Conceptual Rationale for SUB and CBRR

문서에서 Family Options Study (페이지 53-59)

Chapter 3. Hypotheses About Intervention Effects

3.3 Conceptual Rationale for SUB and CBRR

This section considers the conceptual rationale for SUB and CBRR. Considering these two interventions together is ap - propriate because proponents of both SUB and CBRR believe that the key goals of homeless interventions should be ending homelessness swiftly, reducing returns to shelter, and restor - ing families to housing stability. This position follows from their view that family homelessness is largely a consequence of housing costs that outstrip incomes of poor families, a problem that housing subsidies can solve.

An episode of homelessness may be precipitated by unpre-dictable trigger events such as a financial crisis or domestic conflict (NAEH, 2012; O’Flaherty, 2009). Middle-class families may find alternative housing quickly, but families already living on the margins may need help in recovering.

Subsidies, whether they are the permanent subsidies of the SUB intervention or temporary subsidies such as CBRR, can help families obtain and maintain stable housing.

Resource constraints mean that, outside the context of this study, SUB is rarely accessible by families at the outset of an

31 As noted previously, to preserve the integrity of the Family Options Study experiment, all comparisons of interventions include only families who were eligible for the interventions in a given comparison and were randomly assigned to one.

Short-Term Impacts of Housing and Services Interventions for Homeless Families 22 Chapter 3. Hypotheses About Intervention Effects (Conceptual Framework)

episode of homelessness unless they already have a place near the top of a waiting list. SUB was not created as a response to homelessness. Instead, SUB already existed as an element of the broader social safety net at the time the homeless services system came into being in the late 1980s. Housing assistance is intended for a broader group of households than those who experience homelessness, and waiting lists for housing choice vouchers, or HCVs, and placements in public housing are long.

By contrast, CBRR was developed specifically as a response to homelessness. Because SUB is unlikely to become widely available to families at the time they are experiencing home-lessness, proponents of CBRR argue that limited resources dedicated to homelessness could be stretched to create the best outcomes for the most people by making subsidies tem-porary (Culhane, Metraux, and Byrne, 2011). Proponents of CBRR emphasize restoring families to conventional housing as swiftly as possible (the “rapid” in rapid re-housing), thereby reducing time in shelter and on the street, which they see as harmful. In addition, they focus on preventing returns to homelessness. Proponents of SUB focus more on long-term stability and worry that short-term subsidies provided by CBRR may not be sufficient to foster such stability.

Advocates of both types of subsidies acknowledge that homeless families, like other poor families, must contend with a variety of challenges, but subsidy advocates believe that such challenges are better addressed by mainstream community agencies than by specialized homeless services.

Challenges do not strongly differentiate most families who experience homelessness from other poor families who stay housed, at least before they become homeless (Shinn et al., 1998, 2013). Homelessness and housing instability are like-ly to exacerbate families’ challenges over time. Proponents of subsidies argue that stable housing provides a platform from which families can address other problems on their own, using community resources if they need to and choose to do so, while reserving scarce housing dollars for housing. This understanding is illustrated in Exhibit 3-1.

3.3.1 Predictions Regarding Housing Stability

Given this implicit argument for SUB and CBRR, what pre - dictions would their proponents make about the effect of the interventions on housing stability? Proponents of both SUB and CBRR see the crisis of housing affordability as the root cause of homelessness among families. In 2011, 11.8 million renter households in the United States had extremely low incomes, defined as less than 30 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). More than one-half of them (52.7 percent) did not have housing assistance and either paid more than one-half of their income for housing, had severely inadequate housing, or experienced both (Steffen et al., 2013). Further, young adults starting families are not always able to break into the housing market—that is, they have never lived in a place of their own. American Housing Survey data suggest that in 2011 households consisting of more than one family totaled 3.6 million, reflecting the dramatic growth of

Exhibit 3-1. Conceptual Intervention Model for SUB and CBRR

CBRR = community-based rapid re-housing. SUB = permanent housing subsidy. UC = usual care.

Family Options Study: Short-Term Impacts of Housing and Service Interventions for Homeless Families

Short-Term Impacts ▌pg. 33 Exhibit 3-1. Conceptual Intervention Model for SUB and CBRR

CBRR = community-based rapid re-housing. SUB = permanent housing subsidy. UC = usual care. vs. = versus.

 

3.3.1 Predictions  Regarding  Housing  Stability  

Given this implicit argument for SUB and CBRR, what predictions would their proponents make about the effect of the interventions on housing stability? Proponents of both SUB and CBRR see the crisis of housing affordability as the root cause of homelessness among families. In 2011, 11.8 million renter households in the United States had extremely low incomes, defined as less than 30 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). More than one-half of them (52.7 percent) did not have housing assistance and either paid more than one-half of their income for housing, had severely inadequate housing, or experienced both (Steffen et al., 2013). Further, young adults starting families are not always able to break into the housing market—that is, they have never lived in a place of their own. American Housing Survey data suggest that in 2011 households consisting of more than one family totaled 3.6 million, reflecting the dramatic growth of subfamilies during the recession.32 Adults in the subfamilies, unsurprisingly, were less well educated and more likely to be unemployed than adults in one-family households (Eggers and Moumen, 2013).

Most families who become homeless are probably drawn from both subfamilies and families with

extremely low incomes who pay more than one-half of their income for housing. Worst case needs reports show that unassisted renters with incomes at or below 30 percent of AMI, or roughly the poverty level, cannot afford market-rate housing. Households that become homeless are even poorer, on average.

                                                                                                               

32 The number of households with subfamilies grew 22.6 percent from 2003 to 2009; data changes preclude computation of percentage growth from 2009 to 2011.

sub families during the recession.32 Adults in the subfamilies, unsurprisingly, were less well educated and more likely to be unemployed than adults in one-family households (Eggers and Moumen, 2013).

Most families who become homeless are probably drawn from both subfamilies and families with extremely low incomes who pay more than one-half of their income for housing.

Worst case needs reports show that unassisted renters with incomes at or below 30 percent of AMI, or roughly the pov-erty level, cannot afford market-rate housing. Households that become homeless are even poorer, on average.

As noted previously, in NSHAPC, the income for the me-dian homeless family was 46 percent of the federal poverty level (Burt et al., 1999). The median annual family income of families in the Family Options Study was only $7,410 at the time of enrollment, or about 15 percent of the national median household income.

Although a national consensus calls for an end to home-lessness, no similar consensus steps forward to address the broader problem of housing affordability. If this interpretation of the national consensus is correct, the operative question becomes this: Can we address homelessness without address - ing the broader problem and, if so, what is the least costly way of doing so? Proponents of SUB believe that, because families who experience homelessness are very poor, they are likely to require long-term rental subsidies to remain stable. Such families are likely to have ongoing difficulties affording housing at market rates without assistance. Although one-fourth of families who experience homelessness exit shelter within 7 days, families in this study are likely to need more assistance. Families had to have been in shelter for at least 7 days to enroll in the Family Options Study and 63 percent of enrollees had experienced previous episodes of homelessness. Such families may need a longer period of sub - sidy than CBRR provides to regain and maintain stability.

Strong evidence suggests that ongoing subsidies that hold housing costs for rent and utilities to 30 percent of family income, as the SUB intervention does, both prevent and end homelessness (Khadduri, 2008). The most rigorous evi-dence for subsidies as primary prevention for families comes from the experimental Effects of Housing Vouchers on Welfare Families study (Mills et al., 2006; Wood, Turnham, and Mills, 2008). Researchers randomly assigned 8,731 families receiving TANF in six sites (Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia;

Fresno, California; Houston, Texas; Los Angeles, California;

and Spokane, Washington) to receive a voucher or to be placed on the public housing waiting list without a voucher

initially. Using a treatment-on-the-treated (TOT) analysis, which examined the effects of vouchers on those induced to use them by the experiment, the study showed that housing vouchers prevented homelessness, both narrowly and broadly defined. In a survey conducted 4.5 to 5 years after random assignment, 12.5 percent of the control group, but only 3.3 percent of the experimental group, reported living on the streets or in shelters in the previous year, and 44.8 percent of control households but only 9.3 percent of the experimental households lacked a place of their own or had lived with others in the previous year. Families in this study were TANF recipients but less than 2 percent were homeless (in shelter or transitional housing) at the time of random assignment.

Other nonexperimental studies suggest that housing subsidies effectively end homelessness for most families who have ex - perienced it. Subsidies reduced returns to shelter as measured in administrative records in Philadelphia and New York City (for example, Culhane, 1992; Wong, Culhane, and Kuhn, 1997) but not in Georgia (Rodriguez, 2013). Subsidies also enhanced stability in survey data from a nonexperimental study of 256 families in New York City. Within 5 years after their initial shelter entry, 80 percent of families who received housing subsidies were stable (defined as in their own place without a move for at least a year) and, on average, the families had been in their current home for 3 years. Only 18 percent of families who did not receive subsidies attained stability.

Although receipt of subsidies was not randomized, family characteristics at the time of shelter entry did little to predict receipt of subsidies (Shinn et al., 1998).

In the absence of sufficient long-term subsidies, rapid re- housing is an intervention involving temporary subsidies designed to achieve two important goals: (1) hastening exit from shelter as swiftly as possible and (2) assisting families to lease up in market-rate housing.

CBRR focuses on helping families overcome whatever crisis precipitated their shelter entry to end their homelessness rapidly and minimize the negative consequences of home-lessness for families and children (NAEH, 2012). Proponents also argue that most families do not need long periods of preparation as in PBTH to be able to live independently (NAEH, 2012). About two-thirds of households nationwide (including both families and individuals) that were literally homeless upon entry into the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) in its first 2 years exited to housing that was deemed stable at the time of exit (64.2 percent of households who exited in year 1, 64.9 percent of households who exited in year 2; HUD, 2011a, 2013c).

32 The number of households with subfamilies grew 22.6 percent from 2003 to 2009; data changes preclude computation of percentage growth from 2009 to 2011.

Short-Term Impacts of Housing and Services Interventions for Homeless Families 24 Chapter 3. Hypotheses About Intervention Effects (Conceptual Framework)

No experimental evidence exists regarding CBRR’s effects on return to shelter, but there is suggestive evidence from mul-tiple sources. Perhaps the strongest evidence for the success of CBRR in preventing returns to homelessness comes from a nonexperimental study of more than 9,000 households, roughly one-half of which were families with children, that transitioned out of homelessness in Georgia. Homeless Man-agement Information System (HMIS) records showed that, over a 2-year observation period, 17.1 percent of those who exited from rapid re-housing returned to shelter compared with 47.5 percent who exited from emergency shelters with - out additional help from the homeless services system. This study did not find any additional benefit of long-term sub-sidies (Rodriguez, 2013). Gale (2012) similarly documents returns to homelessness within 12 months among families with children in seven Continuums of Care (CoCs) in four states. That study found that returns to shelter were 4 percent for families receiving rapid re-housing compared with 11 per - cent for families receiving emergency shelter and 9 percent for families receiving transitional housing (Gale, 2012). A third study of the 23 communities that participated in the Rapid Re-Housing for Homeless Families Demonstration program found that only 10.4 percent of 483 families re-turned to shelter in the year following program exit (Finkel et al., forthcoming). This study had no comparison group.

Households in these studies were not randomly assigned to programs, and, to the extent that rapid housing was re-served for households deemed likely to become stable with assistance, that might explain at least part of the substantial effects on returns to shelter.

It is less clear that CBRR leads to housing stability as opposed to reducing literal homelessness and returns to shelter. For example, in the evaluation of the Rapid Re-Housing for Home - less Families Demonstration program, 33 percent of 127 families who participated in a followup survey reported being doubled up in the year after exiting from rapid re-housing, and 76 percent of 380 for whom addresses could be verified had moved during that year. These numbers are likely to be underestimates because no address information could be found for 22 percent of participants (Finkel et al., forthcom-ing). The high rates of relocation and doubling up suggest that CBRR may not be sufficient to ensure these other aspects of housing stability and that SUB, an intervention that is not part of the homeless services system, may be superior to CBRR regarding these broader goals.

3.3.2 Predictions Regarding More Distal Outcomes

Proponents of both permanent and temporary housing sub-sidies (SUB and CBRR) make fewer claims about the effects of subsidies on outcomes other than housing stability. Pro-ponents of SUB argue that subsidies should stabilize families in housing, thereby minimizing the harmful consequences of homelessness. Given stable housing, families can address any other problems they may experience using mainstream community resources or on their own. In advocating rapid re-housing, CBRR proponents also focus on reducing the length of time families spend in emergency shelter or on the street with a view to minimizing potentially harmful effects of shelter. The effects of subsidies on these more distal out-comes are likely indirect. Thus, additional hypotheses from the perspective of proponents of SUB and CBRR are stated more tentatively.

Family preservation. Perhaps the strongest claims for the value of SUB and CBRR on outcomes other than housing stability are for family preservation. Although several studies have documented extraordinarily high rates of separation of children from families who experience homelessness, very few studies have explained why homelessness is associated with family separation. Those that do are observational and cannot establish causality. Park et al. (2004) found that among families with any stays in homeless shelters in New York City, recurrent shelter entries and longer stays were the strongest predictors of involvement with child protective services. Other predictors (from administrative records) were domestic abuse and having fewer adults in the household, a younger parent, and more children. In a sample of 292 homeless mothers in Upstate New York, families with younger mothers and more children had more child protective ser - vices involvement within 30 months of program entry (Hayes, Zonneville, and Bassuk, 2013). Additional predictors were maternal mental health treatment, residential instability, un-employment, and attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous (indicators for an alcohol or drug use problem). Cowal et al. (2002) found that drug dependence, domestic violence, and any institutional placement of the mother were associated with both informal separations and protective services involvement in both housed and home-less families in New York City, but homehome-lessness was by far the most potent predictor.

Moving beyond correlates, Park et al. (2004) suggested the possibility of a “fishbowl effect” in which families in the home - less system are subject to heightened scrutiny from service providers, leading to reports to child protective services.

Past studies have shown that observers are more likely to rate a behavior as abusive when performed by low-income rather than middle-income parents (McLoyd, 1990).

Results in Park et al. (2004) and Cowal et al. (2002) suggest an additional explanation. In the Park and Cowal studies (but not in the Hayes, Zonneville, and Bassuk [2013] study), rates of protective services involvement and more informal separations were low before the initial episode of homeless-ness. Child welfare involvement often began only after families left shelter or between episodes of shelter stay. These findings suggest that the stress, disruption, or heightened scrutiny caused by homelessness may be important and lasting. Data from 80 families who took part in a small qualitative field effort conducted as part of the broader Family Options Study provide additional support for both the stress and the scrutiny perspectives. Compared with independent living situations, both shelters and transitional housing disrupted families’

routines and rituals. Families were subject to surveillance and sometimes explicitly threatened with involvement with child protective services (Mayberry et al., 2014). Whether separations are because of the stress and disruption of homeless programs or increased scrutiny of parenting behavior, families who are quickly rehoused in conventional housing with SUB or CBRR may have fewer separations. (Proponents of PBTH make the opposite prediction, as discussed subsequently.) Child well-being. Reductions in instability and in parental stress may enhance child well-being more generally. As cited previously, both residential and school instability have been shown to be risk factors for children’s academic performance and the central noncognitive skill of self-regulation. Residen - tial stability is likely to be closely linked to school stability.

To the extent that SUB and CBRR enhance both forms of stability, they should also have positive effects on additional child outcomes in these domains. A caveat is that such out - comes might take more than 18 months—the current followup point—to develop.

The discussion here about effects on child well-being is more logical than empirical. No studies of the effects of housing subsidies on homeless children have been conducted, so we turn to the limited evidence for the impact of subsidies on poor children more generally.

The study of Effects of Housing Vouchers on Welfare Families (Mills et al., 2006) found little relationship between housing subsidies and children’s educational or behavioral outcomes.

A large-scale study of a randomized housing voucher lottery in Chicago that used administrative records also found very modest and mostly nonsignificant effects on school, arrest, and health outcomes. This study compared 18,347 children in families offered vouchers via the lottery with 48,263 chil - dren in families who applied for vouchers but did not receive them (Jacob, Kapustin, and Ludwig, 2014). There were mixed results in the nonexperimental Three-City Study (Coley et al., 2013), a 6-year longitudinal study of 2,400 low-income families from moderate and high-poverty neighborhoods in

A large-scale study of a randomized housing voucher lottery in Chicago that used administrative records also found very modest and mostly nonsignificant effects on school, arrest, and health outcomes. This study compared 18,347 children in families offered vouchers via the lottery with 48,263 chil - dren in families who applied for vouchers but did not receive them (Jacob, Kapustin, and Ludwig, 2014). There were mixed results in the nonexperimental Three-City Study (Coley et al., 2013), a 6-year longitudinal study of 2,400 low-income families from moderate and high-poverty neighborhoods in

문서에서 Family Options Study (페이지 53-59)