Residents of housing developments with a service coordinator stayed on average about six months longer in their homes than those in communities without service coordination, according to a new report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The report looks at the level of satisfaction among property managers with service coordination at HUD-assisted multifamily properties.
The primary role of service coordinators is to arrange the provision of supportive services to residents with disabilities to prevent premature and inappropriate institutionalization. In 1990, the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act called on HUD to administer the Service Coordinator Program, which matches residents in HUD-assisted housing with important services.
The report by HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research notes that one way to test if service coordination is successful at preventing premature institutionalization is to look at residents’ length of occupancy. The average length of stay was 6.4 years. The study found that that the length of occupancy at developments with coordination services was 10 percent, more than six months, greater than developments that didn’t have a coordinator.
Although there are several ways that the program can be paid for, the primary sources of funding was either a HUD grant (48 percent) or through the operating budget (47 percent).
At sites with service coordination, the median amount of time that the coordinator was available on site was 32 hours per week compared to 20 hours at properties without HUD-funded coordination.
As of Feb. 1, 2008, 3,742 multifamily housing developments for low-income seniors and non-elderly people with disabilities were served by HUD-funded service coordinators. The total number of residents in HUD-assisted developments with service coordinators was more than 348,000.
The report, Multifamily Property Managers’ Satisfaction with Service Coordination, is available at www.huduser.org.