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Housing Should Not Be Held Hostage

agencies should address their own failures first

Forum: Housing First Network
Date: 11/10/2009

On Nov 10, 2009, at 9:09 AM, Lizzie wrote:

I currently work with individuals and families through a Housing first model; the problem has been getting them to participate in some type of treatment since nothing is mandatory.

I would say is to continue building trust and relationships, One of the things that has made them a bit motivated is being once the Housing court becomes involved and some type of restrictions are placed in order for them not to loose their housing.

I'm not sure why court needs to be involved. If you want to make housing subsidies conditional, you should be able to do so without needing a court order or anything: it could simply be part of your policy or contract with the recipients. Whether or not that is a smart thing to do is a separate question--are the conditions really important enough that you'd rather see the individual and his or her family become homeless?

Or perhaps you are having problem with making your threat to withhold subsidies credible: the recipients don't believe that you have the nerve to cut off subsidies, and call your bluff. That would explain why you need a third party, like the court, to enter the picture in order to make the threat credible.

But it still seems to better to improve services and treatments so that they are attractive to the recipients, rather than holding their housing hostage.

Emi Koyama

-- * Putting the Emi back in Feminism since 1975.