Institute on Assets and Social Policy

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Housing and Homelessness

Stable housing is critical to family well-being and can function as a financial asset that can be leveraged to create opportunities for upward mobility. IASP research on housing examines issues related to housing from multiple lenses, focusing on its importance as a basic need as well as its role in creating wealth and promoting upward mobility. Partnering with private foundations and government agencies, IASP is engaged in multiple housing-related research projects, which work to inform strategies for addressing housing insecurity, homelessness, and wealth-building opportunities for low-income families. These projects include evaluations of the Secure Jobs Initiative, a workforce development initiative for homeless families, assessments of program use at Father Bill's & MainSpring, and the Compass Financial Stability and Savings Program, a variation of HUD's Family Self-Sufficiency Program 

Secure Jobs Evaluation

IASP is conducting a multi-year evaluation of the Secure Jobs Initiative, in partnership with the Paul and Phyllis Fireman Foundation.  Secure Jobs is a new service model for homeless families that integrates employment and housing services to provide holistic support to families in crisis.  Initially launched in three cities in Massachusetts in February, 2013, Secure Jobs is now operating in seven regions in the state.  IASP's mixed-method evaluation tracks program implementation at all Secure Jobs sites, and short-term participant outcomes.  IASP has released eight reports on Secure Jobs to date.  For more on Secure Jobs and to view the reports, click here.

Father Bill's & MainSpring Assessments

IASP, in partnership with Father Bill's & MainSpring, completed two assessments on homeless service use.  Two reports detail the characteristics and service needs of homeless shelter users and the successes and limitations of current service delivery approaches in the shelter system. This information will support strategic planning for improved shelter models that include day centers for homeless individuals. The third evaluates the implementation and early outcomes of a pilot rapid re-housing program for homeless families in one region of Massachusetts. Recommendations include offering more intensive employment-related support services to families while in housing,as well as employment supports such as affordable child care and transportation, and increasing the stock of affordable housing in the area. For more on the Father Bill's & MainSpring Assessments and to view the reports, click here.

Compass Financial Stability and Savings Evaluation

Aimed at helping low-income families save and build assets, Compass Working Capital’s Financial Stability and Savings (FSS) Program is an innovative variation on HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. IASP conducted a three-year evaluation of this FSS program and produced three reports. These reports detail the program's implementation and participant outcomes. For more information on Compass Working Capital FSS and to view the reports, click here.


Research on housing and homelessness has been featured in peer-reviewed journals.  Click here to view publications.

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