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Housing Authorities, Police Support Housing First for Homeless

This update on housing first permanent housing projects is from KnowlegePlex.

Housing Authorities, Police Support ‘Housing First’ for Homeless

New Complex for Homeless Opens in Salt Lake City
03/24/2007 | Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)

City Hopes to Cut Woes of Chronic Alcoholics
03/24/2007 | Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)

Program to Help Homeless Advances
03/22/2007 | Springfield Republican (Massachusetts)

Rehabbed High-Rise Will House Homeless
03/23/2007 | Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

A just-opened supportive housing complex for chronically homeless people in Salt Lake City is “the first of its kind in Utah,” reported the Deseret Morning News. The multimillion-dollar project was spearheaded by the Housing Authority of Salt Lake City. The 100-unit facility aligns with the “Housing First” approach that has worked elsewhere in the country, the article said. Residents of two of the four floors will face no restrictions on use of alcohol, while all residents will have access to optional on-site case management. The complex is part of the state’s 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness, the article said.

Salt Lake City is also operating a housing first oriented program to place chronically homeless people — many of whom also have substance abuse problems — in their own apartments, reported the Deseret Morning News.

Under the Pathways to Housing pilot initiative, police helped identify 17 chronically homeless individuals whose use of police services such as arrests for intoxication was reportedly costing about $1 million annually. Since the program began about 18 months ago, the cost of police services for the participants has fallen to $840, said the city’s police chief. Now, city police and prosecutors are designing a program to help 34 of the biggest repeat offenders, who have frequently been arrested for alcohol or trespassing transgressions. Between 2002 and 2006, these individuals have cost the city between $1.2 million and $2.5 million in services, the article said.

Under the Springfield, Mass., “Housing First” effort, the city and its housing authority are working on opening about 140 apartments to chronically homeless people, reported the Springfield Republican. The Springfield Housing Authority is seeking landlords to provide up to 100 subsidized apartments and the city is using federal HOME funds to provide another 42 subsidized units to homeless people. Twenty-two of the HOME-funded units are set aside for clients of the Mental Health Association, with the other 20 units reserved for people living in single-room occupancy units at a shelter. Another shelter has been ordered to shut down in conjunction with the Housing First initiative. Some homeless advocates who back the supportive housing program say the city still needs shelters.

Part of a Dayton, Ohio, Metropolitan Housing Authority complex once slated for demolition will be transformed into permanent supportive housing for homeless single adults, reported the Dayton Daily News. The authority’s board approved a $1.78 million plan to renovate the complex and allot 50 of the facility’s 102 units to formerly homeless people. The building is already home to 50 public housing tenants, who will remain in the complex. The authority will continue to manage the building and supportive services will be available to all tenants. The city and Montgomery County commissioners must also vote on the agreement, which calls for $925,000 in county funds and $460,000 in city funds. The Homeless Solutions Policy Board is working to implement other aspects of the local 10-year plan to end homelessness, the article said. The plan aims to develop at least 1,800 new low-income housing units and at least 750 supportive housing units.

by Richard W. Brown

Richard W. Brown, has more than forty-two years experience in both housing development and community organizing. Since 1991 Mr. Brown has been the Chief Executive Officer of Monarch Housing Associates, the 1995 Governor’s Excellence in Housing Award winner in the organization category.. To read more about Richard and all of our staff click here. Click here to send Mr. Brown an email.

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