HUD and USICH: Core Principles of Housing First and Rapid Re-Housing Webinar

The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently hosted "Core Principles of Housing First and Rapid Re-Housing," a webinar designed for homelessness service providers, communities, and policymakers to understand the core components of the Housing First approach and the Rapid Re-Housing model and how both work together to help end homelessness.


Housing First is a whole-system orientation, and not a "program," that offers permanent, affordable housing as quickly as possible for individuals and families experiencing homelessness, and then provides the supportive services and connections to the community-based supports people need to keep their housing and avoid returning to homelessness. The approach begins with an immediate focus on helping individuals and families get housing. Income, sobriety and/or participation in treatment or other services are not required as a condition for getting housing. All services are voluntary and are not a condition for retaining housing. Housing provides people with a foundation from which they can pursue other goals. Tenants are assisted in developing or improving skills for independent living while they live in permanent housing instead of requiring them to complete a transitional residential program first.

Rapid Re-Housing is the practice of focusing resources on helping families and individuals quickly move out of homelessness and into permanent housing, which is usually housing in the private market. Services to support rapid re-housing include housing search and landlord negotiation, short-term financial and rental assistance, and the delivery of home-based housing stabilization services, as needed. Priority is placed on helping individuals and families move into permanent housing as rapidly as possible and providing services to help them maintain housing. Rapid re-housing has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing homelessness, particularly among families. Rapid re-housing also increases turnover in shelters, which allows them to accommodate more families without increasing capacity.

Both work together to ensure that occurrences of homelessness are rare and brief, help people obtain permanent housing quickly and connect people with the care and support needed to maintain their housing and achieve a better quality of life.


Richard Cho, USICH

Ann Oliva, HUD

Lindsay Knotts, USICH