Study Highlights Usage of Emergency Housing Vouchers to Address Homelessness

Date Published: 
March 7th, 2023

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 
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