This project is a collaboration with the Inter-agency Council on Homelessness (ICH), Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to design and evaluate a new Flexible Rent Subsidy Pilot. The subsidy provides $1 million annually to help low-income families maintain housing through short-term fluctuations in their income (e.g. variable hours, seasonable employment, lapses in employment, unexpected medical bills). Participating households will be allocated a fixed annual subsidy amount, but have the flexibility to use the resources as needed throughout the year to maintain housing (with a monthly cap equivalent to one month’s rent). Currently, we are working with the partner agencies to assign the 120 subsidies in this pilot via a random lottery of eligible participants, so that we can get better estimates of the effect of the pilot. Potential outcomes (data availability permitting) include: use of homelessness services, amount spent on social services (homelessness, TANF, LIHEAP etc.), evictions, and employment status.
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