Shelter and Affordable Housing Need vs. Capacity

Shelter and Affordable Housing Need vs. Capacity

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1147-3.ch005
OnDemand PDF Download:
No Current Special Offers


The District's Homeward DC strategic housing plan projected that, by 2020, homeless people would remain in shelter care for less than 60 days and that the number of shelter care families would drop from 1,200 families in 2014 to 435 in 2020 (a 65% reduction in five years). The strategic plan also involved closing a massive building complex that was the city's largest and oldest family homeless shelter. Closing the building required securing contracts and permits for the development of smaller homeless shelters in nearly every ward. Numerous delays in shelter development prevented the successful implementation of the District's strategic housing plan, and a local audit determined that the there was no oversight of the hotels housing the homeless. The delays and the local auditor's report suggested that CSOSA clients referred to the District's housing programs would have been unlikely to have received housing.
Chapter Preview

Homeward Dc Strategic Plan Implementation Fidelity Assessment

In 2015, the District’s Office of Contracting and Procurement awarded contracts to two District hotels (Days Inn and Quality Inn and Suites) to provide accommodations for homeless families during hypothermia season and for emergency placement. The hotels assigned vague oversight responsibility to another contractor, the Community Partnership for Prevention of Homelessness. The District believed the Community Partnership was responsible for monitoring the hotels contracts but the Partnership was not a signatory to the contracts and thus the Partnership was not legally responsible for inspecting the hotels.

The auditor found that the contract valued at $421,586,378 over a five-year period and across 24 locations lacked clarity as to who was responsible for hotel performance compliance hotel. This being the case, the District could be paying for services not rendered and thus hotel accommodations provided to homeless families might fall below contract standards (DC Office of the Inspector General, 2017).

Families began spending more time in the shelter system than expected. The average length of stay for a family was about seven months (Giambrone, 2018) and the average costs to house a family was $3,000 a month (Baskin, 2018b).

The previous section suggests the District’s shelter housing plan was not implemented as it was envisioned. The next section assesses District residents’ need for housing.

Local Resident Housing Needs

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) releases the Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress as a single-night, Point-in-Time (PIT) estimate of homelessness (US HUD, Office of Community Planning and Development, 2017, p. 6).

Figure 1 indicates that 7,473 local residents were homeless in the District in 2017; 1,166 family households were homeless in that same year (US Interagency Council on Homelessness, n.d.). The map and its associated drop-down box display the number of homeless in the District.

Figure 1.

United States homelessness per state (2017)

Source: United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (n.d.)

An annual inspection of the figure above could quickly communicate to local and federal Judiciary Committee members the amount of residents in need of housing in the District. Knowing this number would help members decide the likelihood that CSOSA’s clients in need of shelter could receive it. Members would also need the number of Continuum of Care shelter beds and this number is provided in the section below.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: