The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) specified two criteria that can enable a community to come up with ways of preventing homelessness. First, the community-wide strategy was used to represent the activities that would yield primary prevention through its commitment to eradicate homelessness (Butt, Pearson & Montgomery, 2006). Secondly, data documenting effectiveness was used to collect and analyze the community’s data that would show whether their efforts are viable or not in preventing homelessness. Through the two fore-stated methods, one way of preventing homelessness is by providing housing subsidies. According to a study done by a committee set by HUD, housing subsidies are effective since they enable more than 80% of homeless families to access housing for a period at least two years (Butt et al., 2006). Additionally, when housing costs are subsidized for intensely low-income people, the effect of mitigating homeless is greatly achieved and the community achieves housing stability.
Secondly, giving supportive services integrated with permanent housing may prevent homelessness (Butt et al., 2006). Ideally, health attention, employment, and education services create a pool of stable individuals, which reduces homelessness. Further, initial homelessness for individuals with severe mental illness can be prevented by HUD providing permanent supportive housing. Mediation in housing courts prevents homelessness because it provides one with the capability of preserving tenancy even when the landlord files for eviction. For instance, in Hennepin County Housing Court, among the numerous cases filed against tenants, 70% of the cases were solved without eviction, and the tenants retained their houses (Butt, Pearson & Montgomery, 2006).
Thirdly, cash aid for mortgage or rent arrears is a prevention measure to homelessness. Mostly, households not in full possession of housing may be threatened with loss of housing in case cash flow is disrupted. When households are given cash aids, the possibility of losing their houses is minimal and thus many people can retain their houses. Ideally, mortgage aids help in acquiring full ownership of a house which gives a permanent solution to issues concerning homelessness (Butt et al., 2006).
- Butt, Martha R., Pearson, Carol, & Montgomery, Ann E. (2006). Strategies for preventing homelessness. Urban Institute. Retrieved from www.urban.org/research/publication/strategies-preventing-homelessness/view/full_report