Quality Supportive Housing Self-Assessment

About the Quality Supportive Housing Self-Assessment Tool

Welcome to the Quality Supportive Housing Self-Assessment. This online self-assessment was created for providers of supportive housing (both scattered-site and site-based projects) to evaluate their performance, partnerships and agency practices according to the industry standards of Quality Supportive Housing.

After completing the self-assessment your agency will receive an emailed summary of your score in each of the Dimension of Quality Supportive Housing and a corresponding resource list of available training and technical assistance to support your agency to further develop best practices in areas where your scores indicated room for improvement.

Directions for Completing the Self-Assessment

In this assessment you will rate your project or agency to the best of your knowledge for each of the following indicators within the Dimensions of Quality Supportive Housing. We strongly recommend using Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox as your browser when taking this assessment. If you are using Google Chrome as a browser, you meed need to refresh the webpage while holding down the Ctrol key to correct formatting.

This self-assessment contains about 128 questions and should take about 90 minutes to complete. Based on your scores, this self-assessment will help CSH to create a tailored technical assistance resource guide and results report for your agency. You will receive this emailed report within one week of submitting the self-assessment.

CSH certifies both supportive housing scattered site programs and site based projects (both 100% supportive housing and integrated projects). Some of the questions in the self-assessment are reserved for scattered site, others are specifically for built site-based projects. Questions will guide you through which do not apply to your self-assessment and will ask you to select “not applicable.”

We recommend that your agency download the pdf version of this self-assessment so that you can preview the questions before taking the online assessment. Download the pdf version here.

Name of Organization
Primary Contact Name
Primary Contact Email Address
Organization Street Address
Organization City
Organization State
Organization Zip Code
Project Name
For this online self-assessment are you assessing a scattered site program? Yes or No
At least one individual who represents the target tenant population meets regularly with the supportive housing project planning team.
This question might only befit a project that follows a site-based model: There was at least one focus group comprised of members of the targeted tenancy involved in planning the project.
This question might only befit a project that follows a site-based model: There are multiple, documented instances[1] of how tenant feedback was incorporated into the supportive housing (planning, design, service structure, agency policies). This question might not befit scatter-site model projects.

[1] Types of documented instances can be found in the Supporting Documentation Source Guide. For Score 1c examples might include meeting minutes, planning documents, agency policies, tenant surveys or focus group meeting notes.
Leadership and key staff members at the lead organization articulate the goals of the supportive housing and targeted tenant outcomes.
These goals and target tenant outcomes have been shared with all supportive housing partner organizations.
These goals and target tenant outcomes are used as criteria when selecting additional partners such as landlords.
Sharing of bedrooms by non-related, single, adult tenants is not required. (Extent to which tenants control the composition of their household).
The housing unit provides adequate[1] living space for essential daily activities, such as cooking, eating, sleeping and studying.

[1] As determined by HUD Housing Quality Standards https://www.hud.gov/sites/documents/DOC_11754.PDF
Based on the household composition, there are an adequate2 number of bedrooms.

[2] As determined by HUD Housing Quality Standards https://www.hud.gov/sites/documents/DOC_11754.PDF
Each unit has a private bathroom and kitchen.
If the project is a site-based model, the building includes common space, such as community rooms that can accommodate a variety of activities and where tenants can choose to interact with one another.

If the project is a scattered-site model, common space is provided off-site for tenant use for tenant meetings, groups, and social activities.
Shortly after move-in, staff provides tenants with an orientation to help maximize their experience with the housing and as tenants. This orientation introduces them to the housing unit, neighborhood, and their rights and responsibilities as leaseholders.
Staff provides tenants with written materials to support the content covered in the orientation.

Written materials use plain language[i], and staff assists tenants in understanding their content, when necessary.

[i] “Top 10 Principles for Plain Language”. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. https://www.archives.gov/open/plain-writing/10-principles.html
Staff actively solicits tenant feedback on their housing units/building. Tenants can provide feedback in multiple ways (e.g. written, oral, online).
If the project is a site-based model, there is a tenant council or another tenant-led group that meets regularly with the supportive housing project partners.
A significant percentage of tenants report being satisfied with their housing.
Staff clearly communicates to tenants the process to make property management requests and the timeline for receiving a response.
A plan for 24-hour crisis coverage exists to address urgent housing issues.
There is a clearly communicated plan for tenants to reach staff quickly.
There is a comprehensive, written services plan adopted by the supportive housing service provider. It describes the available services that can be included in individualized service plans, identifying whether they are provided directly or through referral linkages, by whom, and in what location and during what days and hours.
All tenants are provided with a menu of supportive housing and community services that includes, at minimum, how to access tenancy support services, medical services, mental health services, substance abuse treatment services, peer support, parenting skills, education, vocational and employment services, money management services, life skills training and advocacy.
Tenants choose the type of services they want at program entry.
Tenants are able to choose the services they receive.
The service design and staffing plan includes the opportunity for tenants to receive services and support from peers.
Services can be changed to meet tenants’ changing needs and preferences.
Tenants pay a reasonable amount of their income for housing.
Housing units are located near a wide array of amenities. In locations where this is not feasible, a plan exists to assist tenants in accessing needed resources.
Tenants report satisfaction with the location of their housing unit.
Tenants report that they feel safe in their home.
The housing is located near public transportation or transportation services are provided.
There is a system to ensure that any needed accommodations are requested and completed prior to tenant move-in.
Tenants can fully access any common rooms and public spaces, including lobbies, sitting areas, meeting rooms, mailrooms, laundry rooms and trash collection areas.
The housing meets or exceeds the minimum number of accessible units as indicated by applicable federal, state and local laws. There are additional units that are adaptable or incorporate universal design standards.[1]

[1] Items may be most relevant for supportive housing projects that include the development of new units of housing (whether new construction or rehabilitation), rather than those leasing existing units in the community.
The application process is short, and tenants are housed quickly in a unit of their choosing.
The eligibility criteria for the supportive housing meet the minimum that the funder(s) or landlord require (without additional criteria imposed).
Sobriety is not an entrance requirement.
Medication compliance is not an entrance requirement.
Agreement to participate in services is not an entrance requirement.
There is no minimum income requirement.
Housing management staff has relationships with landlords who are willing to consider tenants who have poor credit, criminal backgrounds or prior evictions.[1]

[1] Items may be most relevant for supportive housing projects that lease existing units in the community rather than those that include the development of new units of housing.
If this project is a scattered-site model: with tenant permission, service staff  advocate with landlords, with and on behalf of tenants, explaining potential background issues.
The housing application and screening processes are fully accessible to persons with disabilities.

In addition, appropriate, reasonable accommodations and necessary supports are provided, as needed, during the application and screening processes.
The housing application is separate from the service needs assessment and does not request detailed clinical information.
There is a timely and clearly stated process for the approval or denial of housing applications and appeals. There is an established system for staff to communicate with tenants during this process and to track and retain documentation.
The supportive housing application and intake processes include only questions needed to determine tenant eligibility.
All application materials for tenants are written in plain language, and staff assists tenants in understanding the content of written materials, when necessary.
Any intake/application forms can be completed orally, and written materials are available in multiple languages.
Multilingual staff, translated materials, and/or interpretation and translation services are available to tenants, as needed.
The service provider uses, or partners with an organization or system like Coordinated Entry/Access that uses, assertive outreach and in-reach methods to engage people living on the streets, in emergency shelters, in jails or prisons, or in institutions such as nursing homes.
Service staff meets with new tenants prior to move-in to review available supportive services options.
Extent to which tenants have the opportunity to modify service selection.
Tenants can choose to receive services in their home or can access services in a convenient community location.
Service staff and programs are available during hours that ensure maximum access and utilization by tenants, including tenants who may be working or are engaged in other activities during regular business hours.
Crisis services are available to tenants 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
All programs and spaces used for the delivery of services are fully accessible to persons living with disabilities, and appropriate reasonable accommodations are provided to tenants with disabilities to facilitate their participation.
The supportive housing partners participate in a designated community process to coordinate access to housing, including the use of coordinated referrals and triage, common applications, common entrance criteria and centralized waitlists.
The supportive housing partners participate in or lead efforts to ensure that community application processes, documentation of eligibility and intake processes are streamlined and efficient, so that applicants are not asked for the same information on multiple occasions.
The supportive housing partners document, manage and communicate data on inventory availability in real time through a shared database system that is updated and accessible to all partners in real time.
There are written descriptions of each supportive housing partner’s role, including, at minimum, the project sponsor, housing and/or property manager and supportive services provider.
These written descriptions are reviewed and revised annually at a minimum.
There are regularly scheduled forums for staff within all involved organizations to discuss their roles and the coordination of their efforts, tenant health and safety issues, and gaps in management and operations (for example: case conferencing, or integrated care team meetings).
There are effective methods and opportunities for communication among the project partners between scheduled meetings.
There are regularly scheduled forums for leaders within the supportive housing partner organizations to review performance against goals, identify any needed strategies for improvement and develop clear action steps.
For scattered-site models only: Shortly after move-in, housing management staff reaches out to landlords/property managers regarding role of housing staff and the range of available supportive housing services (agency services plan). No specific tenant services are shared without tenant release of information.[1]

[1] Items may be most relevant for supportive housing projects that lease existing units in the community rather than those that include the development of new units of housing.
For scattered-site models only: Housing management staff promptly responds to any concerns raised by landlords/property management staff regarding supportive housing tenants.
For scattered site models only: Housing management staff has established and meets regularly with a landlord advisory group.
Supportive service files and property management files are kept in separate secure storage.
Extent to which housing management staff do not have any authority or formal role in providing social services.
There is a comprehensive, written eviction prevention policy that details how all supportive housing partners work together to promote housing stability. If eviction occurs, there is evidence of communication between service provider and property manager/landlord, including evidence of prevention efforts.
All property/housing management and services staff have received training in order to understand one another’s roles.
Property/housing management staff promptly notifies services staff of any unmet tenant service needs. Supportive services staff promptly notifies property management staff when they observe safety or maintenance concerns.
When notified of any issues, property/housing management and services staff respond promptly (within 2 days) and the response is documented.
Soon after housing entry, staff assists all tenants in applying for relevant public benefits.
The primary supportive housing service provider facilitates and tracks referrals, and in some cases transportation, to community service providers for tenants, including, at minimum, behavioral healthcare, primary healthcare, substance abuse treatment and support, and employment services.
Tenants can see a behavioral health care provider, including a psychiatrist if needed, within a short period of time after making the request.
Tenants can see a primary health care practitioner shortly after making the request.
Tenants have a primary health care provider.
Tenants can access substance use treatment and support shortly after making the request.
Tenants are connected with relevant workforce development and employment resources shortly after expressing interest.
Tenants are connected with SSI/SSDI services (SOAR) shortly after expressing interest.
Extent to which services are tenant driven.
To the extent allowed by funding, the supportive housing prioritizes persons that community data identify as having a high need for services (such as a high vulnerability index score) or frequently utilizing crisis systems (frequent users) for all available units.
Extent to which tenants with obstacles to housing stability have priority.
The supportive housing partners participate in community discharge planning efforts designed to ensure that persons exiting institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes or prison/jail do not experience homelessness after their release and make units available to support these efforts.
Tenants maintain the exterior of their units in a manner consistent with their lease and local community.
The scale, appearance, design, maintenance and quality of the building are consistent with the neighborhood and reflect or exceed local community standards.
The supportive housing partners participate in community improvement activities such as neighborhood association meetings and community policing discussions.
The supportive housing partners are responsive to neighbors’ or community members’ concerns regarding the supportive housing.
In new site-based projects supportive housing partners seek input from neighbors regarding the design, development and operating plans for the housing.[1]

[1] Items may be most relevant for supportive housing projects that include the development of new units of housing (whether new construction or rehabilitation), rather than those leasing existing units in the community.
The supportive housing partners incorporate this input into the supportive housing structure and meet community needs (such as incorporating a gym or meeting space), if possible.[1]

[1] Items may be most relevant for supportive housing projects that include the development of new units of housing (whether new construction or rehabilitation), rather than those leasing existing units in the community.
In new site-based developments regular updates on the supportive housing development process and ongoing operations are provided to neighbors.[1]

[1] Items may be most relevant for supportive housing projects that include the development of new units of housing (whether new construction or rehabilitation), rather than those leasing existing units in the community.
Staff works with tenants to develop an understanding of their needs and wants from a housing unit.
Staff supports tenants in searching for and selecting a housing unit that meets their needs, including any accessibility needs and reasonable accommodations requests. This includes communication and advocacy with landlords as needed.
Extent to which tenants choose among types of housing (e.g. private landlord apartment, project based supportive housing, clean and sober cooperative living)
Extent to which tenants have choice of unit within the housing model. For example, within apartment programs, tenants are offered a choice of units.
Extent to which tenants have legal rights to the housing unit.
Tenants cannot be evicted for not participating in services or for failing to follow through on their services and/or treatment plan. Tenancy is not contingent on compliance with program provisions.
Can a tenant be evicted if they fail to maintain sobriety?
As part of the lease signing process, property/housing management staff walks tenants through the lease agreement, clearly explaining their rights and responsibilities as leaseholders. Tenants are provided with a signed copy of their lease.
Tenants are notified of the process for any lease violations and grievance or appeal procedures.
Tenants are not removed from housing without: a legal eviction proceeding or a mutual rescission agreement to terminate the lease and avoid eviction on the tenant’s record.
Staff provides tenants with information about community resources and activities in conjunction with the move-in process. This also includes an orientation to the neighborhood.
Staff supports tenants in identifying and accessing community activities of interest, such as public gardens, faith communities and peer associations. This may include support with obtaining transportation.
Staff provides tenants with opportunities to connect with peers, including other supportive housing tenants, if desired.
Staff ensures tenants have opportunities to interact with diverse individuals, including persons without disabilities.
Staff supports tenants in establishing or strengthening positive relationships with friends, family members and/or partners.
The community has a plan to ensure that supportive housing exists in a variety of models and locations, or the supportive housing partners promote the development of such a plan.
For site-based models only: There is a commitment, either through funding restrictions or through the presence of a mission-focused owner, to keep the property affordable for a significant period of time, typically at least 30 years.[1]

[1] Items may be most relevant for supportive housing projects that include the development of new units of housing (whether new construction or rehabilitation), rather than those leasing existing units in the community.
For site-based models only: If the supportive housing is near the end of its maximum affordability period, an ongoing ownership structure is identified to preserve its affordability.
The rent and/or operating subsidies for the supportive housing have been allocated to the sponsor organization for a multi-year period, ideally at least five years. Following this initial period, it is highly likely, based on history and current funding sources, that subsidies will be renewed.
For site-based models only: The project has sufficient cash flow and/or reserves to meet its ongoing obligations (such as debt service), operational costs and repair/replace major systems while maintaining affordable tenant rents. For a project that is not yet operational, the project budget indicates that these conditions will be met.
Tenants are provided with information to assist them in environmentally friendly practices such as energy and water conservation, recycling and use of non-toxic household products.
For site-based models only: The housing incorporates appropriate and feasible green design practices, such as the use of energy-efficient and water-conserving fixtures and products.[1]

[1] Items may be most relevant for supportive housing projects that include the development of new units of housing (whether new construction or rehabilitation), rather than those leasing existing units in the community.
For site-based models only: The housing utilizes durable materials chosen to reduce future maintenance costs.
Staff inspects units prior to move-in and at least annually thereafter. The inspections ensure that units meet or exceed the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Quality Standards (HQS).
Tenants are given proper notice of any scheduled inspections, in accordance with local tenant right laws.
Staff ensures inspection results that require follow-up or corrective actions are addressed within reasonable timeframes.
Property management staff has a comprehensive, written plan and schedule for inspections, pest control, routine maintenance and replacement activities designed to sustain the quality of the physical environment.
There are clear procedures for tenants to report maintenance problems, and for work orders to be created and completed.
Staff has funds available to address minor instances of tenant-caused damage to the unit, in the interest of maintaining landlord relationships and housing stability.
Service funding for the supportive housing is committed/contracted for a multi-year period. Following this initial period, it is highly likely, based on history and current funding sources, that funding will be renewed.
The service funding source(s) is flexible enough to allow for the specific services to change with client needs, both daily and throughout the life of the supportive housing.
The primary service provider has written agreements with external providers that services will be made available to tenants.
Extent to which housing units are integrated.
The development and/or ongoing operation of the supportive housing helps achieve goals outlined in relevant community plans, such as 10-year plans to end homelessness, consolidated plans and/or Olmstead implementation plans.
The supportive housing project partners participate in the development and ongoing implementation of relevant community planning processes.
The supportive housing uses appropriate information management systems to track relevant data, in order to determine its performance against project goals and community standards.
The supportive housing partners participate in community data-sharing agreements to track data and performance community-wide.