Report Finds Rapid Re-housing Is an Effective Low-Cost Intervention to Homelessness

In the report titled Rapid Re-housing’s Role in Responding to Homelessness, the Urban Institute reviews literature on the effectiveness of rapid re-housing. A short-term, crisis-response program, rapid re-housing has proven to be a low-cost intervention that allows homeless families to quickly leave shelters and find stable housing.

Rapid re-housing provides housing search services, rent and move-in assistance, and case management services to help people exit homelessness and find long-term housing. HUD’s Family Options Study, the most rigorous study of housing inventions for homeless families to-date, shows that families randomly assigned to rapid re-housing exited shelters more quickly than families assigned to their community’s usual care (2.9 months versus 3.1 months). A study of the rapid re-housing program by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) found that monthly income increased for participants by almost $100 between program entry and program exit. Studies have also found that 70% of rapid re-housing program participants successfully find permanent housing prior to their program exit. Lastly, an important feature of the program is its lower cost than other interventions. The Family Options Study found the average monthly cost of rapid re-housing was $880, significantly lower than transitional housing ($2,706) or emergency shelter ($4,819).

Rapid Re-housing’s Role in Responding to Homelessness can be found at: