PROJECTHOST Initiative in Action

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  • Designing Housing as a Platform for Services
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  • The HOST Initiative of the Urban Institute

  • The Housing Opportunities and Services Together (HOST) Initiative in Action aims to share insights and guidance about using housing as a platform for services to support and empower families living in subsidized housing. We provide resources on two-generation service models, trauma-informed resident engagement, food insecurity, and more, as well as guidance on how to finance such services in public and mixed-income housing.

    All families want to be self-sufficient and give their children opportunities for a better future. But families in deep, persistent, intergenerational poverty, living in underresourced neighborhoods, face tremendous barriers to achieving that goal. Even with stable housing, many families still face violence, trauma and mental health issues, food insecurity, substance abuse, discrimination, and other barriers to stability and independence.

    The HOST demonstration project provides support services that acknowledge and address those barriers and help families find stable footing. From 2010 to 2015, HOST demonstration sites in three cities explored using public and subsidized housing as a platform for intensive, two-generation interventions.

    HOST Network

    We hope lessons from the demonstration will inform and improve other efforts to effect large-scale change in low-income neighborhoods. We launched the HOST network to share those lessons and offer guidance and technical assistance for designing, funding, and collaborating on similar models.

    • Designing housing as a platform for services. How to design housing with supportive services and access to opportunities so that all families have a chance to thrive.

    • Financing. How to find and secure funding for bringing robust social services to housing authorities.

    • Collaborating. How to elevate residents as stakeholders in researching and designing supportive programming and services, how housing authorities and associations can share ideas and best practices, and how to partner with the Urban Institute for technical assistance.

    The HOST network is a shared learning community of public housing authorities, social service providers, and public housing residents interested in building on lessons from the HOST demonstration.



    For more information, email [email protected].

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