Data Use and Challenges in Using Pay for Success to Implement Permanent Supportive Housing: Lessons From the HUD-DOJ Demonstration
The U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Justice (DOJ) launched the Pay for Success Permanent Supportive Housing Demonstration in 2016. HUD-DOJ are conducting a formative evaluation to assess whether providing permanent supportive housing (PSH) within a pay-for-success (PFS) framework is a successful and cost-effective way of using PSH to provide housing stability and reduce social service use and recidivism for a population continually cycling between homeless services and the criminal justice system. PFS is an innovative financing model that leverages philanthropic and private dollars to provide up-front financing, with the government paying after they generate results, i.e. “pay for success.”
The current formative evaluation deliverables include a Research Brief that documents the challenges faced by the grantees and their solutions. This Research Brief documents data challenges that arose in four areas: stakeholders, data quality, privacy, and timeliness of data. Although data challenges played a role in lengthening feasibility analyses beyond the anticipated 1-year timeline, many of the seven sites in the HUD-DOJ PFS Demonstration made important progress in bringing stakeholders to the table to support data access, negotiating privacy concerns and data sharing agreements, and problem-solving data quality issues or delays in data access.