Long Term Housing Stability and LAHSA’s Shallow Subsidy Plot

Long Term Housing Stability and LAHSA’s Shallow Subsidy Plot

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) commissioned The Cloudburst Group to design and implement an impact evaluation of an innovative housing financing pilot program for low-income residents. LAHSA’s shallow subsidy pilot provides extended assistance to households exiting shorter term rapid re-housing (RRH) programs and prevention assistance who need time to build economic security but could do so with lower levels of assistance than permanent subsidies. Qualifying individuals receive a monthly shallow subsidy of up to 35% of monthly rent for up to five years, and case managers work with subsidy recipients to provide additional support.

Cloudburst was selected in response to a competitive procurement to conduct an impact evaluation to understand the effect of its shallow subsidy pilot on housing status and long-term housing stability, as well as secondary outcomes. The evaluation focused on the first three years of pilot implementation, applying a quasi-experimental design to provide causal inference evidence on whether the shallow subsidy improves housing stability by preventing returns to homelessness within 12 months after exiting RRH programs or prevention assistance programs into shallow subsidies. The study primarily draws upon administrative data to answer these research questions as well as supplemental focus group discussions.

The impact evaluation found that LAHSA’s shallow subsidy program is an effective intervention for long-term housing stability. Overall, the odds of returning to homelessness, as measured by a shelter encounter, for those not receiving the shallow subsidy (i.e. the control households) were nearly 2.5 times greater than those for households receiving the shallow subsidy intervention. Additionally, 56% of shallow subsidy clients showed increased incomes after the one-year follow-up period, suggesting that given enough time in the program, more than half of households may be able to increase their incomes sufficiently to achieve financial independence.

To read more about Cloudburst’s shallow subsidy impact evaluation, see:

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