Abstract: Developing an Implementation Typology of Moving on Initiatives (Society for Social Work and Research 26th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Racial, Social, and Political Justice)

Developing an Implementation Typology of Moving on Initiatives

Saturday, January 15, 2022
Independence BR G, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
* noted as presenting author
Emmy Tiderington, PhD, Assistant Professor, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Amanda Aykanian, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Arlington, TX
Daniel Herman, PhD, Professor, Hunter College, New York, NY
Background & Purpose: Permanent supportive housing (PSH) programs are now using Moving On initiatives (MOIs) to increase homeless service system capacity. These initiatives support stable tenants with the transition from PSH to mainstream affordable housing by providing tenants with some combination of mainstream housing assistance and various transitional services. Research on this approach has primarily consisted of evaluations of individual programs. Less is known about MOI implementation features across programs. This study provides the first systematic data on MOI program model implementation across programs.

Methods: To identify common MOI implementation features and strategies for programs helping people to move on from PSH, this study utilized a document review and descriptive survey of 27 MOIs. Two of the 27 MOIs included in the survey were located in Canada—Vancouver and Calgary. The remaining 25 were located in 14 states in the continental U.S.

Results: Findings suggest that a wide degree of variation exists in move on approaches between and within MOI programs. Two primary types of move on strategies were identified: “Moving Up and Out” (i.e. the PSH tenant leaves both the original PSH unit and the supportive services provided by the program and moves into new housing not linked to services) and “Transitioning in Place” (i.e. the PSH tenant stays in their original PSH unit, but the housing subsidy is “flipped” so that services are completely unlinked from the unit and the supportive services provided by the program can be reduced in frequency/intensity and eventually ceased without the person having to move). Only two programs in this study used “Transition in Place” with all MOI recipients. Thirteen used only the “Moving Up and Out” strategy. All other programs (n=12) used some combination of the two strategies. It is also notable that none of the other key implementation features captured in the survey were employed by all 27 MOIs. The most commonly used housing funding was a federal Housing Choice Voucher set-aside administered by a Public Housing Authority, with a full 70% of these programs using this source. Only one of the MOIs reported operating without any housing funding. Over a quarter of the MOIs reported receiving no funding to cover support services. Type, duration, and frequency of supports available to movers during and after the transition also varied considerably across MOIs. The most commonly available support provided to movers prior to the move was housing location/application services. Five of the 27 MOIs provided no aftercare support at all to recipients post-move and only three provided aftercare to individuals for as long as they needed.

Conclusions & Implications: MOI implementation variation is likely due to variation in local funding and resource availability. Program evaluations suggest that some movers report unmet needs post-move which can have implications for post-PSH housing retention. Yet, transition/aftercare supports were not consistently available across programs. A robust array of individualized supports delivered as needed could potentially mitigate post-move challenges. As service systems promote the uptake of MOIs, consistent funding streams for these services should be explored.