Research Report How Housing Matters for Families
Mary K. Cunningham, Sarah Gillespie, Samantha Batko
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The Urban Institute is completing an evaluation of the Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families in the Child Welfare System, a five-site initiative that provides supportive housing to homeless and precariously housed families involved in the child welfare system. The study includes many components: a process and implementation study, an impact and cost-benefit analysis, and qualitative interviews with families. This report presents findings from the qualitative interviews. We asked the following questions to guide the qualitative research component of Urban’s evaluation: How are families enrolled in supportive housing faring regarding housing stability and quality, physical and mental health, and employment? How has supportive housing mattered to them? And how are families who did not receive supportive housing through the demonstration faring compared with those who did? We conducted 124 in-depth interviews, across five sites, so we could hear firsthand from parents how housing matters to them and their children. Our interviews focused on a range of outcomes and were designed to follow each family’s experiences with supportive housing and usual care. We heard 124 unique stories that varied both within sites, across demonstration sites, and among those that received supportive housing or usual care. Some common themes emerged from their stories.

Research Areas Social safety net Children and youth Housing Child welfare
Tags Poverty Children's health and development Homelessness Child welfare
Policy Centers Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center