Families are aided in raising healthy, happy children when an array of supports and services is available in their community to assist them in meeting basic needs. Families with limited resources, or those facing additional challenges, may need specialized services to help ensure positive outcomes. In particular, many families struggle with securing safe, affordable housing across the country. This page includes resources and information for families and child welfare agencies about housing needs and services for low-income families. Resources include State and local examples.
Administering an Effective Family Self-Sufficiency Program: A Guidebook Based on Evidence and Promising Practices (PDF - 2,570 KB)
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Public and Indian Housing (2017)
Explains how the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program is a critical component of the overall effort to help Housing Choice voucher holders and residents of public housing and HUD-assisted multifamily housing make progress toward economic security. The guidebook provides practical hands-on guidance on how to run an effective FSS program.
Building Effective Keeping Families Together Collaborations
Corporation for Supportive Housing (2020)
Provides child welfare professionals with tips on how to effectively serve families in supportive housing who are involved with child welfare or at risk of child welfare involvement. The page also provides information on how to identify housing resources that exist in communities.
Children and Families
National Alliance to End Homelessness (2020)
Provides statistics on the number of children and families experiencing homelessness, information on why families face housing instability, the impact of homelessness on the family, and strategies to end homelessness.
Families Experiencing Housing Instability: The Effects of Housing Programs on Family Routines and Rituals
Mayberry, Shinn, Benton, & Wise (2015)
American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 84(1)
Describes how different housing conditions influence family routines among families who are or at risk of experiencing homelessness. The article also discusses strategies families use to maintain family rituals and routines and ensure consistency and stability for their children when facing housing instability. Recommendations for policy and practice are included.
Family Connection: Building Systems to End Family Homelessness (PDF - 689 KB)
U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (2016)
Details a plan to prevent family housing instability and homelessness that includes developing a coordinated entry system, ensuring interventions are tailored to the family’s needs, connecting families to available resources, and implementing evidence-based practices.
Home, Together: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness (PDF - 3,104 KB)
U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (2018)
Details a set of strategies that call upon the Federal Government to work in partnership with State and local governments as well as the private sector to employ cost-effective, comprehensive solutions to end homelessness.
Homelessness Resource Exchange
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) (2020)
Provides information, resources, and training to professionals on HUD programs and topical areas, such as affordable housing development, fair housing, ending homelessness, supportive housing services, and more.
U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness
Provides information on housing solutions and models for individuals and families facing housing instability or homelessness, including housing first, supportive housing, rapid rehousing, affordable housing, and landlord engagement.
Housing and Shelter
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and mental Health Services Administration (2019)
Provides information and resources on housing and shelter options for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders who are experiencing housing instability or homelessness.
HUD Resource Locator
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Provides an interactive site for housing options and resources for low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities by location, including local affordable housing options, HUD office locations, local public housing authorities (PHAs), homelessness resources, and more. The website also provides information on nationwide public housing programs and contact information for PHAs.
The Importance of Housing Affordability and Stability for Preventing and Ending Homelessness (PDF - 352 KB)
U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (2019)
Explains the importance of housing affordability and stability for families, statistics on housing instability in America, and strategies to prevent homelessness or help families secure stable housing quickly when they do experience homelessness.
Supporting Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness
Head Start Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (2020)
Provides professionals with an eight-module training to deepen their understanding and ability to support families facing homelessness. The training includes knowledge checks and practice scenarios.
Welcome Home: Design and Practice Guidance for Supportive Housing for Families With Children (PDF - 4,660 KB)
Child Welfare and Supportive Housing Resource Center, Center for the Study of Social Policy, & Corporation for Supportive Housing
Provides guidance for supportive housing administrators and practitioners who are developing and involved in supportive housing efforts that serve families with children. A list of additional tools and resources are provided at the end of the document.
Families Moving Forward Case Management Model: Policies & Procedures
Milton, Bowersox, Roberts, Fishleder, Nedelko, & Woodall (2017)
San Francisco Human Service Agency
View Abstract and Download
Describes the federally funded Homeless Prenatal Program’s Families Moving Forward case management model, which integrates clinical case management and housing search and placement while fostering interagency partnerships and engaging in collaborative case planning.
Vermont Agency of Human Services
Identifies programs and resources to promote housing stability for Vermont residents, including emergency housing programs, supportive housing options, and available economic benefits to support housing costs.
Overview of Homelessness and Homeless Services in Maryland (PDF - 1,208 KB)
Department of Legislative Services, Office of Policy Analysis (2015)
Provides a definition of homelessness as well as recent legislation, the available housing inventory for the homeless in Maryland, and the State-funded services available to individuals and families facing housing instability.
Coalition for the Homeless
Provides information on a program for New York City residents that aims to prevent housing instability and homelessness, provide emergency shelter when needed, and help individuals and families get access to housing services and programs.
Safe and Supportive Housing
Center for Family Services (2020)
Details programs that provide safe and supportive housing for children and teens, moms and their children, and women and their children escaping domestic violence.