Emmy Tiderington (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)

Jordan Goodwin – Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey;
Elizabeth Noonan – Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Topic: Assessing Resident ‘Readiness’ to Move On from Permanent Supportive Housing Services
Language: English 


Permanent supportive housing (PSH) is an evidence-based model that combines affordable housing and supportive services to end homelessness for people experiencing barriers to housing stability. However, PSH units are a limited resource that for many, remain unattainable. Expanding access to PSH is critical for solving homelessness. Thus, many homeless services systems are now promoting resident moves from PSH to mainstream affordable housing without embedded social services through transitional supports commonly referred to as “Moving On initiatives”. However, little is known about how “readiness” to move on from PSH is assessed by social workers and other PSH providers and no systemic review of MOI readiness assessments has been
conducted to date.

Arksey & O’Malley’s (2005) scoping review procedures were used to identify peer-reviewed and grey literature (n=308) focused on “housing readiness,” readiness assessment tools, or markers of readiness. Included sources were mapped using a fixed template to enhance consistency and to minimize bias and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses were utilized to track the screening and study selection process.

“Readiness” markers ranged from judgement-driven and subjective factors to quantitative, measurable indicators of readiness, with some employing a combination of factors. Commonly used markers of readiness include financial; health/behavioral health; housing stability; access/need for services or supports; independent living skills; and housing choice. Housing stability was cited as a marker across studies, however definitions varied. 

This review identified commonly used metrics and tools for determining readiness to leave PSH. Findings suggest that there is variation in readiness assessment indicators across sources. While standardization could benefit homeless service systems, a strict standardization process that devalues resident self-selection, social worker/provider assessment, and contextualized factors, may limit resident autonomy and independence in a manner that does not align with the core tenets of PSH.