Building the Services Budget

All supportive housing projects should have a supportive services budget that is separate from the housing operations budget for the project. Most funding sources will require the clear separation of these budgets. As with all budgets, projected expenses must be matched with projected revenues.

  • Expenses: The support services budget must include staffing and service activity levels adequate to assist tenants to live independently in the supportive housing project. The expense portion of a social services budget will generally consist of personnel and other than personnel expenditures. 
  • Revenues: A major challenge for supportive housing sponsors is to blend resources to provide ongoing support for a range of activities for the diverse tenant population. Revenue for supportive services costs is generally provided either as a fee-for-services arrangement, through a publicly funded contract in which the organization provides specified supportive services according to an established budget, or through private fundraising. 

Click here to learn more about Key Considerations in Budgeting for Supportive Services.

Forms of Supportive Services Funding

Services funding utilized within supportive housing is generally provided for:

  • The delivery of particular services
  • The utilization of a particular service strategy
  • Addressing the needs of a particular population, defined by its service needs

Federal funding for services, like funding for development and operating costs, is generally distributed by formula grants (including block grants) or competitive grants.

  • Formula Grants: The majority of federal service funding is allocated by formula grants, primarily block grants. Grant funds are generally allocated to states based on a distribution formula prescribed by law or administrative regulation that reflects the demographic and/or location-specific service needs. 
  • Competitive Grants: A competitive process for specific projects allocates project grants for services generally for fixed or known periods. Many funding programs specific to the homeless are competitive grant programs.

Click here to learn more about Types of Sources of Supportive Services Funding.

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