Special Needs Housing: Combating Homelessness

Recognizes programs that best provide affordable housing and services for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Note: Individual developments are not eligible for an award.

Judging Criteria

Special Needs Housing entries will be judged on the degree to which they:

  • Are innovative
  • Are replicable
  • Respond to an important state housing need
  • Demonstrate measurable benefits to HFA targeted customers
  • Have a proven track record of success in the marketplace
  • Provide benefits that outweigh costs
  • Demonstrate effective use of resources
  • Effectively employ partnerships
  • Achieve strategic objectives

If you have questions, please email awards@ncsha.org or call 202-624-7710.

2020 Winner

Delaware State Housing Authority

2020 Entries

Delaware State Housing Authority:
Preventing Eviction for Low-Income Delawareans

In Delaware, over 5% of renters are evicted annually and there is an average of 14 eviction court filings per day. This means that roughly 16% of Delaware renters, or 1 out of every 6, face an eviction filing per year. Delaware’s Legal Aid organizations receive funding through DSHA's homelessness prevention tool, Home4Good, to support the Eviction Defense Program (EDP). The EDP directly addresses the justice gap many low-income Delawareans encounter when facing eviction.

Florida Housing Finance Corporation:
One Family, One Year, One Home: Tenant Based Rental Assistance for Homeless Families with School Age Children

Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing) developed the One Family, One Year, One Home model to ease the obstacles that homeless children and families are forced to endure. In collaboration with local partners, Florida Housing dedicated resources to assist homeless households with school aged children access rental housing paired with supportive services. Innovative and effective, this model shows increases in school attendance and promotion as well as housing and income stability.

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development:
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Homelessness Solutions – Homelessness Rate Reduction & COVID-19 Response

Created by consolidating multiple programs, the State of Maryland’s Homelessness Solutions Program administers federal and state resources to local service providers. Under the restructured program, access to funding was streamlined and its eligible uses were expanded which significantly contributed to a 9.5% decrease in homelessness in Maryland since 2017. The program also encourages strong cooperation with local partners, which proved important in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

HUB Boston – Outreach Solutions

The HUB model brings together local law enforcement and community organizations to address housing, health care, substance abuse and mental health issues, to mitigate risk within 24 - 48 hours and to connect individuals and families with local services.

Nevada Housing Division:
It Takes a Village to Create a Village

In 2018, the Community Foundation of Western Nevada, the Nevada Housing Division (NHD) and other governmental entities, businesses and non-profit organizations came together to create the Village on Sage Street, a dorm-style bridge housing community located between 4th Street and the railroad tracks east of downtown Reno. The community will hold up to 216 community members struggling with homelessness, providing them with a safe, secure place to live while they work toward permanent housing.

New York City Housing Development Corporation:
Employing the Senior Affordable Rental Apartments Program to Protect Low-Income LGBTQ+ Elders from Homelessness

The Senior Affordable Rental Apartments (SARA) program allows for the creative use of low-cost capital in leveraging public-private funds and tax incentives in order to create comprehensive, safe, long-term affordable housing for our most vulnerable senior households, incorporating onsite social services and innovative sustainable design features that foster both independence and sense of community in a healthy and supported living environment.