There are many instances where a person can find themselves in immediate need of temporary housing. Some common situations include foreclosure, domestic abuse or fighting, or job or financial loss. Oftentimes, there are people who are being displaced and typically find a place to stay with a loved one. Sometimes, people resort to living in their car. Unfortunately, there are some of you that might not have this option. That is when transitional housing becomes a more beneficial program.
You might not have heard of transitional housing before, since it is not a very popular program. (Although, it really should be.)You can always apply for transitional housing when you need shelter right away. First things first, you should know what transitional housing is and its different types.
What Is Transitional Housing?
Temporary transitional housing is a supportive program that provides a temporary solution between homelessness and a permanent home. Numerous places offer this assistance including shelters, government programs, religious organizations and nonprofit agencies. Unfortunately, only a small portion of the government’s homeless budget goes towards funding transitional temporary housing. This housing program helps people who need a temporary home. Until you can find a long-term housing unit, you can always turn to transitional housing for a temporary situation. Additionally, you do not need to repay any financial assistance that you receive from transitional housing.
The Housing and Urban Development Department defines transitional living as “a project that is designed to provide housing and appropriate supportive services to homeless persons to facilitate movement to independent living. The housing is short-term, typically less than 24 months. In addition to providing safe housing for those in need, other services are available to help participants become self-sufficient.” (Mancini)
Types of Transitional Housing
There are four main types of transitional housing. Each type of transitional housing is created for a specific purpose or for a specific demographic. The four types of transitional housing are: emergency shelters, transitional shelters, rapid re-housing, and permanent support housing. Emergency shelters will provide you with immediate relief, but it is not a long-term solution. With transitional shelters, they are similar to emergency shelters. But, the duration of transitional shelters are longer than emergency shelters.
As for Rapid Re-Housing, the main purpose is to find homes for low-income families and individuals as fast as possible. Finally, permanent support housing offers permanent housing for particular individuals and families on a long-term basis. However, you should keep in mind that each type of transitional housing has eligibility requirements that you could meet. Also, each transitional housing type has certain conditions and regulations that you should follow.
Emergency shelters are the first type of transitional housing. With emergency shelters, the program targets people who need urgent shelter. Most people seek emergency shelter when they are financially struggling, and sometimes afterwards, too. These shelters are temporary housing units that help families and individuals when they need it most. Emergency shelters provide support services and temporary housing until you are able to find permanent housing. However, emergency shelters operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. Simply put, you need to be able to reserve your spot in emergency shelters before they fill up.
With most emergency shelters, they offer people basic housing needs, which will give you an advantage to get back on your feet. This will allow you to take a breather from all of your troubles and start planning your next step.
Transitional shelters provide temporary housing for families and individuals who do not have permanent housing. With transitional shelters, you can stay from six to 24 months, as a tenant. Unlike emergency shelters that are only accessible for a few hours, you can stay for much longer in transitional shelters. Also, you can access different supportive services that increase your chances of employment. To add icing to the cake, transitional shelters offer services that can help you find permanent residence for you and your family. These supportive services will help you get back on your feet without having to worry about a place to stay.
Rapid Re-Housing (RRH)
Rapid Re-Housing is a different type of transitional housing than emergency and transitional shelters. This transitional housing type provides housing assistance to needy families and individuals, helping them find a home as efficient as possible. With Rapid Re-Housing, you will be able to rent a housing unit for you and your family, along with temporary community support services. The main purpose of the Rapid Re-Housing program is to combat homelessness and reduce the probability for individuals and families to face homelessness.
Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH)
The final type of transitional housing is permanent supportive housing (PSH). This type of housing program offers permanent and stable housing units to needy families and individuals. The main target of Permanent Supportive Housing is to help people who are diagnosed with a disability and are homeless on a constant basis. With Permanent Supportive Housing, the Program will give you a stable housing unit and supportive services that complement your housing issues.
How Long Does It Take to Get Transitional Housing?
As a result, many Americans are wait-listed and the wait times for this type of assistance can range from two weeks to 24 months, depending on the resources available and the area.
Other resources exist for help too, including those who need addiction counseling, donation centers, medical help, transportation assistance, family supplies and/or financial education. Those in need should take advantage of every resource the program provides to help on their housing journey.
With each transitional housing type, you will find that there are support services that are provided. These services could range from counselling to case work management. As a show of goodwill, the housing program understands that the tight spot you might be in could be worse for wear. That is why the program offers support services for people, alongside temporary housing and shelter.
How to Apply for Transitional Housing
Not every program has the same requirements and qualifications for their temporary transitional housing programs. This is why it is important to search out local resources for specific criteria. However, they usually offer assistance to people in emergency situations without housing, or those who face domestic and financial challenges, which can result in homelessness. If you’re looking for help for you or a loved one, research online to see what transitional housing programs are available to you in your area.
Most transitional housing programs will be located near you, which is ideal for you. That way, you will not have to go the distance for any housing assistance. You can always reach out online to find the right transitional housing programs for you. With a little determination and a lot of dedication, you can find a program that will provide shelter for you.
Are There Other Forms of Housing Assistance?
There are other housing programs you can consider. This includes the housing choice voucher program (Section 8), public housing, privately-owned subsidized housing, mortgage assistance programs, public housing, and many more. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers a majority of these programs, but they are free to apply. Those in need can also contact a local Public Housing Authority for some extra guidance into navigating the available programs.
While it can seem daunting at first, there are many transitional housing organizations that can help. With a bit of due diligence, those who need it can secure the temporary transitional housing they are seeking. Temporary transitional housing has eligibility requirements that you need to meet. However, the requirements to qualify are not as strict as with most housing programs.
The three most common alternatives to temporary transitional housing are: housing voucher, privately-owned subsidized housing, and public housing. You will find that the difference between transitional housing and these programs are narrowed down to one aspect: urgency. With transitional housing, most people who apply for the program require urgent housing relief and could face homelessness. As for the alternate housing programs, the main purpose is to find a permanent place of residence for low-income families and individuals. Additionally, these housing programs provide a stable form of financial assistance to its recipients.
Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Housing Choice Voucher Program (also called Section 8 Assistance) provides assistance to needy families and individuals. In order to help them, the program provides housing vouchers, which are used to cover the cost of housing. Recipients need to pay only 30% of their income towards housing costs, and the housing voucher will cover the rest of the amount. But, the eligibility requirements for the Housing Choice Voucher Program are quite strict. You will be qualified only if you meet all four criteria of the Program. The four requirements are: eviction history, family or household size, income level, and citizenship status.
Privately-Owned Subsidized Housing
As for privately-owned subsidized housing, the housing units are all owned by the private sector and not by the government. There are private-owned residential properties that offer subsidized housing units for needy families and individuals. In exchange for the subsidized housing, the government financially compensates the property owner for the difference.
But, it is not that easy. As a tenant, you will need to meet the conditions of the property owner. Additionally, you will be required to pass a criminal background check and you must have a monthly income that is less than the maximum (as per location).
Finally, you can always resort to public housing. Public housing is a housing program that is federally-funded by the government. These programs subsidize rental property to provide relief for needy families and individuals. If you are looking for affordable housing, then you should really consider public housing. In order to qualify for public housing, you will need to be a US citizen or a legal resident. Also, you will need to meet up with a local Public Housing Authority agent, where your physical presence is mandatory. On top of that, you will need to meet the low-income criteria and pass a criminal background check.
Luckily, public housing is not as hard to get into as other housing programs. Since it is available to the public, then there is a better chance for you to qualify for this Program than for others. But, it is absolutely necessary for you to contact your local Public Housing Authority (PHA) to further understand the application process and how long you will have to wait to receive assistance. You should keep in mind that it takes a while to receive housing assistance.
In conclusion, if you are facing housing issues or you currently do not have a place to live, then you should consider applying to temporary transitional housing. There are four different types of transitional housing and they are each categorized based on urgency of your current situation.
Emergency shelters will provide you with immediate relief, but it is not a long-term solution. With transitional shelters, they are similar to emergency shelters. But, the duration of transitional shelters are longer than emergency shelters.
As for Rapid Re-Housing, the main purpose is to find homes for low-income families and individuals as fast as possible. Finally, permanent support housing offers permanent housing for particular individuals and families on a long-term basis.
You can always apply for transitional housing online and all you need to do is go online and look for any transitional housing programs near you. With transitional housing, there are eligibility requirements that you need to meet. But, the requirements are not as strict as other housing programs.
On the other hand, if transitional housing is not the right fit for you, then you can always look for alternatives. You can always consider public housing, privately-owned subsidized housing, or the Section 8 Assistance Program. All these substitutes could help you solve your housing issues, but you will need to contact your local Public Housing Authority (PHA) for more details.
Mancini, Jeanine. Definition of HUD Transitional Housing. 12 12 2019. 07 07 2021 <https://pocketsense.com/definition-hud-transitional-housing-8281.html>.