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Family Outreach - Frequently Asked Questions

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 -   How Should a PHA Approach Family Outreach?

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How Should a PHA Approach Family Outreach?

The following areas should be considered in planning and conducting outreach to families:

Identify Target Population
A PHA may choose initially to target its WtW housing voucher program to one or more than one of the three WtW-eligible populations (families who are eligible to receive, are currently receiving, or who have received TANF assistance or TANF-funded services within the last two years). While outreach to families currently receiving TANF will be relatively easy, families who no longer receive TANF assistance (working families, families who have exceeded time limits) are likely to have a critical need for housing in order to obtain or retain employment. Depending on the number of WtW-eligible families and interest in the program, PHAs may want to limit outreach to one of the eligible groups initially.

Identify Critical Housing Needs
Consider the critical local housing needs identified by the PHA and its partners and identify avenues for reaching families who fall into these critical need categories. The following resources often provide a population profile of the community and usually identify local housing needs:

  • City Consolidated Plan
  • Local workforce agency assessment
  • Area human services needs assessment
  • Local strategies for welfare reform

Analyze Waiting List
PHAs must analyze their existing Section 8 waiting lists to determine the approximate number of waiting list applicants who are eligible for the WtW program. If this number will not result in the required number of lease-ups, the PHA must develop an outreach strategy to attract eligible families to the program. If the PHA's waiting list is closed, the PHA may need to open its waiting list. The PHA may decide to open the waiting list to all families or only to a specified group of families, such as families currently receiving TANF assistance or services. Any discretionary policies related to selection from the waiting list must be included in the PHA administrative plan. In addition, PHAs are reminded that they must advertise the opening of a waiting list, consistent with housing choice voucher program requirements.

Rely on the resources, knowledge, experience and networks of your partner agencies
Partners may be the best link to the target population. Utilize these partners to:

  1. Market the WtW program to potentially eligible families
  2. Identify eligible families already on your waiting list
  3. Make recommendations regarding the most appropriate and effective means for reaching and explaining the program to these families.

Use Word of Mouth
Another effective outreach technique is word of mouth from WtW participants. Ask WtW participants to inform family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors about the benefits of the program.

Content current as of 20 August 2001   Follow this link to go  Back to top   
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