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Cityscape: Volume 20 Number 2 | The Housing-Health Connection


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 Housing-Health Connection

Volume 20, Number 2

Mark D. Shroder

Michelle P. Matuga

Innovative Approaches to Providing Rental Assistance: States and Localities Seek To Support Health and Human Services Goals

Anna Bailey
Peggy Bailey
Douglas Rice
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

  • Objectives: We sought to learn more about how state- and locally funded rental assistance programs were created, how they are structured, whom they serve, and how they are funded.
  • Methods: We conducted qualitative research about 19 state- and locally funded rental assistance programs in eight states and two cities using phone interviews, online surveys, and email exchanges with officials and providers familiar with the programs, and we conducted online research to gather additional information about the programs.
  • Results: Although the rental assistance programs varied, key themes emerged, including (1) most programs, recognizing the impact of housing stability on health outcomes, targeted populations served by state or local health and human services programs; (2) most programs served a growing number of households over time; (3) funding generally increased over time and most of it came from general revenue; and (4) programs involved collaboration between the housing and health and human services agencies to ensure clients’ needs were comprehensively met.
  • Conclusions: Although state and local rental assistance alone cannot fill the gap between the need for and supply of affordable housing, it can play a critical role in helping states and localities achieve better outcomes for special populations in which states and localities are deeply invested.

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