National Research Agenda 2012
Meeting the goals outlined in Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness requires targeted investments in proven solutions. As we strive to expand and strengthen our knowledge base, there are still many areas where research is needed to inform the policy-making process as well as to better understand best practices in the field. The USICH National Research Agenda outlines priority areas where we believe federal, local, and private investments should be made in additional research. A robust research base enables the furthering of best practices for all those working to end homelessness, and is a key element in changing the way our nation takes action. Setting forth a National Research Agenda, USICH hopes to catalyze researchers, policy professionals, and national, state and local leaders to improve how we respond to the crisis of homelessness.
Our agenda is informed by an extensive review of published studies and research currently under way, as well as key policy areas such as the Federal Framework for Ending Youth Homelessness, the transition from a shelter-based homeless system to a prevention and rapid re-housing system, community integration of people with disabilities under Olmstead settlements, and the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
The research topics proposed in this agenda are organized across eight key domains:
• Affordable and supportive housing
• Cost offsets/cost effectiveness
• Homeless crisis response
• Homelessness prevalence and risk and protective factors
• Improving health, well-being, and stability
• Justice linkages
• Accessing mainstream benefits
• Pathways to employment
Taken together, these topics cover the wide range of issues facing those experiencing homelessness and communities seeking to implement solutions that work. USICH hopes that both funders and researchers will use this agenda to guide their choices about future investments in research. Although some of the topics will require a national or multi-site study, many of the proposed topics are important for local research and can have significant impact on local policy and funding decisions. USICH understands that research related to homelessness continues to evolve and will update its research agenda to reflect new studies that advance our knowledge base in these priority areas.