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Opening Doors Through Multifamily Housing: Toolkit for Implementing a Homeless Preference


Date Published: October 2015


This toolkit contains step-by-step guidance that a community can use in bringing service providers and multifamily property owners together to serve the needs of those who are homeless or leaving homelessness. The primary users are likely to be affordable housing owners, property management companies, and continuums of care (CoCs) that include many community stakeholders invested in addressing the housing and service needs of those experiencing homelessness. The planning and implementation process includes seven steps for working together to provide more housing opportunities for individuals and families experiencing homelessness:

  1. Create a multifamily planning and implementation team.
  2. Examine and understand the community needs and multifamily resources.
  3. Identify and engage service providers.
  4. Engage multifamily property owners.
  5. Formalize agreements between service providers and owners.
  6. Support owners' implementation of a homeless preference.
  7. Refine the process.

The toolkit draws on the experiences of 10 communities that HUD funded to pilot its 2012 initiative called Dedicating Opportunities to End Homelessness (DOEH) – part of HUD’s Opening Doors initiative. Although the DOEH funding has ended, other communities can benefit from the lessons learned and strengthen their own efforts to prevent and end homelessness.

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  • HUD
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  • HUD Approved