No Easy Decisions: Developing an Evidence-Informed Process to Allocate Housing Choice Vouchers to Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence

Kristie A. Thomas, Jill T. Messing, Allison Ward-Lasher, Allie Bones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article describes the development of an evidence-informed screening tool and process to allocate 25 Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) to homeless and unstably housed survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) through an innovative pilot program called SASH (Survivors Achieving Stable Housing). Informed by empirical and community-defined evidence, the screening tool comprised two forms, a survivor self-referral form and a form completed by a domestic violence (DV) advocate on the survivor’s behalf. Responses were scored such that higher scores indicated fewer barriers to the SASH definition of housing success (i.e., to lease up with and maintain an HCV). We received 92 applications, primarily from survivors living in DV shelters. Of those, 31 were excluded; the remaining 61 were randomized into either the voucher or the queue group. Survivors needed considerable advocacy from the SASH team to move through the public housing authority application process as well as financial assistance to lease up. Lessons learned during the SASH project have important implications for DV and housing practitioners, especially those involved in developing coordinated entry procedures. These lessons include the utility and feasibility of screening questions and tools, moral dilemmas of resource allocation, and challenges of working across siloed systems and policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHousing Policy Debate
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Housing Choice Voucher
  • assessment
  • domestic violence
  • homelessness
  • intimate partner violence
  • screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Urban Studies
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'No Easy Decisions: Developing an Evidence-Informed Process to Allocate Housing Choice Vouchers to Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this