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Manuscript deadline
08 November 2020

Cover image - Housing Policy Debate

Housing Policy Debate

Special Issue Editor(s)

Mary Cunningham, The Urban Institute
[email protected]

Samantha Batko, The Urban Institute
[email protected]

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Keeping American Housed: Research on Homelessness Prevention and Diversion

The absence of a strong housing safety net leaves millions of Americans vulnerable to losing their housing. This risk, and the resulting high prevalence of homelessness, has been something policymakershave lived with during the past few decades, but as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds in the US, the urgency of this challenge has increased significantly, as many Americans are already facing eviction and some will end up homeless. A rise in evictions and homelessness will result in immense human suffering and has serious implications for public health and containment of the virus. As new resources in the form of emergency prevention and rent assistance are allocated to address COVID-19, there are also opportunities to overcome housing inequities that disproportionately affect people of color and historically marginalized populations. Until there is housing assistance to provide help to all those who need it, practitioners will struggle with methods to identify who is at highest risk for eviction and homelessness and how to make decisions about targeting limited resources. Addressing this crisis will require research on understanding the scope of the problem. How do we predict who among the vulnerable will lose their housing? How many will face eviction and what subset will experience doubling up and homelessness and what are the paths to these outcomes? As well as understand solutions - What works in helping people maintain their housing? For those at imminent risk, what are approaches to eviction and homelessness preventions? For those who have lost their housing, how can we safely divert them from the courts or homeless shelter?

We invite abstracts that address:

  • Targeting strategies to identify those at highest risk for eviction and homelessness, including the use of screening tools and targeting based on geography
  • Methods to predict eviction and homelessness focused on landlords or public housing authorities
  • Understanding pathways after a household loses their housing
  • Best practices and promising models to prevent eviction and homelessness
  • Prevention approaches for specific subpopulations (e.g., LGBTQ, youth, families, single adults)
  • Understanding disparities in eviction and homelessness outcomes by race and ethnicity and efforts to bring a racial equity lens to eviction and homelessness prevention
  • Outcomes and impact evaluations on homelessness diversion and prevention programs and prevention programs and eviction programs embedded in the court system

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Submission Instructions

Interested authors must submit 500-word abstracts for review by the guest editors.

The abstracts will be reviewed by December 15, 2020 with selected authors invited to submit completed papers for full review by March 1, 2021.

Questions about paper topics can be directed to the guest editors.


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