RWP 22-03, March 2022
Housing First programs provide housing assistance without preconditions for homeless individuals as a platform for rehabilitation. Despite the programs’ increasing popularity, limited evidence exists on their effects on socioeconomic outcomes. Using a novel dataset combining administrative records from multiple public agencies in Los Angeles County and a random case manager assignment design, I estimate that Housing First assistance reduces homelessness and crime, increases income and employment, and does not have a detectable effect on health-care utilization. Cost-benefit analysis implies that these potential savings offset program costs within 18 months. These findings demonstrate that Housing First can be rehabilitative and cost-effective.
JEL Classifications: H42, I38, J18
Cohen, Elior. 2022. “The Effect of Housing First Programs on Future Homelessness and Socioeconomic Outcomes.” Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Research Working Paper no. 22-03, March. Available at External Linkhttps://doi.org/10.18651/RWP2022-03
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National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Permanent Supportive Housing: Evaluating the Evidence for Improving Health Outcomes Among People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
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