A new paper published in the Journal of Gerontological Social Work discusses service coordination efforts in HUD-assisted housing during the pandemic. Researchers at the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies conducted two surveys of service coordinators who worked with older residents of HUD multifamily properties in mid-2020 and late 2021.
The study found that service coordinators increased the efficiency and effectiveness of external supports that helped meet residents’ needs for medicine, mental and physical healthcare, supplies, food, and personal care. Service coordinators also linked residents to public access to technology, translated public health responses, and facilitated access to partner organizations and professional support.
Survey responses indicated high rates of partnership to meet food, healthcare, personal care, and transportation needs, with many food-related partnerships that were newly initiated during the pandemic. Findings suggest that it may be both more efficient and more effective for a cluster of vulnerable older adults living on a HUD-subsidized property to navigate a crisis with assistance from a service coordinator.