Generating Evidence on the Impact of Cash Transfers for Rapid Rehousing Clients
Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) is a program designed to help people transition from homelessness to stable housing. RRH offers a combination of temporary benefits that typically last between 6 and 24 months, such as housing identification assistance, rental subsidies, and case management. Yet, RRH is a short-term solution. Of those who do not explicitly re-experience homelessness, individuals may still face housing instability, financial insecurity, and poor health. Qualitative evidence generated by our partner Abode Services, a provider of homeless housing and services in CA’s Bay Area, suggests that a primary reason many return to homelessness is they still do not have a sufficiently stable income stream when the rental subsidies expire. We explore one possible way to bridge the gap: offering cash transfers to participants the year after exiting RRH. We quantify the impact of cash transfers through a randomized controlled trial (RCT), randomly offering monthly payments totaling approximately $13,000-$16,000 over 12 months. Our target sample is 990 individuals exiting RRH across five counties in the San Francisco Bay area. Using administrative data, we will measure the impact of cash transfers on homelessness, housing stability, financial security and other outcomes one and two years after study enrollment.