• Research, Evaluation, and Best Practices

Recovery Housing Policy Brief


Date Published: December 2015


The Policy Brief aims to provide clear guidance regarding the expected and effective operation of the subset of HUD-funded Recovery Housing programs in order to strengthen performance and improve the achievement of outcomes by these programs. Programs serving people with substance use disorders that are not currently operating with the practices and policies described within this brief, or do not currently meet the standards described here, may use this brief as a guide for making changes within their programs.

HUD is encouraging each CoC to analyze the following to inform their prioritization decisions:

  • Current inventory of housing opportunities;
  • Needs within its jurisdiction (geographic area);
  • Expressed preferences of people being served;
  • Performance of all programs to determine the appropriate mix of housing options and to ensure the most effective use of CoC Program resources; and
  • How it can provide meaningful choice to people experiencing homelessness with substance use disorders who are in all stages of recovery.

Recovery Housing is a housing model that uses substance use-specific services, peer support, and physical design features to support individuals and families on a particular path to recovery from addiction, typically emphasizing abstinence. Recovery Housing might not be in conflict with Housing First, a system-wide approach that removes barriers whenever possible and that addresses the housing needs of people at all stages of recovery, so long as entry into the program is based on the choice of the program participant.

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