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The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

  • The Moving to Work Retrospective Evaluation
  • Volume 22 Number 3
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga

Applying Performance Management Tools to Understand and Improve Rapid Re-Housing Program Outcomes

Christopher Weare
University of California, Berkeley

This paper examines the potential for improvement in the performance of Rapid Re-Housing programs in terms of moving people experiencing homelessness quickly and effectively into stable housing. These programs have grown rapidly since their introduction in 2009 and have been evaluated extensively. These evaluations have had mixed results but have generally supported the conclusion that this intervention is equally effective and less expensive than transitional housing programs. Although this literature has clarified the overall effectiveness of this intervention, it provides less insight to local policymakers and program managers on whether their programs are performing as well as possible and what could be done to improve housing outcomes. This analysis employs the tools of performance management—including benchmarking, control charts, process mapping, and performance comparisons across time and providers—to analyze data from the Continuum of Care in Sacramento, California. These tools search for performance outliers that cannot be explained by the underlying variation in the data and then seek to identify the root causes of these deviations. The analysis does find that significant performance deficits have arisen over time and between program providers. If managers could reduce just one-half of the identified performance deficits, the system-level rate of moving clients to stable housing would increase by one-third, a much larger improvement than could be achieved by reasonable budgetary increases.

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