NYU Wagner Capstone Team's Research as Part of Enterprise’s Justice-Involved Housing Initiative
With 1 in 5 individuals who leave New York City’s criminal justice system going directly into the city’s shelter system, ensuring access to housing is critical for successful reentry and a path toward long-term stability. The Covid-19 pandemic has only intensified this need. Early releases from the justice system are important for helping to stop the spread of the virus throughout the corrections system, but those leaving must have a safe place to go home.
Enterprise New York’s Justice-Involved Housing Initiative takes a two-pronged approach to this challenge – it aims to inform affordable housing owners and operators about anti-discrimination policies and reduce stigma against this population, while also promoting housing models that will best serve this population and identifying ways to connect justice-involved individuals to affordable homes. Our goal is to then scale the proven models by advocating for resources and legislation to sustain this work.
Researching Barriers, Needs and Best Practices
Over the past year, Enterprise worked with a team of students from NYU Wagner’s Master of Public Administration program to conduct research on replicable housing models. They interviewed a range of stakeholders to better understand the greatest barriers to housing that justice-involved individuals face, the services most important to ensuring successful reentry and best practices for financing the development of affordable housing with supportive services.
The students compiled a report outlining their findings and recommendations, as well as case studies of comparable programs. Key takeaways included:
- Innovating funding streams for supportive housing models
- Improving collaboration between developers and service providers
- Remaining responsive to a range of tenant needs.
Three Proposed Housing Models
The report also highlighted three proposed housing models. The models differ in funding sources, tenant requirements and type of services provided. The Individualized Services model, tailoring services for each tenant, is open to all applicants but has significant requirements to maintain tenancy. The Targeted Population model has more selective criteria for tenants, offering full services for a specific population. The third model, Affordable Housing without Discrimination, recognizes that individuals who may not need a full range of services still face barriers to housing access. You can view the full presentation here.
Enterprise thanks the NYU Wagner team for collaborating on this initiative and looks forward to advancing this important work.