homeless Program Standards on the Governance and Policies page of our site.

Category 1: Literally homeless individuals/families
Literal homelessness is further defined as homeless individuals /families who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, meaning:

  • Sleeping in a place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation, such as a place not meant for human habitation
  • Living in an emergency shelter or transitional housing designated to provide temporary living arrangements (including hotel/motel stays paid for by charitable or government programs)
  • Exiting an institution where the individual resided for less than 90 days and where the individual entered the situation immediately from emergency shelter (including hotel/motel stays paid for by charitable or government programs) or an unsheltered location

For more information see the Ohio BoSCoC Homeless Program Standards on the Governance and Policies page of our site.

Documentation of Eligibility

An individual or household’s eligibility for Rapid Re-Housing must be documented. Acceptable documentation includes the following, in order of priority:

Third-party written verification of homelessness

Written verification can include an HMIS record or documentation on letterhead from shelter or TH project.

Third-party oral verification from a case worker, outreach worker, or program staff 

This can only be used as documentation after case workers have documented their due diligence in attempting to obtain third-party written verification of homeless status.

Self-certification of homeless status

This can only be used as documentation if neither third-party written nor third-party oral verification could be obtained, and due diligence was documented.

For more information see the Ohio BoSCoC Homeless Program Standards on the Governance and Policies page of our site.

Rapid Re-Housing Prioritization

RRH providers should prioritize for assistance individuals/households with greater vulnerabilities and less likelihood of exiting homelessness on their own. RRH projects use assessment tool scores and information about homeless history to help make prioritization decisions.

Additionally, when there is an eligible homeless veteran who is not eligible for VA programs, RRH providers should prioritize the homeless veteran for assistance.

Calculation of Income for Rapid Re-Housing

To be eligible for Rapid Re-Housing assistance in the Ohio BoSCoC, households must be at or below the Very Low (50%) Income Limit Area (similar to Area Median Income) in addition to meeting other eligibility requirements. RRH providers may use the RRH Income Calculation and Eligibility Determination Tool to determine whether an applicant household meets the income eligibility threshold for Rapid Re-Housing. A completed copy of the RRH Income Calculation and Eligibility Determination Tool should be kept in the participant case file. You can find the RRH Income Calculation and Eligibility Determination Tool in the Templates section of our Training and Templates page.

The Ohio BoSCoC Homeless Program Standards provide detailed guidance for RRH providers. You can find the Ohio BoSCoC Homeless Program Standards in the Documents section of our Guidance and Policies page.

Additional Training

The following resources have been made available for those who would like additional RRH training. It is not required that you view the trainings below.

An Introduction to the Rapid Re-Housing Standards – February 22, 2018
An Introduction to the Rapid Re-Housing Standards Presentation
An Introduction to the Rapid Re-Housing Standards Recording

Rapid Re-Housing Standards: A Deeper Dive – February 26, 2018
Rapid Re-Housing Standards: A Deeper Dive Presentation
Rapid Re-Housing Standards: A Deeper Dive Recording

Making Rapid Re-Housing Successful in Rural Communities – April 11, 2018
Making Rapid Re-Housing Successful in Rural Communities Presentation

Rapid Re-Housing for Youth – December 12, 2018
Rapid Re-Housing Transition Age Youth Presentation
Rapid Re-Housing Transition Age Youth Recording

Additional Resources

National Alliance to End Homelessness Rapid Re-Housing Resources
USICH Rapid Re-Housing Resources
HUD Exchange Rapid Re-Housing Brief
NAEH RRH Toolkit

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