Addressing Homelessness through Shared Housing Strategies

Addressing Homelessness through Shared Housing Strategies

Jamie Taylor, Cloudburst Subject Matter Expert in Public Policy, moderated a panel on Shared Housing at the National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference this July. Shared housing is a critical housing strategy for all communities to explore in the effort to secure permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness (especially in high-cost housing markets). Shared housing is defined as two or more people who live in one permanent rental housing unit (NOT ‘doubling up’ or ‘couch surfing’) and share housing costs.

The panel presented shared housing strategies and models currently being implemented in communities across the country. For the last nine months, Jamie and the Cloudburst Group team have been investigating promising practices of shared housing across the country, under contract with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The discovery of shared housing programs and promising practices effectively serving people experiencing chronic homelessness and serious mental illness is important to SAMHSA and communities working to identify additional affordable housing options.

The panel discussed strategies for finding landlords amenable to shared housing, matching potential roommates, conflict mediation approaches and other housing stabilization strategies that arise in shared housing. Shared Housing as Permanent Supportive Housing and Rapid Re-housing projects were discussed, and conference attendees were able to understand both the strategic importance of shared housing and lessons learned from the field to bring back to their own communities. Shared housing was promoted as a housing solution for people with high needs when implemented in tandem with key promising practices aligned with Housing First principles. Shared housing will become more and more important as a viable housing option as communities strive to implement new housing strategies in their ongoing efforts to prevent and end homelessness.

Written by Jamie Taylor, Ph.D., Cloudburst Subject Matter Expert in Public Policy. Dr. Taylor is a Manager in The Cloudburst Group’s Public Health and Housing and Community Development practice areas. Dr. Taylor directs data analytics work for public health and housing programs, supporting local and state leaders in developing a culture of evidence by creating data dashboards and visualization tools that support cross-sector data-driven decision-making.

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