A new study published as part of the Housing Crisis Research Collaborative examined the challenges and successes of Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs) to address homelessness. As of February 2023, roughly 67% of awarded EHVs were leased, approximately 30,000 households had received a voucher but were still looking for housing, and more than one-fifth of PHAs that were awarded EHVs had leased less than half.
The analysis shares strategies to overcome three key challenges: finding eligible households, locating available units, and recruiting landlords. These lessons were derived from an examination of California’s successes and challenges in using EHVs.
- Identifying eligible recipients for EHVs requires considerable effort and system coordination.
- Housing navigation and other support can help EHV recipients successfully find housing in tight housing markets, but there are limits to what these strategies can accomplish.
- PHAs used the EHV program’s supplemental funding to increase landlords’ willingness to participate in the program.
The analysis has broader lessons to improve the nation’s Housing Choice Voucher program, including:
- Flexible service fees
- Higher eligible rents
- Local system partnerships and capacity building