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programs to provide payments to landlords via an intermediary who could serve as
an advocate for tenants' rights: Landlords might negotiate lower rents in exchange
for the reliability of cash flow, and tenants would obtain more negotiating power,
because numerous tenants' payments would come through one intermediary. Nor
should the gains to landlords--reliable rent payment and an intermediary short of
the police or the courts to intervene in the event of "bad neighbor" complaints--be
Less definitive additional evidence that homelessness among families is
"cured" by subsidized housing comes from two other studies in which all families
received such housing. A nine-city study of homeless families (chosen for long-
term patterns of recurrent homelessness and need for services) offered families
both subsidized housing (Section 8 certificates) and case management services.
Among 601 families on whom 18 months of follow-up data were available, 88%
remained in permanent housing. This study suggests the value of services-enriched
housing and does not speak to the benefits of housing without services, although no
differences in housing stability were found across sites with rather different config-
urations of services (Rog, Holupka, & McCombs-Thornton, 1995). Similarly,
Weitzman and Berry (1994) found that less than 5% of 169 "high-risk" families
returned to shelter 1 year after receiving subsidized housing with services; the level
of intensity of the services received made little difference. Subsidized housing is
likely to be important to other populations as well. In a longitudinal study of home-
less adults (including a small proportion of women with children) in Alameda
County, California, subsidized housing and entitlement income were the most
important predictors of exits from homelessness into stable housing at the 15-
month follow-up. Here again, case management was unrelated to housing out-
comes (Zlotnick, Robertson, & Lahiff, 1999).
The provisional lesson is a profound one: A secure or dedicated housing sub-
sidy seems to be a very effective secondary preventive measure, but we need more
research on different populations in more geographic areas.
Indicated Prevention Strategies
Programs to Prevent Evictions
A majority of the over 400 prevention programs receiving funds from the
Emergency Shelter Grants Program in fiscal year 1991 used receipt of an eviction
notice (52%) and/or a utilities shutoff notice (27%) to identify clients eligible for
prevention services; an overlapping 16% targeted victims of domestic violence
(Feins, Fosburg, & Locke, 1994a, p. 116). Most programs to prevent evictions
or foreclosures on mortgages are aimed at families, although single people also
get evicted. Typically, these programs offer some combination of cash grants or
loans, counsel on budgeting and finances, legal services, mediation or negotiation
The Prevention of Homelessness Revisited