The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP) was created by Congress as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In the wake of the 2008 recession, HUD provided $1.5 billion in HPRP formula grants to local and state governments to prevent homelessness and restore housing stability for people who became homeless. Grantees received funds between May and September 2009, and all funds had to be spent within three years. The program concluded in September 2012.
Eligibility for assistance through HPRP was limited to individuals and families with incomes below 50 percent of area median income who would have been homeless “but for” the assistance provided through the program.
The program served more than 1.3 million people during its three years, more than three quarters of whom (77.6%) received homelessness prevention assistance. The balance (23%) received rapid re-housing assistance. Eligible grantee activities included:
- Financial assistance, including short-term (up to 3 months) and medium-term (4 to 18 months) rental assistance (including up to 6 months of past due payments), security or utility deposit assistance and utility payments (including up to 6 months in arrears), moving cost assistance, and motel or hotel vouchers
- Housing relocation and stabilization services, including housing search and placement assistance, outreach to property owners, case management, legal services, and credit repair
Grantees had considerable flexibility in how to design their programs. Program data about who was served were tracked in grantees’ Homeless Management Information Systems, and additional data on how funds were spent and on patterns of use was provided in quarterly and annual reports to HUD.
Studies published by HUD report that nearly one-quarter of beneficiaries were homeless upon entering the program, another quarter were unstably housed, and just under half of participants were at imminent risk of losing their housing. Across all three program years, nearly 90 percent of participants exited HPRP to permanent housing.