Dimensions of Quality Supportive Housing Guidebook

In creating and sharing the CSH Dimensions of Quality Supportive Housing, CSH strives to:

  • Build the capacity of the supportive and affordable housing industries to create and operate highquality,
    effective, and sustainable supportive housing units
  • Encourage the investment of adequate resources, especially from public systems, to support that
  • Ensure that existing resources for supportive housing are being used efficiently and effectively,
    and support the allocation of new resources
  • Create better outcomes for supportive housing tenants, especially those with multiple barriers to
    housing stability

On the Ground Floor: Housing First Frequent Users of Health Systems Initiative Common Challenges & Promising Community Practices

In this brief, we document some of the common dynamics communities face when advancing supportive housing and health center partnerships that target homeless individuals who frequently use hospital and emergency departments for preventable reasons in four leading communities across the country: Los Angeles, CA (10th Decile Project); Camden, NJ (Camden Housing First Pilot); Orlando, FL (Housing the First 100); and Indianapolis, IN (Penn Place). In February 2016, CSH and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council (NHCHC) convened a virtual roundtable with these four communities.

Resources for Building Health Center and Housing Partnerships: Literature Review and Resource Bank

With the growing appreciation of housing as a social determinant of health, health center and housing partnerships are on the rise nationally. Recognizing the layers to developing a health and housing partnership, this Literature Review and Resource Bank is intended to provide background and data resources that can be used in grant applications or in conversations with potential funders in the effort to foster new health and supportive housing partnerships.

The NYC FUSE Program Evaluation Snapshot

The Frequent User Services Enhancement (FUSE) initiative is a supportive housing program developed by CSH with support from various government agencies that provided housing and support services to individuals who were frequently cycling in and out of jails, homeless shelters, and hospital emergency rooms in 2008. A two-year follow up evaluation by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Policy found that FUSE participants spent significantly fewer days in jails and shelters and engaged in less cycling between public systems. These service use reductions resulted in significant cost savings to the government and tax payers. Download our two-page snapshot for the report highlights

Join FUSE Learning Community

Communities waste billions on uncoordinated and expensive service responses as people without housing frequently cycle between shelters, hospitals, jails, and the streets. Your community can end this costly revolving door by housing and helping those in need, and improving overall quality of life. How? By being selected to participate in the new, one-time only FUSE (Frequent Users Systems Engagement) Learning Community from CSH.

CSH FUSE is a proven, effective model identifying your frequent users of jails, shelters, hospitals and/or other crisis public services and matching them with supportive housing, an evidence-based solution that leads to better health and other good outcomes for people homeless and disabled. Tenants are provided very affordable housing with support services, all aimed at promoting stability that significantly reduces returns to jail and homelessness, and a reliance on emergency health services.

The FUSE supportive housing framework has been implemented in more than 30 communities across the country and is currently being planned in another 15.

In addition to monthly office hours with CSH FUSE experts, the Learning Community will offer five virtual trainings held between September 2018 to January 2019. Topics covered by the virtual trainings will include: FUSE stakeholder engagement, cross systems data matching/data driven targeting, supportive housing resource creation and scaling, and more. Hands-on guest speakers from FUSE communities will be featured whenever possible. Trainings will be interactive and offer opportunities for peer discussion among communities.

CSH anticipates selecting 15-20 communities to participate in the Learning Community. If your community is interested in applying, please click this link and complete our survey by Thursday, September 6, 2018, 7pm CT. Successful applicants will be notified and announced by CSH soon thereafter. Please contact fuse@csh.org with any questions.

CSH Names Three New Pay For Success Awardees

CSH has selected New Mexico Appleseed and the Memphis-based Community Alliance for the Homeless (CAFTH) to receive two separate grants that will determine if Pay For Success (PFS) financing can help create supportive housing for families without homes who also experience high instances of open child welfare cases.

CSH anticipates Appleseed and CAFTH will receive approximately six months of technical guidance to determine if PFS is a realistic supportive housing funding option for them to pursue.

“We are incredibly honored to be recipients of this important award, but the real beneficiaries are the children in New Mexico at risk of abuse and neglect because their housing is not healthy, stable, or safe,” said Jennifer Ramo, Executive Director of New Mexico Appleseed. “The end result of all this work is that those children will live in a home where they can focus on studying and playing, as every child should.”

The Center for Healthcare Strategies will assist CSH in providing guidance to Appleseed and CAFTH during their grant awards.

“As a leader in the fight to end homelessness in Memphis/Shelby County, Community Alliance for the Homeless believes that our community is equipped with resources to impact positive change,” said Cheré Bradshaw, Executive Director of CAFTH. “The technical assistance provided by CSH will significantly broaden our organizational capacity to promote the well-being of child welfare-involved families experiencing homelessness through the Pay-for-Success initiative. The technical assistance from CSH will significantly enhance our ability to end family homelessness in our community.”

A third grant has been awarded to the Community Service Council (CSC) in Tulsa for technical assistance to further advance a PFS initiative undertaken by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS), which is designed to help youth ages 17-25 transitioning out of foster care or the criminal justice system who lack stable housing or have experienced homelessness or are chronically homeless.

CSH anticipates CSC will receive approximately 12-18 months of technical guidance from its experts as well as the Nonprofit Finance Fund. The goals are for CSC and partners to build capacity and services to actively participate in the ODMHSAS’ effort to create supportive housing for transitioning youth through PFS financing.

“CSC and other key leaders from across the state have been working on the Oklahoma Opportunity Youth PFS project under the leadership of the ODMHSAS since 2014” said Patrice Pratt, Community Service Council division director for housing and homelessness. “CSC and our partners are honored to be selected for this opportunity.  This grant will assist Oklahoma in taking the next step, developing the quality infrastructure and capacity for providers to achieve successful outcomes through the Oklahoma Opportunity Youth PFS project.”

All three of the awards announced on March 19 are made possible because of funding received from the Corporation for National and Community Service combined with additional financial support from CSH’s philanthropic foundation partners.

“Just in Reach” Supportive Housing

Los Angeles County Launches “Just in Reach” Supportive Housing Program

to Break Cycles of Homelessness and Re-Incarceration

Innovative public-private partnership uses “Pay for Success” financing model

to maximize public resources and ensure positive outcomes for individuals

Los Angeles County has launched Just in Reach (JIR), a new health-based housing program that will reduce jail recidivism and help end homelessness among people experiencing repeat jail stays. Over four years, JIR will place 300 homeless individuals who are currently in custody within the county jail and who have a mental health and/or substance-use disorder into permanent supportive housing.

The innovative public-private partnership is the region’s first program to be funded through a “Pay for Success” financial model. Pay for Success uses up-front private funding to ensure the most positive outcomes for individuals and communities, reduce the financial risk to government, and maximize public resources.

The initiative’s key partners include the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS), CSH and the National Council on Crime & Delinquency (NCCD), in partnership with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and the County CEO’s Office (CEO). The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and UnitedHealthcare have invested a combined $10 million in the program. Awards from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the California Board of State and Community Corrections will support various program activities and evaluative work. Through Nonprofit Finance Fund, the James Irvine Foundation provided grant funding to engage Third Sector Capital Partners, which conducted the feasibility assessment and contributed to the financial modeling for the Pay for Success contract.

How It Works

Just in Reach builds on the success of two DHS initiatives: the Office of Diversion and Reentry, whose mission is to divert people living with a mental and/or substance-use disorder away from the justice system and into community-based treatment; and the Housing for Health program, which has provided supportive housing to over 3,500 people, 96% of whom have remained in housing for 12 months or more.

The program will be managed by the Office of Diversion and Reentry. Along with receiving permanent supportive housing, people who are participating in the program will be connected to mental health, substance-use treatment, and physical health services. Additionally, they will receive intensive case management before, during and after securing housing to help them remain housed and to reduce their likelihood of returning to jail.

“Nearly 60,000 people currently experience homelessness in LA County on any given night,” said Judge Peter Espinoza, Director of DHS’s Office of Diversion and Reentry. “For individuals cycling through our criminal justice system, overcoming homelessness can be deeply challenging and short-term fixes aren’t enough. Just in Reach is a huge step toward reducing re-incarceration by connecting people to permanent, stable homes.”

People struggling with homelessness and mental illness often find themselves going in and out of the criminal justice and emergency health care systems, rather than connected to the permanent solution of housing. This vicious cycle is costly and leads to poor health outcomes.

“Pay for Success financing is driving supportive housing with these innovations in other cities such as Denver,” said Deborah De Santis, CEO & President of CSH. “But the LA jail system is the largest in the nation and, through programs like Just in Reach, can be the leader in investing public, private and philanthropic resources into solutions we know benefit the entire community.”

An Innovative Financing Model

Just in Reach is unique in its “Pay for Success” funding structure, whereby the private sector provides up-front financing that is repaid by government only if agreed upon successes are achieved. Repayment is based on outcomes: if the program is successful (e.g. individuals are placed in and retain stable housing), government pays back the private funders. If the program is not successful, the private funders assume the loss of their investment.

“Just in Reach represents an exciting opportunity for LA County because it is so heavily grounded in what works to reduce recidivism,” said Kathy Park, Chief Executive Officer of NCCD. “The Pay for Success financing structure also relies on what works, ensuring that services lead to improved outcomes while also reducing housing and jail costs down the road.”

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, a regional leader in private philanthropy to end chronic homelessness, and UnitedHealthcare, a health and well-being company that serves more than 3.7 million people in California, have made a combined $10 million initial investment in Just in Reach.

“We’re excited to be part of this significant milestone for public-private partnership in LA County,” said Bill Pitkin, Director of Domestic Programs for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, which has committed over $87 million since 2010 toward ending chronic homelessness in LA County. “The Foundation is proud to jumpstart another initiative within the county that lifts up supportive housing as the solution to the cycle of homelessness and recidivism — and this time through an innovative financial model.”

“UnitedHealthcare is investing in an innovative program that will give people access to quality supportive housing and help them live healthier lives,” said Bob Oberrender, Treasurer and Chief Investment Officer, UnitedHealth Group, which through its UnitedHealthcare business has committed more than $19 million to support affordable-housing programs in Los Angeles County in 2017. “Through partnerships like this we can help make a positive difference in the lives of individuals and their families affected by homelessness as a result of recidivism.”

As an alternative to up-front government funding, Pay for Success has the essential benefit of removing risk for government by having private investors finance initial costs and jumpstart innovative programs. Further, the model has enabled Los Angeles County to access state and federal resources not otherwise available.

Pay for Success has emerged as a viable strategy to finance supportive housing in places such as Los Angeles County, where there is a concerted and community-backed effort to end chronic homelessness. Pay for Success-funded projects that expand supportive housing are currently being implemented in Denver, Santa Clara and Massachusetts.

Scaling Data Integration Request for Proposals: Advancing Pay for Success


CSH is seeking eligible and qualified state and local governments or tribes that are interested in participating in a new project that will inform the development and use of an integrated tool focused on criminal justice and homelessness data. Selected participants will receive technical assistance to access and integrate data from the homeless and criminal justice systems to target supportive housing in order to spur greater coordination/integration between the homeless/housing and criminal justice systems, and to advance Pay for Success. Access the full RFP here.

Release Date of this RFP: March 8, 2017
Live Bidders’ Webinar/Teleconference: March 20, 2017; 1:00pm ET
Registration Link: Register here for the March 20 introductory webinar. All Webinars will be recorded and made available at www.csh.org/pfs

Instruction for Submitting Written Questions
Submit to: pfs@csh.org

Please submit all questions by 5pm Eastern Standard Time on April 5, 2017 in order to ensure a response.

Due Date/Time and Instructions for Submission of Optional Notices of Intent to Apply
Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to submit Notices of Intent indicating the intention to submit full proposals. Notices of Intent should be submitted via email.

Due Date: March 27, 2017

Submit by email to: pfs@csh.org

Due Date/Time and Instructions for Submission of Full Proposal
Applicants must submit all application materials electronically. The application narrative must be submitted using the provided PDF application form. Attachments must also be submitted electronically. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Due Date/Time: April 7, 2017; 8:00pm Eastern Standard Time

Submit by email to: pfs@csh.org

Interview Stage
Following the review and ranking of the written applications, CSH will schedule phone interviews with the top-ranked applicants. Final determinations will be made based on the results of the interview stage.

Anticipated Announcement Date of Service Recipient Awards
Approximately May 5, 2017

Register here for the CSH Webinar that will review the RFP seeking eligible projects and discuss the new tool in more detail. This technical assistance opportunity provided by CSH is made possible through grants CSH received through the Pay for Success (PFS) program of the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Social Innovation Fund (SIF) and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.


New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo last week announced pilot projects at three public housing authorities to help formerly incarcerated New Yorkers safely reunite with their families under a new pilot program. These authorities in the cities of Schenectady, Syracuse, and White Plains have heeded a call from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to allow carefully screened and monitored people with convictions to live in public housing with their families.

“Stable housing drastically reduces the risk of recidivism and, under this initiative, qualified individuals who meet careful screening and monitoring guidelines will be able to be reunited with their families,” Governor Cuomo said. “This pilot program will help break down barriers, aid in their reintegration into society and increase public safety.”

In an effort to aid the authorities’ efforts, the New York State Department of State is providing funding for case management that will track these individuals, and the Department of Correction and Community Supervision will monitor participants through their parole officers and undertake home visits as part of the normal course of supervision as well as any other time that the housing authority requests they do so.

Public housing authorities supported by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, including all of the urban housing authorities in New York State, have the lawful discretion to screen housing applicants with past criminal behavior on an individualized basis – excluding sex offenders and methamphetamine producers. However, many authorities refuse to give applicants this fair assessment. This results in people who present little risk to society being separated from family members, and forced into unstable housing or homelessness at the expense to themselves and our communities.

A 2016 study by the Vera Institute showed that reuniting carefully screened individuals with family members living in public housing is safe for the community.  Not one of the 85 individuals who participated in an ongoing housing pilot program in the New York City Housing Authority has been convicted of a new crime since enrollment.

The Governor’s Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration introduced these results to other housing authorities, and these three authorities decided to pilot the approach. Schenectady County Community Action, Inc., PEACE, Inc. of Syracuse, and the Westchester Community Opportunity Program will provide the case management services to enrollees and their family members. These public housing authorities will have the ability to review a number of important factors to ensure any participant does not pose a public safety concern to residents. These include an individual’s criminal background, their path to rehabilitation, and family structure. At the end of the pilot program, successful participants may be added to the household on a permanent basis.

Richard Homenick, Executive Director for the Schenectady Public Housing Authority, said, “In Schenectady, we are excited and optimistic about this opportunity to reunite and strengthen families, empower individuals, and increase public safety. We look forward to providing a fresh start for returning citizens through a supportive network.”   

William J. Simmons, Executive Director for the Syracuse Housing Authority, said, “The Syracuse Housing Authority is happy to participate in the Family Reunification Pilot program’. The case management support is a critical element in the successful return of the participants to their communities.”

Mack Carter, Executive Director for the White Plains Housing Authority, said, “The Mayor, Board of Commissioners, Residents, Management and Staff look forward to the reunification of family members re-entering their homes and their communities, and for some families this time could not have come soon enough. The White Plains Housing Authority have been asked for many years to be more tempered and considerate of family members who have been incarcerated and barred out of Public Housing we believe we are answering that call.”
Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, Chair of the Governor’s Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration, said, “Governor Cuomo has been a champion of the formerly incarcerated by offering them opportunities that will help them succeed in becoming productive members of our State.  Housing is a vital first step that can reunite these individuals with their families and this pilot will foster an environment where they can prosper.”
Anthony J. Annucci, Acting Commissioner of the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, said, “I applaud Governor Cuomo for once again having the foresight to recognize that a key facet in reducing crime is helping people leaving incarceration reenter society and successfully become law abiding citizens. Several years ago the Governor created the Reentry Council to address issues such as housing, employment and access to health care for those on parole. This latest program will most certainly further his vision.”

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Research shows that stable housing and family connections help to reduce repeated recidivism and homelessness, yet individuals who have been incarcerated often face direct and tacit discrimination when applying for housing.  This pilot program, coupled with our agency’s efforts, will expand access to housing for the formerly incarcerated, allowing families to reunite and stabilize. Governor Cuomo’s continuing initiative to break reentry barriers provides the key to opening these doors, bringing families back together and setting the example of how to create a fairer and more forgiving society.”

Governor Cuomo’s Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration
This pilot expansion is preceded by several other recent reentry-focused housing reforms through Governor Cuomo’s Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration, all of which are now underway and making a substantial impact.

In 2015, the Governor announced that he was accepting and directing the State to implement several initial housing-related recommendations from the Council.  As of today, these recommendations have led to thousands of additional housing options available for eligible people with criminal convictions.

These housing-related recommendations have already begun to have a positive impact, and in 2016 alone:

  •    Less than one percent of the 16,755 applicants for New York State-distributed Section 8 rental assistance were denied because of previous convictions.
    ·    Six organizations recently received conditional awards in the Empire State Supported Housing Initiative to create 86 units statewide of supported housing that is targeted specifically at the formerly incarcerated.
    ·    100 supportive housing units for the formerly incarcerated who are mentally ill are currently being built in New York City.
    ·    Close to 200 individuals with domestic violence histories have been allowed to live with partners with whom they have no history of violence, changing prior exclusionary practices that left them homeless in many instances.

Nicholas Turner, President of the Vera Institute of Justice, said, “We commend Governor Cuomo for supporting public housing authorities across New York State to expand access for people reentering society from prison. As our New York City Housing Authority Family Reentry Pilot shows, housing and supportive services are fundamental to success after incarceration. By reuniting more families in public housing, we can improve public safety and strengthen family ties.”

Kristin Miller, CSH Director in New York, said, “What we have seen from our hands-on experience is that everyone wins when those reintegrating into communities are reunited with family in a home that promotes stability and strong connections to supportive networks.  Thanks to the Governor’s support, we are confident White Plains, Syracuse and Schenectady will realize the same positive outcomes we witnessed with the New York City pilot: successful reintegration for those leaving incarceration; stronger family bonds; reduced costs and a safer environment for everyone, including neighbors residing in and around the public housing.”

David Condliffe, Executive Director of the Center for Community Alternatives, said, “Governor Cuomo and Secretary of State Rosado once again lead the way in demonstrating that supportive reentry services make our communities safer.  The support of family and stable housing provide the platforms on which we all depend to succeed.”