Characteristics and Dynamics of Homeless Families with Children. B.3: Sources of Data on Environmental Factors


  1. Data on housing and shelters
    1. Low income housing data. The National Low Income Housing Coalition provides a report initiated by Dolbeare Cushing and updated every year or few years on the cost of rental housing at a very disaggregated level (town or county), and relates it to wages and other income. These data are essential to the understanding differences in rates of homelessness or of recovery from homelessness.
    2. Data from HUD. HUD has a wealth of data on low income housing resources disaggregated to town and county levels. There are several relevant programs, and only the most salient ones are included below.
      1. Section 8 certificates (local numbers and utilization rate);
      2. Section 202 buildings;
      3. HOME investment partnership program (this would be significant for people already having a job who are coming out of homelessness, to help them with mortgage);
      4. Section 232 providing mortgage insurance for assisted living facilities and board and care homes; and
      5. Public and Indian Housing Resident Opportunities and Self-sufficiency (ROSS) program.
    3. Data from the Department of Agriculture on Rural Housing Services Rent Assisted programs.
    4. Data from the periodic surveys (e.g., ‘‘the continuing growth of homelessness and poverty in American cities’’ conducted by the United States Conference of Mayors).
    5. Local area data (town or state level).
      1. Anti-eviction programs;
      2. Housing subsidies for homeless families;
      3. Mortgage assistance programs
      4. Local data on items discussed in a) and b).
  2. Data on income related programs
    1. HHS data on federal supplemental security income (SSI) and state supplements to the federal SSI payments.
    2. Local town or state welfare programs (eligibility, amount of support).
    3. Data from local transportation departments on cost of transportation and availability of transportation vouchers.
    4. Data from local government social service and from Department of Labor on availability of jobs and rates of pay and unemployment rates in different localities.
  3. Data on health related services
    1. Location of community health centers.
    2. Location of mental health services.
    3. Location of substance abuse preventive and detoxification service.
    4. Location of McKinney homeless programs.
    5. Local availability/accessibility of other kinds of health related services.

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